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Archive for the ‘Bible’ Category

Stick with me on this.

I read a verse this morning from Proverbs that sounds discouraging, yet it actually — indirectly — affirms the importance of investing time and effort and perhaps money into learning efforts.

If you find a person who really wants to learn at the job or in college or, better yet, at church, then you’ve found a good thing.

You’ve found a good investment.

People who want to learn are our greatest resource for our families, for our congregations, for our workplaces, for our communities.

People who don’t want to learn are foolish and are choosing to remain as such.

I want to be the person who is always learning, even though it takes commitment to vigilantly gain new knowledge and wisdom.

I never want to become the type of person mentioned in Proverbs 17:16 —

“It is senseless to pay to educate a fool, since he has no heart for learning.”

When my daughters were in private school and later in private colleges, a lot of money flowed from my bank account into the schools’ bank accounts.

I was glad, however, for being able to invest in the girls’ education since they both had hearts for learning.

Both have become very successful in their careers and I give all the glory to God for providing the resources needed for providing the education they needed.

If the girls had been slothful in their studies and disinterested in learning, though, I would have been a poor steward to keep spending fistfuls of money on their college bills.

Listen, if we display a heart for learning regarding the scriptures and the work of the Church and the ways of humbly encouraging/equipping others, God will continue investing heavily in blessing us.

Let’s be very careful to avoid becoming fools in God’s sight who aren’t striving to learn more about serving Him.

Please make it a habit to learn DAILY something significant about the Bible or about helping a church member. God always blesses those who invest in knowing Him — and serving Him — in a better way.

As always, I love you
Martin

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I was very much encouraged this morning by Proverbs 9:6.

“Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live; learn to use good judgment.”

What this verse tells me is that I can always improve my decision-making ability.

Like you, I make a lot of decisions each day and I want to become the best decision-maker possible.

What Solomon tells me in the verse is that I can learn to make better decisions.

Many of us suffer in some ways because we sometimes don’t make the best decisions when at the intersections of life choices.

We look in the rear view mirror and realize that we should have taken another path.

We can’t escape the regret but we can learn to be wiser when we approach the next intersection.

And that’s why reading the Bible daily is such a good idea. It is a book of decisions.

Many recorded there were good. Some were not.

We can learn from all of them.

Particularly those made by Jesus Christ.

He never made a bad decision.

That should prompt us to examine closely His decisions and learn from them.

We’ll be known for our good judgment as we do so.

While we’re in this season of learning called life, let’s also learn from mature believers who are known for making good decisions.

Let’s begin to live the life God intends for us.

As always, I love you

Martin

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There’s a treasure map in millions of homes across our nation.

In fact, there are billions of the maps lying here and there around the globe.

If only the people with access to the maps would use them, their lives would be infinitely richer.

Why don’t you pick up today and start studying the treasure map in your possession?

It’s the map that starts with Genesis and ends with Revelation.

If you’re a disciple of honesty, you’ll tap into riches untold.

“He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.”

These words from Proverbs 2:7 offer me great encouragement.

I’ve lived long enough to know that a treasure of common sense is far more valuable to my soul and well-being than are treasures of things.

A thing in my yard or in my garage or in my wallet cannot give a friend the wisdom to cope with a tough situation.

But common sense gleaned from scripture can rescue the hurting or confused soul.

Please, seek the treasure of common sense.

Be honest in all you say and do.

God has a huge outpouring of life-giving common sense that He wants to pour into your life.

As always, I love you
Martin

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I liked the reminder given me this morning by Solomon:

“For it is good to keep these sayings in your heart and always ready on your lips.” (Proverbs 22:18)

Solomon wrote these words after having shared many, many verses of inspired instruction given him through the leading of the Holy Spirit.

The king wanted his readers to view scripture as they would a trusted workshop tool or kitchen utensil — close by and always ready to make a difference.

I’m trying to learn at least one new verse every week to add to my depth of readiness for personal ministry and intimacy with God.

Galatians 6:10 is a verse that has been cementing itself into my heart and mind lately. It tells me to do good for others whenever I have opportunity, particularly for Christian brothers and sisters.

I’ve found myself quoting that verse in a number of settings lately. It’s rewarding to share the Word with people in ways that helps them to understand the Christian mission and to perhaps start living it out more frequently themselves.

