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God does so many things first.

Most importantly, He loves us first.

As in loving us before our action shows that we love Him.

Huh?

Even as Christians, we sin.

We put ourselves first.

Yet the convicting, loving voice of the Holy Spirit talls us to repent and return to the narrow path of walking with God.

He knows that we probably won’t step back toward that lane of love if we aren’t given the divine carrot of forgiveness.

Because He does promise to forgive us when we confess our sins (I John 1:9), we can be made right with Him after we’ve done wrong to Him.

Thank God for Jesus, that’s what I’m sayin’…..

Here is a verse that can deepen your faith as it has done for me:

“Lord, if you kept a record of our sins,
who, O Lord, could ever survive? But you offer forgiveness,
that we might learn to fear you.” Psalm 130:3-4

We can’t survive spiritually without God’s grace.

Let’s seek it.

Let’s share it.

Let’s learn to live as people who respect the One who shows it.

As always, I love you
Martin

Here’s a thought that can help you and me to do the godly thing more often:

“All glory to Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding His blood for us.” (Revelation 1:5)

Jesus loves us and freed us from the sentence of eternal, spiritual death when He went to the cross for us.

We can never thank Him enough but we can show our appreciation by giving Him all the worship and service we can.

Even if we praised and served Him with every waking breath and action, we still couldn’t match what He’s done for us by rescuing us from an unimaginably horrible forever.

Give Him glory in every part of your life, my friend.

Speak as He spoke.

Serve as He served.

Resist temptation as He resisted temptation.

Love all sorts of people as He loved all sorts of people.

Whatever you do, whether in word or in deed, do it all for the glory of God, we’re told in Colossians 3:17.

He did SO much for us.

Let’s do more for Him at work, at home, at church, in the neighborhood or wherever.

As always, I love you
Martin

As a kid on the playground, I couldn’t stand it when a bully was picking on another kid.

Sometimes, I even got into trouble because I invited the bully to leave the kid alone and pick on me instead.

It didn’t turn out well for either of us at such moments.

Even as an adult in ministry, I’ve had occasions when I interceded in situations where one person was being treated unfairly and the attacker’s guns were then directed at me.

That’s OK. I just didn’t want the weaker person to be suffering unjustly and I knew that the Lord would sustain me during the attacks.

Part of being a Christian involves helping the weaker, whether emotional or physical or financial.

If we see someone hurting — particularly if from unfair treatment — our hearts should be moved to intercede in some way.

It’s not just about helping them, but also about confronting those who trample the rights of others.

Not everybody is able or willing to stand up for the weak person’s rights.

Those of us who can should do just that.

“The godly care about the rights of the poor;
 the wicked don’t care at all.” (Proverbs 29:7)

It’s like dealing with the bully on the playground.

If there are no boundaries drawn against attacks on the weaker, other wannabe bullies surface and chaos ensues whether in the workplace, the school, the church or the extended family.

If you have a friend or relative needing help in dealing with a corrupt mortgage lender or a neglectful landlord or an exploitative employer or a vindictive, manipulative relative, please pray for wisdom on how to pray with that person and perhaps even coach that person into better strategies for response.

It’s the godly thing to do.

As always, I love you
Martin

If our love for another is contingent upon what they first do for us, then we have a vocabulary problem.

You see, we’re not showing “love” to the person.

Instead, we’re making a deal with the person.

You do for me and then I will do for you.”

This attitude shows love alright, but it is egocentric.

It is a contract.

God calls us to have covenant love.

He wants us to be committed to loving others because it is the right thing to do, regardless of how we are treated.

If the person reciprocates, that’s a wonderful blessing.

But if the person doesn’t reciprocate to the desired extent, we are still blessed by knowing that we are obeying God’s command to love as He loves.

Check out this little bit of love language from today’s reading in the One-Year Bible:

“We love each other because He loved us first.” (I John 4:19)

God loved us before we loved Him.

Amazingly, He loves us even if we don’t love Him.

What He did — and does — for us is what we’re to do for the people in our lives.

Particularly those closest to us.

Yes, some people are sometimes hard to love.

But we are called to show kindness, patience, forgiveness, generosity, acceptance and then keep repeating these things over and over and over again with our spouses, our children, our siblings, our co-workers, our friends, our neighbors and our church members.

Sometimes it’s not easy.

But do you think it’s always easy for God to love us?

Let’s love first.

It’s what God does.

It’s what the godly do.

As always, I love you
Martin

Living the Christian life isn’t complicated.

It’s just not easy.

Being faithful is never about brainpower.

But it is about willpower.

As in deciding we WILL obey God’s will.

“And this is His commandment: We must believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with Him, and He with them. And we know He lives in us because the Spirit He gave us lives in us.” (I John 3:23-24)

Is God living in you?

If so, He is loving through you.

Love somebody today in a way that unmistakably overflows from the love you have for God.

It’s why He saved us.

As always, I love you
Martin

Few people like having a guilty conscience.

Yet, everybody experiences such at one time or another.

The reality is that we all sin and fall short of God’s glory.

This is why we are in such need of His grace and Word so that we can find forgiveness at His feet and renewal of our determination to do what’s right.

You see, walking the “straight and narrow” is always the best choice when it comes to being the person God wants us to be and to gaining the influence for the Gospel that we’re called to have.

Let’s be very careful today to avoid the traps of temptation, however Satan seeks to slip them into our minds and hearts.

It’s not just about keeping our souls from being stained but also about not giving ammunition to the enemies of Christ.

“Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.” (I Peter 3:16)

It very well might be that the only person with meaningful Christian influence in your workplace or family circle of influence is you.

Please protect that influence by protecting your spiritual testimony.

Let’s all speak and act like the humble, hard-working Christ who never gave legitimate ammunition to His critics and, ultimately, won some of them over to the Gospel because of His profound determination to honor God and serve them.

As always, I love you
Martin

We’ve all made some poor spending decisions along the way.

And we’ve regretted it.

In fact, we might still be paying the price for those choices years later.

Hopefully, we’ve learned to be more thoughtful about the implications of our choices.

The writer of Psalm 119 knew the sting of poor choices, I’m sure.

And he determined that he would strive to avoid such.

How?

Verse 56 shows us:

“This is how I spend my life:
 obeying your commandments.

Listen, if we spend our time obeying the teachings of God’s Word, we’ll always spend wisely.

We won’t squander the money God places into our hands.

Instead, we invest it into those things that help us to help others.

We won’t waste the time God ordains for us in this life.

Instead, we’re redeem it for the sake of exalting Him, helping His people and reaching out to the unsaved with love, hoping that they will choose to become His children.

Spend wisely today, my friend.

Make sure that you consider God’s Word and will at every decision intersection you encounter today.

There’s only so much time in the wallet of days that we’re given by the Lord.

Let’s make sure that others’ lives and our legacy is richer because of our choices.

As always, I love you
Martin

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