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Archive for November, 2013

King Solomon reminded me this morning that I’ve got some correspondence work to do.

“Never abandon a friend— either yours or your father’s.” (Psalm 27:10)

It’s time for me to play catch-up with some of my friends.

Yes, I’ve been very busy with many things.

Important things.

But I’ve not been busy enough at communicating with longtime friends.

My bad.

For that’s important, too.

I’ll be writing notes and making phone calls in the days ahead to people who should have heard from me before now.

They’re very busy, too, of course.

Perhaps they’ve been meaning to contact me but have just been swamped.

There’s a reason that these people became my friends long ago.

Those reasons still exist.

And I need to show my appreciation for the gift of each friendship.

Perhaps you need to do the same to the longtime friends in your life.

For as the following portion of verse 10 says, “When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance.”

Let’s show love to our friends. For sooner or later there will come a time when we really need their love.

As always, I love you
Martin

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When God promises something, you can take it to the bank.

And, boy, am I glad He promises that joy can be mine if I’ll do two things.

“There is joy for those who deal justly with others and always do what is right.” (Psalm 106:3)

Deal justly by making choices that don’t seek to take advantage of others.

Do things the way that Jesus would approve of if He were standing right next to me.

Be fair.

Be Christlike.

This is not an intellectual challenge.

We almost always know what is fair and Christlike in the choices we face.

Instead, it is a challenge of selflessness, of humility, of faith.

When we put others first and pleasing God first, our Abba Father sends the Holy Spirit to fill us with something we can’t concoct ourselves — the peace of God.

It is that peace from on high that gives us joy down here below.

Even when others are not dealing justly with us and are not doing what is right.

I want to be filled with joy and God has shown me in Psalm 106 how that can happen.

It’s now up to me.

Let’s each seek joy by seeking first the Kingdom of God.

It’s the joy-full thing to do.

As always, I love you
Martin

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When God sends blessings our way, it’s not just because He loves us.

It’s also because He wants us to love Him more.

And as Psalm 105:45 tells us, love is shown through our obedience.

The verses leading up to verse 45 list a number of great blessings that God poured out upon the Hebrews after they were rescued from Egyptian bondage. You can read of those blessings by clicking here.

I love how the psalmist summed up the purpose of the blessings with his words in verse 45:

All this happened so they would follow his decrees and obey his instructions.”

I encourage you to think for a moment of three great blessings you’ve received from the Lord and then reflect on why God sent them your way.

It’s because He loves you and desires that you show your love for Him by following His decrees and obeying His instructions.

There’s simple yet powerful parallel passage in Luke 6:46 that records Jesus asking His disciples, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I say?”

Let’s show our love for God by living more obediently to His Word, not just in the big stuff like not committing crimes but also in the little stuff like giving money or time to someone in need, even though our human passion would rather spend both on ourselves.

It’s clear which choice would show an obedient heart to God.

As always, I love you
Martin

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“Let all that I am praise the Lord!”

This line from Psalm 104:1 sums up what is to be our purpose for life.

We are to be living instruments of praise and worship.

It really is that simple.

Notice that the verse doesn’t say, “Let all that I do praise the Lord.”

It’s “...all that I am…”

You see, faith is not measured only by actions but also by intentions.

Yes, we should be busy in Christian service in various ways.

But it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that busy-ness is faithfulness.

There are many busy people who wear the name “Christian” but whose motives for action are sometimes tainted with emotional, social or financial agendas.

God wants all of our heart, all of our strength, all of our mind, all of our soul.

And He wants us to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Colossians 3:17 says that in whatever we do, whether in word or in deed, we’re to do it all for the glory of God.

Matthew 25 says that God sees the deeds we do and He sees the motives for them. If the motives aren’t to please God but instead to hook ourselves up with a pretty lady or cute guy or to get in good with somebody who might give us a job or to assume a high-profile volunteer role so that we can feel better about ourselves or to be part of the preferred “inner circle” at church, then we’ve got some praying to do because our hearts aren’t as near to God as they should be.

Ephesians 2:10 says we were created anew in Christ Jesus for good works.

Let’s strive to be the person whose words, actions and inner attitudes clearly praise the Lord in a way that pleases Him and provides testimony to those around us.

Let’s seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness this week by thinking first about what puts Him first at home, at church, at work, at school and even on the chaotic highways.

It’s the right thing to do.

As always, I love you

Martin

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