It Is All In The Name!

01/03/2019

Dr. Sam Martin

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. Proverbs 22 v 1

As the year was closing, I realized it was time to register again for Insurance, so as I was having a coffee break, I called the company from the office and a pleasant young man answered. He shared they were having computer problems and asked if I could call back later and I said no problem, I will be happy to do so

Sometime later, I called again and we discussed needs, costs etc. and when everything was complete, he said “before I end this conversation, can I share something with you by way of thanks?” I said, “sure” and assumed he wanted to thank me for the business, which he did but there was more, much more!

As I listened the young man said, “you are The Arms of Jesus, right?” I responded, “Yes we are.” He then continued and I share what he said. “This morning I received word that a very special aunt had died and I was struggling with that and when your call came in I saw the name on my phone, ‘The Arms of Jesus’. You have no idea what that meant to me, as I read the name, I realized that my special aunt was in ‘the arms of Jesus’ because she was a woman of faith. Thank you for blessing me and I have such peace now knowing my aunt is in His arms.”

That was a first for us and it certainly gave me a warm feeling and helped me realize there is more in a name than perhaps we realize! As I write this, the words of a very old hymn are filling my mind:

Safe in the arms of Jesus, Safe on His gentle breast;
There by His love o’ershaded, Sweetly my soul shall rest.
Hark! ’tis the voice of angels Borne in a song to me,
Over the fields of glory, Over the jasper sea.

Safe in the arms of Jesus, Safe on His gentle breast;
There by His love o’ershaded, Sweetly my soul shall rest.

Safe in the arms of Jesus, Safe from corroding care,
Safe from the world’s temptations; Sin cannot harm me there.
Free from the blight of sorrow, Free from my doubts and fears; Only a few more trials, Only a few more tears!


By the way, a blessed New Year to you and yours!



WHAT TO GIVE GOD THIS CHRISTMAS

12/06/2018

Dr. Sam Martin

“… they fell down and worshiped Him and when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him…” Matthew 2: v 11

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,

Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;

Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,

In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;

Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.

In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed

The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,

Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;

But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,

Worshiped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?

If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;

If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;

Yet what I can I give Him? Give Him my heart.


I am sure you have heard many messages on this old Christ Carol which first appeared in 1906, written by Christina Rossetti, and just for a few moments I want to try and answer the question ‘What can I give Him?’ and that relates to the Lord Jesus, To be honest, I have spoken on this many times, but the Lord has laid something as fresh as the snow on my heart and I want to share it with you and it may sound strange, but I pray it will be a blessing. What can we give God this Christmas?


1. Give Him your broken Heart! My friends, sometimes we fail to appreciate what is happening in people lives, or how they feel. As we celebrate Christmas, perhaps we need to realize just how much God loves us! This week I began too realize just how tough this time can be for so many people. In a gathering last week I listened and looked around and I heard and saw:

    • A Lady who had lost her father just a few weeks ago and she shared how she was struggling with that, and what was going on in her life.
    • A husband, Father … in tears as he shared his recovery from severe depression.
    • A Pastor, going through a tough time in the Church - broken.
    • A wife whose husband had just died suddenly – a broken heart.

My friends, I wonder if there is someone reading this who heart is breaking and for whom Christmas has lost its joy. Listen to these words:

Psalm 147:3 ‘He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds’ Then Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted.

‘What can I give him … I’ll give Him my broken heart.’


2. Give Him your broken body/spirit: So many are afraid. Health has not been good, getting older and all that comes with that. Perhaps you are here and you are in pain, your spirit is wounded bruised by life … why not come and give it all to Jesus, Listen to these words: Acts 3:16 ‘By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.’

My friends, God loves us, that is why He sent His only begotten son into this world - for you and me. He promised to never leave us, he encouraged us to ask anything in His name and today we ask:

‘WHAT CAN I GIVE HIM? Can I simply say: Give Him your broken heart, give Him your broken body and spirit and then you will have a:


HUNGER!

09/20/2018

Dr. Sam Martin

‘But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.’ 1 John 3: 17 – 18

One day last week I was sitting enjoying a coffee and reading through a newspaper when I came to an article with the heading ‘We’re the lowest of the low.’ It described the situation of so many people in Haiti who are struggling to survive. The article stated that 60% of the people live on $2.00 US a day, or less, and half the country is malnourished.