Please consider the start of a verse-memorization initiative in your life. You’ll be glad you did and so with the Lord who observes your efforts and has the power to magnify them as you offer them in faith.

As always, I love you
Martin

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If you believe in the Bible, you believe in Jesus.

And if you believe in Jesus, you’ve got to believe the Devil is real.

That means that spiritual warfare is real since Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy.

If we’re going to survive spiritually in the cosmic conflict between good and evil, between the magnet of God’s will and the malicious scheming of Satan, we need to take seriously the call to prepare ourselves for spiritual warfare.

That means learning the Bible and having its truths ready for application when spiritual turmoil comes against us.

Paul told us that the Bible is our sword, needed for rightly dividing truth from falsehood.

Jesus showed us during His time in the wilderness that scriptures aptly spoken can rebuke Satan and even cause him to flee.

The Old Testament book of Nehemiah reminded me this morning of who important it is for us to be armed in the conflict against evil.

Nehemiah was writing of physical weapons when he described those rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem many years after the exiles’ return from Babylon. But the principle clearly applies spiritually.

“The laborers carried on their work with one hand supporting their load and one hand holding a weapon.” (Nehemiah 4:16)

In all that you do to set a good example of faith in front of family, friends, acquaintances and strangers — even during the difficult times — please make sure that scripture is never far from your mind and that every action and word is guided by a biblical principle.

Even if you’re not quoting scriptures right and left.

Let the words of Colossians 3:17 guide you — “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

With this principle in mind, we’ll be ready for anything.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Nobody likes wasting money.

Of course, we all have different definitions for “wasting,” don’t we?

The same applies to the use of time.

What is your definition for wasting time?

Perhaps it is this one: Wasting time or money involves spending either — or both — on things that produce no long-term benefit for others, for self and for the One who created us.

Paul wrote in Colossians 3:17 that whatever we do should, directly or indirectly, bring glory to God.

I’m glad that something as mundane as fixing a clogged washing machine drain can be seen as faithful to Colossians 3:17 because I am doing something that helps Lori and I to have clean clothes for church, for work, for meeting people in the community AND it saves money, some of which can be put to use for Kingdom purposes.

Being a good steward of money and time is expected of Christians.

That’s why it’s vital that our choices never reflect the terrible lifestyle picture painted in Proverbs 17:6…..

“It is senseless to pay tuition to educate a fool, since he has no heart for learning.”

I pray that you have a heart for learning. God has invested so much in creating you, in providing for you, in sending numerous people into your life to love you and help to shape you, the greatest of whom is the Holy Spirit.

Please show God that His “tuition” investment into your life has been a good one.

Show Him that you want to learn more about Him and about how to fulfill His purpose for your life.

He’ll be SO pleased to know that there is one less fool in the world.

As always, I love you
Martin

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“Follow my advice, my son; always treasure my commands. Obey my commands and live! Guard my instructions as you guard your own eyes.

“Tie them on your fingers as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart.” (Proverbs 7:1-3)

God really loves us.

That’s why He wants us to make the right decisions.

Healthy decisions.

Holy decisions.

He knows that we’re prone to mistakes.

Sometimes, BIG mistakes.

That’s why He gives us instructions for living mistake-free lives.

It’s up to us to heed the advice.

But we can’t heed what we don’t read or don’t hear.

Apart from God we can do nothing that is eternal and good (John 15:5).

That’s why we we need the Word all the time.

Even to the point of figuratively tying scripture on our fingers so that wherever we place our hands, we’re being reminded that God is sovereign and that we are to be holy.

Let’s make good decisions as we guard our eyes against sinful gazings. In our fallen, immoral world, it takes a real commitment of faith to not be lured into the traps of greed or bitterness or lust.

But that’s the measure of commitment that God expects.

The same is true with where we place our fingers. A computer keyboard can open doors to great learning of faith and great stories of inspiration.

It can also open doors to disgusting displays of bigotry, malice, divisiveness, greed and sexual lust.

Let’s treasure God’s commands as our protector. Because the eyes are the window to the soul, we need to make sure that they’re focused on that which builds the soul and kingdom rather than tearing them down.

If you need to buy an overtly Christian ring for each hand in order to remind you of God whenever you see your hand reaching for forbidden fruit, then I plead with you to buy a couple right away.

However we get it done, let’s get the reminders that we need so that we don’t forget that to which we’re called.

As always, I love you
Martin

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