None are Expendable!

Posted: 30th April 2017 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship

Not expendableGod’s fingerprints are on all of His creation. Still, His word tells us that Man is His most prized creation, and I believe His greatest disappointment. (Genesis 6:6) His Word says He delights in us and if we love one another, we are His children. He loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son, so that we could eternally live with Him. How precious we are to Him. Yet, many stubbornly refuse to recognize Jesus Christ as our Savior.

God loves us so much that He frees us to make our own choices. Good or bad! Right or wrong! He gave free will. There is an old adage by Kahlil Gibran; “If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. If they don’t, they never were.” This freedom separates us from all other earthly creation. And every time it is exercised, it defines how great our God loves us.

He gives us all the freedom to make choices for ourselves or for His glory. No one is born by mistake. God has a plan for every one that has received His gift of life. No one else can accomplish what God has purposed for you! Just as you are unique, your purpose in His story is uniquely yours. To live a life in testimony to His glory is to live a life of obedience to His commandments. His will for your life is not hard to figure out. It’s not a mystery. It’s so easy children do it without question. Love Him! Love Others!

Your love is important to ushering in the kingdom of Heaven.

Be Careful Little Eyes What You See!

Posted: 24th March 2017 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship
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Your imagination plays a critical role in determining your reaction when trouble comes. Paul says this, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (NIV, Philippians 4:8) Jesus said this “22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (NIV, Matthew 6:22-23) The Living Bible puts it this way “If your eye is pure, there will be sunshine in your soul. 23 But if your eye is clouded with evil thoughts and desires, you are in deep spiritual darkness. And oh, how deep that darkness can be!”

It is not wise or beneficial for anyone to clutter their mind with an imagination consumed with worldliness. Entertainment that focuses on delivering messages of fantasy, horror, lust, greed, corruption, suspense and drama, is the artwork of the world. Once this information is planted in your imagination it works it way into your entire body. You will respond and react according to what fills your heart and soul. Fill it with love, humility, service, and truth.

“Art is meant to inspire, not dissuade, pervert or subjugate.”

Deny Yourself!

Posted: 7th February 2017 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship
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It is very difficult for us to change a bad habit or poor attitude. We know ourselves so well that we become comfortable with ourselves. Comfortable with complacency. Comfortable in doing “just enough.” We avoid going the “extra mile” and any personal sacrifice because its disrupts our agenda of comfort. It makes us feel like we are losing control.

We are people with “hope” and we should embrace change. We are not perfect, but we are in the process of being perfected in Christ. The adversary to our faith is a culture that promotes individualism and criticism. Though our parts have different functions, the goal of the Body of Christ is unity – to become like Jesus. We need to rid ourselves of our personal agendas for His will to be done in our lives. “To serve and not be served!”

Each day is a new creation of God’s mercy to give us time to love one another. The seed of all sin is selfishness. If planted, it will raise a crop of suffering and death. Idleness, personal comfort, and doing just enough is not living – it’s surviving. Looking to fill the needs of others, being truly kind, enjoying the opportunities to sacrifice personal comfort to help others, these are Christ-like actions and they reflect passionate, dedicated followers of Jesus.

Matthew 16:23-25
“But Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me. For you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.… ” (Berean Study Bible)

Before You Speak, Think TRUTH

Posted: 19th January 2017 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship

Is it the TRUTH?
Does it REVERE God?
Does it reflect THANKFULNESS?

The words we speak reflect how Jesus influences and impacts our lives. He is the Way, the Truth an the Life. Speak words that show the Way (Love). Speak truth! Speak life!

Do you really love Jesus?

Posted: 5th December 2016 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship

christs-loveThe greatest commandment is to love God with all you heart, soul, mind and strength. That’s pretty much everything that makes you — you! Of all the desires you have in this world, is Jesus the first and foremost. Do you love Him more than your spouse, your children, your friends, your home, your hobbies, your job? Do you talk to Him as much as you do with your family, friends or co-workers? Do you spend as much intentional time working with Him, fishing with Him, watching the game with Him, shopping with Him, eating, dancing, playing — living with Him as you do yourself? Do you sing to yourself more than you do to Him? Is He just the prayer before a meal, at bedtime, or in the morning? Do you only meet with Him on Sunday?

His love is endless, everlasting, and it never fails. He is faithful, good, and patient. He will never leave or forsake us. In this world, our love compared to His tends to be lop-sided, but may our intentions never be less than complete surrender to His will. We were His in the beginning, we are His now, and we will be His forevermore. This journey of life through His story is our lesson in love. It will be a lesson that takes an eternity to perfect. Only Jesus Christ is worthy of all praise!

