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Archive for the ‘Christian service’ Category

James 4:17 says that knowing the right things to do spiritually, but then not doing them, is sinful.

I choose to apply this teaching in a positive way.

I intentionally glorify God and help His people when I choose to do the things scripture has called me to do.

I’m turning knowing into doing.

I need to do this with 100 percent of my decisions, which means I still have some room for improvement.

Perhaps you do, too.

We encounter decision intersections all the time, testing if our faith will guide us or if our faith will be seen as the ignored back-seat driver.

We all know which choice God wants for us.

When it comes to sharing money with others in need, what would God have us to do?

When it comes to forgiving one who has offended us, what would God have us to do?

When it comes to rejecting temptations that would damage our Christian testimony before others or perhaps only before God, what would He have us to do?

When it comes to inviting others to a home fellowship group/Bible study, what would God have us to do?

When it comes to giving tithes and other offerings to support congregational and missions ministry, what would God have us to do?

For each of the above and for countless other decision intersections, it’s clear what God wants from us.

Let’s obey His will and avoid the label of “sinful.”

It’s so much better to know that we’ve honored God and helped others.

As always, I love you
Martin

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If you gave up a week’s vacation just so you could give detailed lessons to a relative wanting to learn sewing or carpentry or plumbing — but then the relative never did anything with the lessons learned — you’d probably be very disappointed and reluctant to help that relative again.

We know that we only have so much time in this life and we want to be the best stewards possible of that time.

I hope that none of us would ask someone to invest a large chunk of time into us and our spoken plans and then we don’t put their investment to use in our lives.

If you’ve ever been on the mentor side of this situation, you know the frustration of thinking you could have better used the time somewhere else.

God wants us to be good stewards of the investment made into our lives by Jesus Christ.

God saved us so that we’ll become more like Jesus, doing good deeds and bringing glory to the Father in heaven.

Ephesians 2:10 says we are saved in order to do good works. Colossians 3:17 says that all of our efforts should be pointed toward bringing glory to God.

Here’s a description of our role model’s life, one we’re called to imitate.

“He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.” (Titus 2:14)

Jesus did SO much for us.

Let’s not squander His investment into our lives and into our eternity.

He cleansed us.

He put His name upon us.

Let’s be totally committed to doing good deeds.

It’s what responsible relatives do.

As always, I love you
Martin

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So why does your Sunday School teacher teach?

Why does your home Bible study leader lead?

Why does your preacher preach?

In fact, why does anybody teach within the life of the church?

To make disciples, that’s why.

To aid believers’ growth from spiritual infancy to spiritual maturity.

To lovingly help people become the agents of ministry that God saved them and shapes them to be.

I want to become more effective with teaching, leading, preaching, growing, loving.

According to the Apostle Paul, my effectiveness will increase as I increasingly possess and display a pure heart, a clear conscience and a genuine faith.

Here is Paul’s recipe for godly instruction that produces the loving believers that God desires and the world needs:

“The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.” (I Timothy 1:5)

I pray that you know several Christians who appear to possess pure hearts, clear consciences and genuine faith

For you will surely be blessed with their love.

Want to be more loving to the people in your life? To the point of overflowing?

Fill your mind with scripture. Fill your heart with prayer and praise. Fill your day with acts of love toward others.

You’ll be filling God’s heart with joy and you’ll be filling your heart with the blessing of knowing you’re a vessel of love to others.

You’ll also be showing Satan that there’s no room in your life for his garbage.

And that’s a very good thing.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Never underestimate what God can do with your surrendered heart.

At the least, you can change your life into become one more pleasing and fruitful for Him.

At the most, you can help to change the world by funneling God’s grace and power and Word into the lives of people now disconnected or poorly connected to the Creator.

The life of the lonely person at work could be made better by your decision to share loving words of scripture from the God who said He wants the lonely to become part of a family (Psalm 68:6).

Wouldn’t connecting with a group of loving friends – such as at your church – change the world of that co-worker?

The financial future of an economically struggling relative could be made better by your decision to pay for a faith-based financial management course such as the one by Dave Ramsey.

Wouldn’t connecting that loved one with financial wisdom tools change the world of that relative?

And the list could go on as you forgave those who’ve wounded you, as you invested time into volunteer ministry, as you studied scripture in order to know how to answer the questions of non-Christians who don’t understand God’s grace as the vehicle of salvation rather than human works.

It’s all about seeking God, rejecting sin and surrendering to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

I will always have room for improvement in this regard because I will always be lacking some aspect of Jesus’ perfection.

Even so, I can still be useful to God in helping others toward better lives and better personal ministries.

How can I have such confidence?

Because God is in the business of transforming lives so that believers might help others toward transformed lives.

Check out what God did with a teen walking amidst a bunch of sheep.

“He took David from tending the ewes and lambs and made him the shepherd of Jacob’s descendants—God’s own people, Israel. He cared for them with a true heart and led them with skillful hands.” (Psalm 78:71-72)

If God could change the world with the runt of a family, a kid who loved Him more than anything else, He can do amazing things with your life and mine.

