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Archive for June, 2014

If there’s any way for you to make some extra money by working a few more hours at your job, or selling some unused things you have lying around, please consider doing so for the sake of Acts 20:35…

“And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

The Apostle Paul was a very hard worker for the Kingdom and that included periodic secular work as a tentmaker. He wasn’t this way just so he could eat and pay for a place to stay. He also worked in order to provide blessings to others.

It would be foolish to think that he never gave money to the needy whenever special offerings were collected in various churches.

He didn’t have a bunch of stuff to sell on ebay or Amazon in order to give to special offerings. But he did have earning ability by making tents and the verse above makes clear that he used that ability to supply blessing to people who couldn’t work.

Let’s do our best to remember that being a good provider should also include a provision for those struggling so hard to provide for themselves. Check your garage or closet or mini-warehouse storage unit for things you can sell in order to donate funds to helping someone in need.

Ask your job supervisor if there’s a way that you can work extra hours in order to help others in need.

Not sure who to help? Talk with your pastor and he’ll point you in the right direction.

Your blessings resulting from faith-based help to others are waiting to come your way.

As always, I love you
Martin

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A smile is one of the best evangelistic tools a Christian has.

Ironically, a believer’s refusal to smile is one of the Enemy’s best tools.

There is life or death in our smiles.

I’m not being overly dramatic.

I’m speaking biblically.

Hear King Solomon on the matter:

“Unfriendly people care only about themselves…” (Proverbs 18:1)

The last thing any Christian should want to communicate to others is an attitude of unfriendly selfishness.

For leaving that impression upon the non-Christian obliterates any kind of influence toward embracing the Gospel.

When you and I display a friendly attitude toward all whom we meet, there is the opportunity to build a bridge of influence, one plank of kindness and one smile at a time.

There’s no assurance, of course, that those we smile at will choose Christ as Savior

One thing is for sure, however,

If we are unfriendly, people will see that Christ has made no positive difference in our lives.

So why would they want anything to do with Christianity?

Be intentionally friendly.

All the time, if possible.

Even in the worst of times when parts of our lives aren’t going well, we can still smile at others because we know we’ve been blessed by God in many other ways.

Our smiles in the midst of our suffering will speak volumes of good to those watching us.

Most importantly, we can smile always because we know that God has an eternal smile waiting for us in heaven.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Solomon refined me today.

I need to improve.

More thought.

Less talk.

Here’s why:

“A truly wise person uses few words.” (Proverbs 17:27)

‘Nuff said.

As always, I love you
Martin

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I loved the plea that I read this morning.

“Let me hear of Your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting You. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to You.”

David’s words in Psalm 143:8 should be our words each morning.

We all want unfailing love.

And we all want to walk the safest, most fulfilling path that brings us closer to enduring joy.

We find both in the Lord.

Read of God’s unfailing love each morning.

Read the Bible devotionally.

The One-Year Bible Online is a great tool for doing so.

It’s what I use.

God’s love.

God’s path.

I find each when I click on this link and select the appropriate month and day to do my daily reading.

You will, too.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Just about everybody has had a Psalm 142:4 moment along the way.

Perhaps even a bunch of them.

Here is the description:

“I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought!
 No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me.”

It’s not a happy place to be emotionally when you feel alone to the point of the above statement.

It’s probably not an accurate statement that nobody on the planet cares even a bit about you.

But when has depression ever been about accurate perceptions?

David is credited with writing the above words and he surely had plenty of reason to be discouraged.

Just as we have reasons to encounter discouragement from time to time.

It really does stink when we think nobody cares that we’re sad or hurting or broke or lonely or unemployed or whatever.

David was obviously venting when he wrote this verse, just as we vent when asserting that nobody cares about us.

Fortunately, David came to his senses and realized something very important.

Even if every human rejected him and lacking any emotional support from people, David knew that he’d find the soul-sustaining help from God. In the Lord, he already had all that he really needed.

“Then I pray to you, O Lord.
I say, “You are my place of refuge.
 You are all I really want in life.” (Psalm 142:5)

Notice that David wrote in the present tense. That tells me that David was defining a practice, a consistent response of the soul to those times when he felt that nobody cared about him.

What great advice for us.

When we’re bummed out because of circumstances and feelings that we struggle alone, let’s run to our place of refuge, our ever present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1).

God really is all we need in life.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Four words in Acts 15:8 provide a powerful reminder of why being godly is such a good idea.

“God knows people’s hearts.”

These four words give us a serious dose of accountability for our thoughts and attitudes.

The Apostle Paul called us in Romans 12:1-2 to seek the renewing of our minds and the above snippet from the Bible reminds us of why a faith-focused mind is so important.

We’re not slipping anything past God.

The four words not only can help us to stay on the straight and narrow path, but they can also direct us away from seeking “payback” against those who hassle or harm us.

If we know that God knows the motives of our antagonist, we’ll be more likely to resist obsessing about getting even, choosing instead to let the Supreme Being of the universe take care of responding to our being treated unjustly.

What does God know about your heart today?

Is He smiling? Or frowning?

Does He see that He is adored? Or ignored?

Fill your heart with a passion for praise, prayer and purposeful living.

We know that God will be pleased with those things.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Some people think the Bible is too hard to understand.

It’s true that some apocalyptic language is veiled to many people, yet the vast majority of the Bible is readily comprehended.

That doesn’t mean it’s readily embraced, however.

Such reluctance is not a matter of intellect, but instead a matter of the will.

The core message of the New Testament is the Gospel.

And the core path of connecting with God is Kindergarten-simple to understand.

We just have to decide if we’ll walk that path or not.

Here’s a nutshell description of path to peace with God described by John the Baptist before Jesus began His ministry.

“Before he came, John the Baptist preached that all the people of Israel needed to repent of their sins and turn to God and be baptized.” (Acts 13:24)

Here’s the nutshell description of the path to peace with God described by Peter after Jesus concluded His ministry.

Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” (Acts 2:38)

Before Jesus and after Jesus, the path to peace with God is the same — repent, turn to God and be baptized.

I pray that you’ve done these things.

If you haven’t, please do so and join me on the path to eternal joy.

I’d like to be with you forever.

As always, I love you
Martin

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