Friday, July 25, 2014

Biblical Parenting Pointers

“All your children shall be taught by the LORD, And great shall be the peace of your children” (Isaiah 54:13, ESV).

Kids should have top priority in our lives. Dr. James Dobson has said, “Children must be valued as our most priceless possession.” Children and grandchildren are the future of the church. Every investment of time, energy, money and emotion will more than payoff, in this world and in eternity. The people of Israel always considered teaching and discipling their children a very high priority. They guarded family time and established family traditions which helped them maintain their identity as God’s people for thousands of years.

God had given them their instructions through Moses: “Place these words on your hearts. Get them deep inside you... Teach them to your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning until you fall into bed at night” (Deuteronomy 11:18a-19, MSG).

This is still God’s plan! Here are some things to teach your children:

  • Teach your children that you think they are special – I’ve always told my kids, “You’re the best daughter in the whole-wide world!” “You’re the best son in the whole-wide world!” Spend some time with your children doing the things that they like to do. Our children’s first glimpse into God’s love is the love we show them.
  • Teach your children that you love them – One of the best ways love is communicated is through patient, consistent and purposeful discipline. The Bible tells us that if we do not discipline our children we do not love them (Proverbs 13:24). God shows us His love by consistently disciplining throughout our lives (Hebrews 12:5-11). Biblical discipline is not practiced in anger or rage, it is always administered in love.
  • Teach your children right and wrong and to obey – Kids want to know boundaries and what is right and wrong. While your children are young, teach them clearly what is morally right and wrong. Teach them modesty, and to always tell the truth, and to look away from evil. The Ten Commandments are a good guide for morality (with the exception of the 4th Commandment, which is not a moral issue, but the sign of the Old Covenant). These Nine Commandments are all repeated in the New Testament.
  • Teach your kids to love God’s Word and God’s church – Reward your children lavishly and frequently for memorizing God’s Word. Encourage them with prizes, money and words of praise for every step they take in internalizing God’s Word. Make Sunday the best day of the week! Don’t burden them with tons of chores; instead, make it a day when you do special things together, get together with good friends, and eat special food.
  • Teach your kids by your example – Our faith is caught even easier than it is taught. Nothing is as powerful an advantage and blessing to your children than for you to live your life sold-out to the Lord Jesus Christ!


Pastor Mark Martin
Calvary Community Church

Monday, July 14, 2014

"Quiet Time" with the Lord

"...In the secret place of His tent He will hide me..." (Psalm 27:5, NASB).

God will talk to you while you're on the run, but you'll hear more when you sit down and listen. Christians for thousands of years have credited having a daily quiet time with God—a daily appointment with God—as the source of their spiritual growth and peace.

By spending time with God each day you are making a declaration of you dependence on God. You're saying, "My rebellious, independent days are over."

Here are some "Quiet Time" helps:

  • Make it special. It may be a corner of the living room or a desk in the family room, or just a lazy-boy somewhere, but find a space that becomes a familiar place for meeting with God.
  • Be creative. Susannah Wesley had 19 children. You know how she had her quiet time? She would sit down in a chair and pull her apron over her head—and woe to the child that disturbed her!

    Jewish men take their prayer room with them, they pray under a tallit, or prayer-shawl.
  • Let music enhance occasionally, but not distract. Christian music can set a tone of worship and praise. I find that instrumental praise music distracts me less than really upbeat contemporary Christian music. Remember, the purpose of this time is to have God speak to your heart through His Word.
  • Believe that God is going to meet with you. "Every morning you'll hear me at it again. Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on your altar and watch for fire to descend" (Psalm 5:3, MSG).

The Scriptures say, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you" (James 4:8, NASB). "The Lord is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6, NASB).


Pastor Mark Martin
Calvary Community Church

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The UN and Human Rights - A Kangaroo Court - Maoz Israel

There's a great Messianic ministry called Maoz Israel that publishes a monthly newsletter I wanted to share with everyone. The May issue has a pretty good article that explains Israel's current situation and relationship with other countries in the world. We are seeing last-days Bible prophecy being fulfilled as all eyes are on Israel and they are pretty much alone in the world with not much support.

