Archive for January, 2015

Psalm 25:3 gives us the pathway to living an honorable life respected by others.

This is not about being rich or famous or dominating.

This is about having a life that displays good character and the absence of shame.

You and I might never be wealthy financially or popular socially, but we can be a person who is well thought of by our circle of influence.

And that is a key element when it comes to influencing people toward the Lord whom we serve.

“No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced, but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.”

Let’s trust in God, not in a carnal ability to trick or manipulate others.

Life is better for everybody that way.


As always, I love you


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Proverbs 24:3-5 reveals the kind of perspective that God desires from us.

I want to be like what is described in the passage. I pray that you do, as well.

Check out King Solomon’s words below and make it your plan to live out these words and receive God’s favor as a result.

“Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place?

“Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies.

“They will receive the Lord’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their Savior.

Pure hearts. God-centered worship. Complete honesty.

Let’s do this.

God promises to make it worth it for us.

As always, I love you

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Nobody likes going through hard times.

Losing your job stinks.

Losing a cherished relationship stinks.

Losing a physical capability — even temporarily — stinks.

Gaining a chronic illness stinks.

Gaining an abrasive, morally insensitive co-worker stinks, particularly when his or her desk is adjacent to yours.

The list could go on, of course.

But in each stinky situation there is the opportunity for a sticky lesson.

And that’s why God allows stinky situations to enter our lives.

He has a purpose for the stink because He has a lesson that needs to stick.

It’s not that He hasn’t tried to teach us lessons without the stink.

It’s just that too many times we haven’t listened.

If we always sought Him and His will with every breath, every thought and every action, we wouldn’t need refinement.

But we haven’t.

And so we do.

Need the refinement, that is.

As impure ore needs the fire.

In the midst of pain or frustration — or both — look for the opportunity to trust God more and serve others more.

You just might end up doing some very important things that can impact others’ lives in a marvelous way.

Check out today’s Old Testament section in the reading for the day from the One-Year Bible. You’ll read of how a really stinky experience for a guy named Joseph actually became an incredibly sticky lesson that God used to preserve the promise that the Messiah would eventually come from the line of Abraham.

It’s an amazing story of how a rotten, evil choice of others ultimately led to a redemptive, godly rescue of others.

All because of a faith-based commitment to honoring God even in the midst of horrible circumstances.

None of the parties involved in the story forgot the lessons, I’m sure.

Let’s do our best to look for sticky lessons even in the midst of stinky circumstances.

It’s the godly thing to do.

As always, I love you

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It’s such a brief line but it is incredibly potent in meaning.

For anyone who has just been restored to an important relationship because of another’s forgiveness, this verse fragment will hold special meaning.

“…what a relief to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the face of God!” (Genesis 33:10)

The context was Jacob’s return to his homeland after 20 years in what is now Iraq. He had fled there earlier out of fear that his brother Esau would kill him because of various deceptive and cheating behaviors.

Returning as an older and somewhat wiser man, Jacob still had fear that Esau might take revenge for the dirty deeds done to him a generation earlier.

You’ll want to read of this account by clicking here.

Despite the fear, Jacob headed home anyway. Previous chapters in Genesis recorded why Jacob believed he couldn’t stay in the land of his wives’ family.

Jacob knew when he fled his homeland two decades earlier that he had done wrong.

And now as he awaited the inevitable meeting with Esau, he was hoping that retribution and carnage would not be the outcome.

As you read the passage in the link above, you’ll see just how deep-rooted Jacob’s fears were.

But when the meeting actually occurred, there was no hatred, no shaking fists, no waving swords.

Instead, there was unmistakable forgiveness.

Jacob sensed that what he had received was not the fruit of human nature but instead the fruit of God’s Spirit overflowing through Esau’s face.

When Jacob saw a forgiving face with a friendly smile, he perceived it as the work of God in his brother’s heart.


Perhaps you have a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate the work of God in your heart as you choose to genuinely forgive someone who has done harm to you.

If you’ll offer a smiling face to him or her as you seek to restore a relationship, embracing rather than attacking, you’ll bring relief to that person’s soul.

And they’ll know that what you’ve done is a reflection of God’s influence, not human nature.

Here’s the conclusion of the matter — there is perhaps no better way to portray faith than to forgive those who have harmed you.

Please, let people see the face of God in your life.


As always, I love you

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Here’s what was included in my daily Bible reading:

Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)

Is the first sentence above evident in your life?

Yes, I know what it’s like to be in a secular workplace and feel the peer pressure to hide my faith.

I also know, however, what it’s like to sanctify that peer pressure by using that “push point” as an occassion to affirm what’s important for my walk of faith.

Imagine that several co-workers are standing near your desk and exchanging dirty jokes.

Perhaps they’re standing near you by intent… or perhaps not.

The fact remains that their words are offensive to your faith.

How you respond at that moment can show if you acknowledge Christ as Lord in a public manner.

Yelling at the group to shut up and take their gutter talk elsewhere is not a matter of faith but of retributive rudeness.

Ignoring the gutter talk for fear of social backlash is also not a matter of faith but of condoning condemnation-worthy behavior.

So what are the options for being faithful?

There are several, but here’s one.

Perhaps you could calmy tell the group that you’re trying to get your work finished but you need them to take their conversation elsewhere because the language is distracting since it is offensive to your Christian faith.

You’re not telling them they’re going to hell.

You’re not even telling them that they have no right to exchange dirty jokes.

You’re simply asking them to move because their behavior next to your desk is disrupting your work and offending your faith.

They might not like what you’ve said but they will know that your faith is very important to you.

And if you start catching grief in the future from them because you spoke up, then that is grief that God will see as strengthening testimony of your faith.

Of course, there are countless other ways to convey to others that we are Christians. Some use jewelry. Some use desk art. Some use a Bible placed on his or her work desk. All should use language that speaks of blessings and forgiveness and mercy and generosity and prayer and — as appropriate — our church activities.

Do all of your co-workers and nearby neighbors know you’re a Christian?

I pray that they will soon and that you’ll ask God for wisdom with how best to communicate that message.

One of those co-workers or neighbors just might start wanting to know more about a faith that compels people to stand up for what they believe.

As always, I love you

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