Submit Yourselves to God!

Posted: 1st November 2016 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship
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submit2Many times, we as Christians try to battle with the Evil One unprepared and ill-equipped. The result of this battle only hurts ourselves and others. Sin’s nature is not self-destructive. Once committed it sets in motion a series of travesties that end in suffering and death. The only remedy that can stop the wake of sin’s calamity is the blood of Christ.

When we submit to the will of God, we put our faith in Christ who paid the price for all sin. The result of our faith takes us from darkness to becoming the light of the world. Hope replaces despair! Our mourning becomes joy!

Satan will have nothing to do with anyone totally submitted to God. James states it like this “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7) Our Lord’s temptation in the wilderness is the greatest example of submission and Satan fleeing. Jesus was totally submitted to the will of His Father, He resisted Satan’s temptations with God’s word, and Satan departed. (Matthew 4:1-11)

It is impossible to bring about God’s light working in our own strength. The battle begins on our knees and ends in the Holy Spirit orchestrating our actions of love. Our humble submission during our journey will be evident in our personal sacrifices along the way. We will have obstacles. We will falter and slip up. We will even run away. But, our submission to God will bring us to our knees again and He will lift us up. (James 4:10)

God’s Loves Us Forever and Then More

Posted: 16th October 2016 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship
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gods-loveO’ to know the length, breadth , height, and depth of God’s love! It is infinite, not temporal. It can not be restrained by the confines of our concepts of time and space. God loves us more than the circumstances of the present and the accumulation of our limited lifetimes. God loves us eternally. He loves us from the beginning of His creation. He loves us now and He loves us in eternity – for His glory! He loves us forever and then more!

Judging Others

Posted: 29th September 2016 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship
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judging-others-300x225Truth demands a real honest look at oneself. It measures weaknesses known only in the heart. It pours burning coals on our pride, digs up buried humility and calls us to repentance. The result of this inward revelation releases mercy and grace and leaves a trail that points to love.

Judging and discernment can be confusing terms, especially in their misunderstanding and wrongful application. Discernment is considered to be useful and wise in our Christian walk, while judging is to be avoided.

Probably the greatest lesson Jesus taught us about judging was John 8:7, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” In this one statement He calls the self-righteous accusers to look into their hearts and find mercy, grace, and love. But more importantly, a lost sinner finds redemption in a real, wonderful Savior.

7 X 70

Posted: 27th August 2016 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship

forgiveWhen Peter asked Christ about forgiving an offender, Jesus increased Peter’s quantifier for forgiving. 7 x 70 seems like a huge or an impossible number. However, every time we bring up a past offense our bitterness calculator adds up.

Remember the worldly adage, “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.” As Christ followers, we do not adhere to the foolishness of the world’s wisdom. Revenge or avenging is not our responsibility. We are called to be examples of God’s grace, His love, and forgiveness. When we are offended, no matter how hurtful, how painful, we call upon the Holy Spirit sealed within us to give us the serenity to respond as Christ.

Daughter of Dreams

Posted: 18th July 2016 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship

Maylei @ Christmas 2015

Maylei @ Christmas 2015

The greatest thing in life is to know you are in the center of God’s will. God gives life to every child. He knows us in our mother’s womb. He knits us together, perfectly, marvelously — we are wonderfully made. No one living is a mistake!

Too many times we stop our growth in love within the boundaries of family. We prefer to love only our children and close relatives in the way Jesus describe to love everyone — even our enemies.

Love was never meant to be restrained or defined by the frailty of men and women. It is a supernatural gift that propels us from ordinary to extraordinary. It gives and never takes. It is sacrificial. It surrenders pride and arrogance and seeks humility and opportunities for charity.

It is always amazing to me that God initiates and completes the work of righteousness for those who love Him. He does it all! We sit back as reluctant participants in His work and are left in awe and amazement at His blessing.

Maylei is the living testimony of God working in my family’s life. In my own strength, I would have preferred living selfishly chasing after my own dreams and goals. But God loved and trusted me enough to be Maylei’s father in this world. I can not describe the honor and privilege it has been to be entrusted with that responsibility. He has blessed me beyond my imagination with the gift of her.

All of our children are gifts. They are not ours to keep as our own. They are our responsibility to be directed, instructed, and mentored in the way of the Lord. In return, God blesses us with their love and the sharing of their life. In Christ, it is a profound, divine love that only increases.

Maylei is the daughter of my dreams. She fills a place in my heart that no one or nothing else could. My life and world shines brighter because she is in it. I am and will always be eternally grateful to Christ for the love that I have experienced through her. My prayer will always be for her continued faithful service to Him and others through power of the Holy Spirit.