The writer then shared the story of a 36 year old man who has been searching through waste in a dump since 1994 and he says ‘It is a hell on earth.’ However, he also said something that was and is deeply thought provoking and I quote: ‘Sometimes God is with me. I’ve found good stuff in the trash like ham, cheese, milk, rice, bread…”

My mind went back to the early days in Guatemala where we helped families living on the main City dump. But you know, it seems that as life has moved on, people have forgotten that hunger is still a real problem today, yes in 2018!

The World Hunger Education Service has a ‘Hunger Quiz’, why not take it and then at the end check your answers!

1. How many people are there in the world?

8 billion

7.6 billion

6 billion


2. What is the number of hungry people in the world?

1 billion

815 million

700 million


    3. What percentage of the world's population is hungry?

    5 percent of the world's population

    10.7 percent percent of the world's population

    25 percent of the world's population

    In Proverbs 10- we read in the 3rd verse “The LORD will not let the godly go hungry, but he refuses to satisfy the craving of the wicked” and the wonderful truth is this, “He invites us to participate in this with Him!We become His hand and feet!As we work with Him, He provides all we need and others are blessed.

    “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?' "And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ Matthew 25:34-40 (NLT)


    Oh, the answers are:

    • 7.6 Billion
    • 815 Million
    • 10.7%

    Ask for Anything

    09/13/2018

    Dr. Sam Martin

    'Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!’ John 14:14

    The other day this verse came to mind as I opened up some pictures from Guatemala, including the one to the right of this text. It was the word ‘anything’ that made me think. Of course we know that the Lord Jesus loves us with an incredible unconditional love, that He meant what He said and that should encourage us. We can take anything to the Lord in prayer, we can ask Him for anything! Amazing Grace!

    Well, I guess I should explain. Over the years as we have sought to reach out to needy children and families, seeking to provide for them spiritually, emotionally, physically, educationally, medically – well the list goes on, but it has been a privilege to do whatever we could in the name of Jesus Christ. Sometimes we take the initiative, having become aware of needs but other times we respond to the cries for help from individuals, parents, families. Some requests are relatively easy to meet, others more challenging but we do our best.

    Recently we responded to cries for help from families suffering the effects of the Volcano de Fuego (The Volcano of Fire) erupting. Thousands suffered, many lost in the ash and homes were destroyed leaving the people in a desperate state. As a Mission, we responded immediately providing water, food and clothing. Then at the request of the Government, we built shelters for families and distributing cooking utensils.

    Then came a strange request, a request from parents. In all the years we have ministered in Guatemala, never received such a request, but we listed and agreed to respond. The request was for ‘underwear for children.’ Yes my friend, ‘Ask anything …’ and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we responded and provided families, including the Mother and child in the picture with underwear! The people were thrilled and delighted!

    Honestly as I see the families gathering around the Mission truck waiting for underwear, I could only smile and thank the Lord for the privilege of ‘doing unto the least of them’ what I believe Jesus would have done! Yes, ‘ask anything in my name and I will do it!’



    Kid’s Drop Off Day Went Well

    09/05/2018

    Dr. Sam Martin

    And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. Mark 10: 16

    Driving to the office this morning, listening to a news channel, I heard a Mother say, “By the way the kid’s drop off day went well yesterday.” Of course I understood what she meant, and could picture anxious parents and scared children making their way to their first day in School. In fact, it brought back many memories.

    It is a different world and I can imagine many parents really feeling nervous and concerned, especially with what is happening in so many schools, and in society as a whole. However, I found my mind taking me back just a few weeks to a meeting I attended on our Mission Campus in Guatemala.

    The theme was ‘Something good is happening at AOJ.’ There was music, praise, worship and testimonies from students, sharing how much they appreciate the ministry, how they are so blessed to be sponsored and attend the Mission School. The testimonies brought tears to our eyes and joy to our hearts as we listened to all that God was doing and the spiritual growth was so evident, we could sense that something good was happening at AOJ.

    Much to our surprise, families began to share what it meant to them to have their children sponsored and, in the school, each giving praise to God, thanks to those who sponsor their children and to the Mission for all that they have done and are doing in the lives of the students. However, one Father who stood with his wife and children in front of everyone gathered in the chapel, said:

    “Every day that we drop our children off at the School, we feel that literally we are dropping our children into ‘The Arms of Jesus’. AOJ is a refuge where they grow up and mature, where they are safe, and it is the most blessed place in the village of Parramos. We pray every day for AOJ, giving thanks for the place, and we teach our children to do the same because this is certainly a blessing from the Lord.”

    The Sajche Guzman Family could say, and really were saying “By the way, the kid’s drop off day went well” because they had the confidence their children were safe in the Arms of Jesus!