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Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

It’s almost August and a good time to hold ourselves accountable.

Do we make clear and repeated efforts to say and do encouraging things to each of our family members?

Are we known within our congregation as a person who seeks to encourage everybody? Or just a certain few that are our “peeps?”

If I go through our church directory and cannot recall a time when I encouraged each person who attends, then I’ve got work to do.

I need to look for opportunities to encourage each person in my life, even if I’ve never received encouragement from that person.

The Apostle Paul clearly had the gift of encouragement and it overflowed once again in chapter 14 of his letter to the church at Rome:

“So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.” (NLT).

If I’m not encouraging all the people in my church circle, I’m falling short of what God expects from me and what others need from me.

I’ve got work to do.

Perhaps you do, too, in your circle of influence at home and at church.

Let’s aim carefully.

Let’s let our love for God overflow into the lives of others as we thank them for the good things they do, the kind words they say, the helpful gifts they provide, the disciplined commitment to attend worship and read the Bible and for their God-honoring choices to vigilantly resist Satan’s temptations.

It’s what faith family members are supposed to do.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Sometimes we struggle to see how our situation can improve.

Troubles of one sort or another are threatening us or perhaps even attacking us.

We’ve seen other people suffer or perhaps give up on a marriage or on a career or a church life or avoiding bankruptcy when faced with these troubles.

Will we do the same?

Have we done the same?

The Bible is filled with stories of people who faced difficult times and yet they did not cower or compromise.

Instead, they followed their convictions and remained committed to Almighty God as their Deliverer, their rescuer from on high.

We can experience the same if we’ll just have 20-20 vision.

I’m talking about II Chronicles 20:20.

This is a passage within a larger story about a massive pagan army coming against the children of God who were being led at the time by King Jehoshaphat. The king had done the math and knew that his volunteer army of laymen was no match for the bloodthirsty masses of soldiers marching toward the Hebrews.

The Israelites’ only hope was the intercession of God and the king knew that.

I encourage you to read the chapter by clicking this link so you can see how wonderful our God is to those who love and trust Him.

A key verse in the chapter is the verse mentioned above:

“Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.

The rest of the chapter shows that is just what happened. The Hebrews poured out that belief by having an awesome worship service once they had marched out to confront the enemies. Even though the Hebrews knew they couldn’t defeat the enemy militarily, they positioned themselves in the face of the enemy in order to watch the work of the God who is sovereign over the universe.

Please read the chapter in order to gain a new appreciation for how awesome our God really is.

And try to remember Jehoshaphat’s counsel the next time you face a serious challenge.

God is our fortress and we need not fear.

The Bible given us by inspired writers is our manual for life that always produces success when followed.

Never shaken. Always succeeding.

That sure sounds good to me.

Let’s live with 20-20 vision.

Others just might see this as the best way for them, too.

As always, I love you
Martin

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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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Guard rails are not fences.

They’re not there to keep cars off the road but instead to keep cars on it.

Fences are to keep people out.

Guard rails are to keep people in.

Sometimes, we Christians lose sight of this when it comes to our faith.

The Bible and the beliefs it calls us to embrace are for the purpose of keeping us in His family, not for trying to keep people out.

Scripture really is, in effect, a God rail.

Here’s why I say this:

“Godliness guards the path of the blameless” Proverbs 13:6

Godliness is a guard rail.

It keeps us on the narrow path that leads to eternal life.

When we reject godliness — and we’ve all had moments or seasons of doing so — the guard rails disappear and we inevitably end up in a ditch — or worse.

Nobody likes running into a guard rail… or a God rail.

We get banged up and we have consequences to sort through, not the least of which is a bruised, convicted conscience.

I’m thankful for the God rails in my life that the Holy Spirit has used to get me back between the lines of godly living.

I pray that you’ll feel the same as you travel the narrow road.

As always, I love you
Martin

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The path to success is narrow.

The Bible says so.

Here’s what God told Joshua about how to be successful.

“Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” (Joshua 1:7-8)

Want more success — real success — out of your life’s relationships, career, health, finances?

Get more of God’s Word into your life.

Does it help us or harm us at home or work or wherever when we become more like Jesus?

You know the answer.

Studying the Bible and meditating on it is how we become more like God and His Son and it’s how we find more success in life.

Let’s walk the narrow path with God’s map in our hands, in our heads and in our hearts.

There’s a clear payoff for doing so.

As always, I love you
Martin

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