 The UN and Human Rights - A Kangaroo Court


Pastor Mark Martin
Calvary Community Church

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Treasures Hidden in the Darkness

In case you missed yesterday's GraceMail that deals with suffering and dark times, I'm going to re-publish it here on the blog.

"And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness—secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name" (Isaiah 45:3).

God gave this promise to Cyrus, a pagan king, affirming that He had ordained him to be His instrument to accomplish His will. The promise came true when He conquered the city of Babylon and all its riches.

A spiritual truth is mirrored by the historical event. There are treasures to be found in our darkest times. There are "treasures hidden in the darkness—secret riches."

In the dark times God gives us treasure.

He gives us the treasure of trust as we learn to submit to Him, even when we don’t know where the Lord is leading.

"You light a lamp for me. The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness" (Psalm 18:28).

We find the treasure of peace when we rest knowing that He is in control and working out His plan for our lives.

"And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7, NASB).

We find the treasure of a much deeper fellowship with the Lord. David, in his dark time shares: "For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock" (Psalm 27:5).

Hidden in the darkness is the treasure of God’s special comfort: "For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ" (2 Corinthians 1:5).

In the dark times, there is the treasure of experiencing God’s strength: "But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in time of trouble" (Psalm 37:39, NASB).

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1, NASB).

God says that His purpose in giving you the treasures hidden in the darkness—secret treasures is so that " may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name."


Pastor Mark Martin
Calvary Community Church

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Voice of D.L. Moody from 1897

D.L. Moody is one of the heroes of the faith. He was a late 19th century American evangelist whose worldwide ministry saw a million people come to faith in Christ. He founded Moody Church, Moody Bible Institute, and Moody Publishers, among other Christian ministries that are still around today.

We found this rare recording of D.L Moody reading the Beatitudes from Matthew's gospel from 1897. The quality is poor because recording was in its infancy during that time. The audio recording also contains the singing of Ira Sankey, Moody's long-time music minister. Enjoy!


Pastor Mark Martin
Calvary Community Church

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

It's Your Choice - A message on predestination

If you didn't hear my teaching from this past weekend on predestination, election, God's foreknowledge, and Calvinism in general, be sure to check it out.


Pastor Mark Martin
Calvary Community Church

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Christian Persecution Rising

This is not good news.  Please read this report from today on the rise of Christian persecution, particularly in the Arab world.  We need to be praying for our brothers and sisters throughout the globe.

Christians persecuted at alarming rate in Iran, Arab world, US report says


Pastor Mark Martin
Calvary Community Church

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Worry - Should we worry about it?

Worry can really consume us sometimes, stealing our joy and challenging our faith. It can also make you physically sick. Let's look at a portion of Matthew 6 where Jesus talks about worry.

"So I tell you, don't worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn't life consist of more than food and clothing? Look at the birds. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are" (Matthew 6:25-26).

Jesus is saying that needless worry goes against the lessons of nature. If the natural world around us isn't worrying, neither should the children of God. Our loving Father in heaven is watching over us and this day and its needs are in His hands. Worry spends today by borrowing trouble. The interest rate is too high to pay.

Giving our cares and worries to God helps us to live a supernatural life.

"Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not" (Matthew 6:27).

When we torment ourselves over things that might happen or we allow ourselves to fixate on some dreaded thing, we're actually sabotaging our peace. Jesus is clearly saying that when we worry we add nothing to our lives, we actually lose something, something is subtracted—our peace.

Worry steals our peace by robbing us of the moment we're living in. God's plan is to give you peace for this minute. Worry demands a week or a month's worth of peace for a moment, and that will never be delivered. God's grace is always enough for right now and right now is where we're living. Jesus has promised, "I'll be with you… day after day after day, right up to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20, MSG).