We just have to care for people with true hearts and do our best to influence people with wise, experience-proven values and choices.

I believe in you. More importantly, God does, too.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Want more influence on the job?

At home?

At church?

Want more people to look to you for leadership?

Become a better servant.

Focus first on the things that serve others’ best interests.

Help people get to where they want to be.

Know them.

Show them.

Grow with them.

Go with them.

Young King Rehaboam should have listened to this advice from the aged royal counselors who had advised his father Solomon.

But he ignored them because of pride and greed.

Here’s what he was told in I Kings 12 by the counselors when asked by the people of Israel to cut taxes following Solomon’s death:

If you are willing to be a servant to these people today and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your loyal subjects.”

But here’s what Rehaboam said to the people:

“My father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!”

Big mistake.

The kingdom split. Warfare resulted. Countless thousands died.

The world has never been the same.

If only Rehaboam would have seen himself first as a servant rather than an entitled tyrant.

Let’s recognize the cancer of selfishness. Nothing good comes from it.

Serve others first.

Always.

We’ll be much more valuable to everybody — including ourselves — as we show others the better path.

As always, I love you
Martin

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I can count on one hand the number of times yearly that I get enough sleep to feel rested when I awake.

This has been the pattern for my life — eyes wanting more sleep.

But this is a lifestyle choice, a choice to be productive doing this or that at the cost of having rested eyes.

I am not alone in this pattern. Many of you reading these words take the same view of sleep.

When I got out of bed this morning at 5:11 a.m., I immediately started preparing Lori’s breakfast and after taking that to her, I prepared her lunch.

She’s under a tight schedule to get ready in the morning in order to beat the traffic rush and still get to her job by 7:15 or so — 45 miles away from our house.

It’s right for me to help her rather than staying in bed and letting her figure out her own breakfast and lunch.

When she pulls out of the garage, I shift toward other tasks such as my devotional time and then writing the Morning Devotion.

After that, I take care of personal correspondence and personal business that’s needed and then my workday starts at the church office.

Wow, nearly four hours of tasks each morning before I get to work….

Some of you have even busier mornings, so I consider myself blessed to not have to get up even earlier.

“Go, go, go” is how I’m wired. It’s not just about getting things done but, even more importantly, it’s about being a good steward of opportunities to make a difference.

Of course, we all need some sleep. Let’s just make sure to never let the desire for more sleep get in the way of doing what we should.

Here’s the Bible’s view on how believers shouldn’t allow the desire for sleep to determine their choices.

“A wise youth harvests in the summer, but one who sleeps during harvest is a disgrace.” (Proverbs 10:5)

Let’s be wise. If getting out of bed a bit earlier or going to bed a bit later — or both — will help you to serve more people with deeds of kindness, notes of appreciation, acts of service or prayers of intercession, then such things should be harvested through our faith in God.

As long as people around us have needs — including the need for salvation — we’re in an endless summer and settling for less sleep is an act of faith that can bear much fruit.

You know, Jesus never got a lot of sleep and — because He was exhausted — He even fell asleep on a boat in a raging storm.

Why was He so sleepy? You know…. He was always up very early praying.

What a great example for us!

As always, I love you
Martin

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It’s good when people understand that we’re trying to help them because we want to help them.

It’s not good when they think our motives are primarily to use them to help ourselves.

I suppose that we’ve all had plenty of experience with both sets of motives.

Perhaps even on the serving side and not just the receiving side.

Yes, it’s a temptation at times to help somebody because you want something back from them, whether it be a good word for you when you’re looking for a job, a reciprocated compliment about physical attractiveness or even some physical affection.

But we all know that this “contract” mentality toward intercession on behalf of others is not Christlike.

It’s much better when we have a covenant mentality that focuses on doing good for others, regardless of whether any good comes back to us.

It’s the Golden Rule thing, you know.

Doing for others because they have need for intercessory help of one form or another.

It’s the pattern of Christ.

It should be our pattern.

I was compelled to share these words today because of what I read in I Thessalonians 2:5-6…

God is our witness that we were not pretending to be your friends just to get your money! As for human praise, we have never sought it from you or anyone else.”

The Apostle Paul didn’t enter the ministry because he needed a paycheck or needed friends or needed something to keep him busy. He had all that while still working as a bounty hunter for the Jewish religious establishment.

What he didn’t have in those days was inner peace.

When he accepted Christ as Lord, he found the inner peace he so desperately desired, although his life became what could only be described as random persecution and chaos for the next 30 years.

If he were after money and human praise, he wouldn’t have been a travelling evangelist.

But Paul wanted to help people.

In his mind, life was about them, not him.

Life for Paul was about connecting people to Christ.

Even when troubles came in waves.

Let’s do our best to show others that we’re helping them to help them.

Our influence will be more clearly directed toward Christ that way.

The world already has enough “users” who help others in other to help themselves.

As always, I love you
Martin

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