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Archive for the ‘testimony’ Category

Let’s become more like God.

Here’s why I say this:

“But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15

What relationship wouldn’t be stronger if we demonstrated these five characteristics more fully?

Be like God today.

Everybody in your home, your workplace, your school and your neighborhood will be glad you did.

As always, I love you
Martin

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I want to be a shameless Christian.

I want to be a believer who is not ashamed of my faith.

I want all to know that I know, love and serve Jesus Christ.

The alternative to my embracing the above is unacceptable.

Here’s why:

“I tell you the truth, everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, the Son of Man will also acknowledge in the presence of God’s angels. But anyone who denies me here on earth will be denied before God’s angels.” (Luke 12:8-9)

Let others know who Jesus is to you. They just might want to know more about who He can be to them.

If nothing else, you’ll know that Jesus will know you when you stand before Him and His Father on judgment day.

As always, I love you
Martin

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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.

Eternally.

As always, I love you

Martin

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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
Martin

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Few people like having a guilty conscience.

Yet, everybody experiences such at one time or another.

The reality is that we all sin and fall short of God’s glory.

This is why we are in such need of His grace and Word so that we can find forgiveness at His feet and renewal of our determination to do what’s right.

You see, walking the “straight and narrow” is always the best choice when it comes to being the person God wants us to be and to gaining the influence for the Gospel that we’re called to have.

Let’s be very careful today to avoid the traps of temptation, however Satan seeks to slip them into our minds and hearts.

It’s not just about keeping our souls from being stained but also about not giving ammunition to the enemies of Christ.

“Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.” (I Peter 3:16)

It very well might be that the only person with meaningful Christian influence in your workplace or family circle of influence is you.

Please protect that influence by protecting your spiritual testimony.

Let’s all speak and act like the humble, hard-working Christ who never gave legitimate ammunition to His critics and, ultimately, won some of them over to the Gospel because of His profound determination to honor God and serve them.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Jesus said, “By their fruit, you will recognize them.” (Matthew 7:16 NIV)

Anybody can tell the difference between an apple tree and run-of-the-mill maple shade tree. Even if nearly blind, a person will eventually be able to discern that one tree has fruit and the other doesn’t.

Christians are called to bear fruit. It’s the expectation of God following our salvation.

If we don’t bear fruit, the question arises: Do we have faith?

For in God’s sight and in His Word, faith and fruit are inseparable.

You know the words of James, the brother of Jesus who wrote that faith without good deeds is useless.

James didn’t write that good deeds save our souls. The Bible is clear in that we’re saved by grace, not by works lest any man boast.

Good deeds DO, however, show that we have a saved and surrendered heart that wants to please God first.

James wrote, “Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions.” (2:21)

Notice that believers are “shown right” by actions, not made right by actions.

Listen, wearing a wedding ring doesn’t make you married, but it is worn to show others that you are married.

And if, when you leave the house, you take off the ring, what does that say about your marriage?

There should be no mistaken identity when it comes to what others — including God — perceive about our faith.

We breathe. We worship.

We breathe. We serve.

We breathe. We give.

We breathe. We forgive.

It really is that simple as our living faith is demonstrated in every corner of our lives.

Is there somebody at work or on your neighborhood street who doesn’t know you’re a Christian? Do they see the fruit of a saved life?

Let’s pray for wisdom and humility so that if anybody in our circle of influence doesn’t know we’re Christians, we’ll clearly love and serve them in an unmistakably Christian manner.

For how can we share a faith with them if they don’t know that we have it?

As always, I love you
Martin

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Ancient Israel was largely an agrarian society so it’s no surprise that King Solomon wrote often about agriculture.

A passage from today’s devotional reading was directed at managing livestock but the principle applies in all areas of our lives.

“Know the state of your flocks,
 and put your heart into caring for your herds, for riches don’t last forever, 
and the crown might not be passed to the next generation.” (Proverbs 27:23-24)

If a shepherd has no idea what is happening with his or her flock, then financial problems are just one wolfpack or one landslide away.

If a rancher puts no effort into providing safe pastures for grazing or adequate water for drinking or protection from predatory animals, then economic collapse is the likely result of such a non-caring attitude.

Sheep aren’t going to protect themselves from the wolves.

And cattle aren’t going to race through the countryside like wild horses to find adequate food, water and safety.

If we’re going to have personal financial health and have some estate to pass onto family members after we’re gone, we need to take this passage to heart.

There is a spiritual application as well. What is the spiritual condition of your children or nieces/nephews? Don’t know? I strongly encourage you to find out and, if needed, to start planting seeds.

Remember, you’re Christian example — if they do recognize it — won’t be around forever.

If the crown of life is to be passed to the next generation, it’s vital that it be worn unmistakably and fruitfully by you in this life.

Please, pour your heart into caring — tangibly and spiritually — for your loved ones and friends.

You won’t live forever.

But you can live for Jesus now.

That’s what will help you to pass the crown of life onto the next generation.

And that legacy of faith can live on after you’re gone.

As always, I love you
Martin

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