"And why worry about your clothes? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't he more surely care for you? You have so little faith!" (Matthew 6:28-30).

What if your mirror could talk and it echoed what you say in front of it, what would it say? "How do I look?" "What am I going to wear?" "I look fat!" "Why isn't my hair curly?" "I wish my hair was straight!" "I wish I had some hair!"

If mirrors echoed what they hear us say, we might be more aware of how much energy we spend to project a physical image of ourselves, and how little time we spend dressing ourselves spiritually every day. If how you looked on the outside was directly proportional to how much time you spend with God each morning, how would you look right now?

Let's spend more time grooming the inside, and the results are sure to show on the outside.

Paul's words to the Colossian Christians seem especially appropriate: "It wasn't long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it's all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk. Don't lie to one another. You're done with that old life. It's like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you've stripped off and put in the fire. Now you're dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete" (Colossians 3:7-10, MSG).

"So don't worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs..." (Matthew 6:31-32).

You're not on your own, you don't have to take care of yourself, you're not an orphan. You have a loving Father in Heaven who is going to take care of your needs. When we worry, we're living like we're on our own.

When you start to worry, STOP:

  • Remember, you're part of the family, the Father's family, you're not on your own, God has promised to care for those who are living for Him.
  • Ask yourself: "How big a deal is this in the light of eternity?" 
  • Turn off the static. Worry is like listening to static all the time. It's annoying and exhausting. The best way to deal with it is not to try to fine tune the station and figure out all the reasons for your anxiety, but to turn it off! Worry would love to play over all the activities of your life, turn it off by trusting Jesus' words. 
  • Cast it off by getting quiet with the Lord and writing everything down that is worrying you. Then take that piece of paper and throw it away. You're actually obeying God's Word which says for you to cast "…the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully" (1 Peter 5:7, AMP).
Now let's put this into practice.

Pastor Mark Martin
Calvary Community Church

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What Will it Take to Make You a Believer?

If you missed my Easter message, you can watch it here where I go through several evidences for the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Check it out!

Friday, April 18, 2014

A Hoax? Eastern Ukrainian interim government leader claims did not send flyers requiring Jews to register

Conflicting reports are casting doubt on whether the interim government in eastern Ukraine produced the flyers requiring all Jews to register their families and property or face deportation and confiscation.

Some officials state the orders are legitimate and others claim they're not from the government but from those trying to stir up anti-Semitism.

Christians should remain vigilant to pray for the situation and keep informed, we can't let this happen again.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Jews ordered to register in eastern Ukraine!

Some very alarming news is being reported by Joel Rosenberg and USA Today. Jews in eastern Ukraine are being ordered to register their families and property with the new temporary government or face deportation and loss of property. We need to pray for the people of Ukraine and keep alert as to how we should help if necessary to prevent another holocaust. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What About the Blood Moons?

There's been a lot of talk about blood moons lately. What's the big deal anyway? 

There have been many blood moons in the past.

Joel (2:31) and Peter (Acts 2:20) declared that the moon will be turned into blood before the "day of the Lord."

The "Day of the Lord" speaks of the time of the Great Tribulation. The moon will become like blood during the sixth seal (Rev. 6:12) in the midst of the Great Tribulation. The church will not be on earth during this time.

When Jesus was asked about the signs which would precede His return, He mentioned several signs (see Matthew 24:1-28) and then said "immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the power of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky…" (verses 29-30).

It appears the events affecting the moon are apocalyptic and occur during the Great Tribulation. Blood moons have occurred throughout history; most of them without any reference to Israel. It is always exciting to look forward to the Lord's return, yet we must be very careful to not to push things into prophecy. The Lord says that we should be ready for His return at any time.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Real Story of Noah

There's been a lot of talk about Noah lately.  Want to know what the Bible actually says about Noah?  Was there really a flood and an ark that held all the animals?  Watch this teaching message where we look at every instance of Noah in the Bible.

            Watch "Noah" here