I Am Praying for You

Cecil Martens

READ : 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 We always pray for you . . . (v. 11) Ruth is in her 90s now. I was once her pastor, and she remains a dear friend. We still try to visit her faithfully, and when we are about to leave her apartment, she does it every time. She takes my two hands, looks at me, and says, “Pastor, I pray for you every day.” I am so thankful to have a friend like Ruth. …

The Best Is Yet to Come

Cecil Martens

READ : 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven . . . (v. 7) Black soot on the ceiling. To the right, a small area for the animals. To the left, the place where the people slept, likely on several layers of manure. Here, in a cave near Bethlehem, according to our tour guide, was most likely the kind of place where Jesus was born. God the Son born in such a humble setting? Yes. How …

Growth in Times of Trouble

Cecil Martens

READ : 2 Thessalonians 1:3-6 Your faith is growing . . . (v. 3) Trouble in River City! Christians in Thessalonica made up a very small minority. They were surrounded by a huge number of pagans who often gave them a hard time. They faced frequent suffering, crushing troubles, many hardships . . . Their response offers a model for us to follow. The Thessalonian believers were overcomers. Paul complimented them for two things: their wonderful growing faith and their …

Know Who You Are

Cecil Martens

READ : 2 Thessalonians 1:1-2 To the church of the Thessalonians. (v. 1) Dr. Henry Bast, our Editor-in-Chief’s father, regularly made pastoral calls on an elderly lady in a nursing home. Sometimes she recognized him; sometimes she didn’t. On one visit he gently touched her arm, leaned over and asked if she knew who he was. Silence. He repeated the question. Again, silence. He asked her the third time. She then lifted up her head and blurted out, “Don’t you …

Dirty Windows!

Cecil Martens

READ : 1 Corinthians 15:35-49 My friend Marvin Thomas is an excellent Bible student and is convinced Jesus will return very soon. With a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other, that seems logical. The Shepherd’s Home in Wisconsin has a problem with dirty windows. Although many of its residents are severely disabled, they love Jesus and understand that he has promised to return someday and give them new bodies. The superintendent said, “Every day some of …

Pleasing God

Cecil Martens

READ : Colossians 1:9-14 The creed of our culture today seems to be “please yourself.” The Lord Jesus declared, “I always do what pleases him” (John 8:29). Who do you try to please? The Bible says: “So we make it our goal to please him” (2 Cor. 5:9). “We instructed you how to live in order toplease God” (1 Thess. 4:1). “Find out what pleases the Lord” (Eph. 5:10). “We pray . . . you may live a life worthy …