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Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

Imagine having a friend who NEVER lets you down.

Imagine having a friend who not only never lets you down, but goes beyond that in looking for ways to make your life more fulfilling.

I want a friend like that and so do you.

All we have to do is just ask and we will.

I’m talking about the One mentioned in the hymn, What a Friend We Have in Jesus.

Yes, we know that Jesus died on the cross for our sins so that we can accept the gift of eternal life when we confess Him with our words and baptism.

But His desire is not just to save us.

He also desires to help us.

Check out this verse from today’s reading in the One-Year Bible.

“He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.” (Hebrews 7:25)

Wow.

At the top of Jesus’ agenda today is interceding with God on your behalf.

That is an amazing promise.

Whatever prayer you speak in Jesus’ name, guess what’s going to happen to it?

Jesus is taking it to God.

Whatever scheme Satan is cooking up to trip you up, guess who is asking God to draw the boundary for how much Satan can tempt?

Jesus, that’s whom.

Like Job said in chapter 16 of his book, we have an advocate on high.

I like that fact.

It comforts me in knowing that I’m not alone.

Ever.

Please make sure Jesus is on the throne of your heart. That way, you’ll be sure to have Him taking all of your needs to the throne of God.

As always, I love you
Martin

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I didn’t quite understand what the big deal was when my kids were little, but there was this complaint I sometimes heard from the girls and their friends during their elementary school years — “They copied!”

Apparently, if a kid at school were popular, other kids would try to piggyback on that popularity by imitating the words and behavior of the popular kid.

And, apparently, the kids being copied believed that their way of living was like a copyright protected brand that others had no right to imitate.

Hmmmm…. funny how peer pressure and the desire to be unique are in such dynamic tension.

When it comes to Christian living, we’re commanded to “copy.”

Jesus said we should live as He lived. The Apostle Paul called us to live out our faith as he sought to imitate Christ in his life.

There’s no question that we’ll be better off if we live more like Jesus instead of giving in more to our own passions and personal patterns.

Here’s a passage from today’s devotional reading that we should all strive to copy:

“The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.” (Psalm 103:8)

Compassionate and merciful.

Slow to get angry.

Filled with unfailing love.

These words from Psalm 103:8 should describe our way of living.

We should become sanctified copycats.

Would this approach help our family relationships? Yes.

Our workplace relationships? Yes.

Our congregational or our neighborhood relationships? Yes and yes.

Let’s copy.

It’s what God wants.

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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Everybody needs an Onesiphorus in his or her life.

Someone who is a friend through the toughest of times.

The Apostle Paul had a friend like this and it made a big difference in his life.

You know, of course, the very difficult times that Paul faced because of persecution against his faith.

Onesiphorus loved Paul, loved God and did all he could to serve both via an undying friendship.

This display of loyalty must have done wonders for Paul’s need of encouragement.

Here are Paul’s words to describe the value of the friendship with Onesiphorus:

May the Lord show special kindness to Onesiphorus and all his family because he often visited and encouraged me. He was never ashamed of me because I was in chains. When he came to Rome, he searched everywhere until he found me. May the Lord show him special kindness on the day of Christ’s return. And you know very well how helpful he was in Ephesus.” (2 Timothy 1:16-18)

Pray that God send a friend like Onesiphorus into your life so that you’ll be more encouraged in your service to God.

More importantly, pray that God transform you into a friend like Onesiphorus so that you might provide the depth of devotion and love for someone who is pouring his or her life into serving the Lord in the midst of difficult obstacles.

Perhaps you’ll be an Onesiphorus for a missionary serving overseas, sending repeated letters and gifts of encouragement as you build an ever-strengthening friendship.

Perhaps you’ll be an Onesiphorus for a Christian co-worker who is catching all sorts of grief because he or she won’t compromise morally or ethically as are other employees of the company.

Perhaps you’ll be an Onesiphorus for your pastor who is facing hassles because of his leadership efforts to change the culture of apathy within your congregation.

Be the friend that others need. Be an Onesiphorus.

In doing so, you’ll be “God with skin on” for one serving the Lord.

As always, I love you
Martin

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If you have a spiritual mentor who is still living, please consider sending him or her a note of thanks for the influence he or she has had in your life.

It will definitely make the day into a rich blessing for him or her.

After all, if you received a note of appreciation from someone you pointed toward the Lord many years ago, wouldn’t you rejoice and praise the Lord who used you?

I’m thinking now of a pastor who influenced me many years ago and who is in the final chapters of his earthly life. I need to send him a thank you note and tell him that I’m praying for him and his mentally fading bride.

It’s the right thing for me to do.

I pray that you’ll do the right thing for one who led you closer to the Lord and His purposes for your life.

What prompted this idea this morning?

Check out what the Apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Thessalonica, people he had led to the Lord and whom he had taught the Word of God.

“It gives us new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord.” (I Thessalonians 3:8)

Paul was thrilled when he heard that some of his spiritual children were tight with God.

Your mentor will be thrilled and renewed, as well, when he or she hears that you’re tight with God.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Encouraging another church member is as easy as 1-2-3.

As in I Thessalonians 1:2-3.

If we’ll communicate the uplifting, purpose-focused words of this passage, I’m convinced that more of God’s power will flow through our lives with the Kingdom being strengthened as a result.

As you read the following, ask yourself how you would feel if you received a handwritten note with these words directed at you:

“We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

I’m going to write some encouragement notes today.

I hope to communicate the purposeful love that Paul communicated to Christians in Thessalonica.

Please do the same for some in your congregation or extended family.

The Kingdom will grow stronger as a result.

As always, I love you
Martin

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We know of the wonderful teaching in Colossians 3:17 that all of our words and actions should honor and serve God, whether toward Him directly or toward the people He created and loves.

The same principle is also taught in a verse from today’s reading in the One-Year Bible:

“Everything we do, dear friends, is to strengthen you.” (2 Corinthians 12:19)

These words from the Apostle Paul display how much his heart was devoted to the Christians in the Corinthian church.

What makes them particularly special is that Paul’s heart was aching because of conflict within the congregation, from member to member, from members toward scriptures they were ignoring and from some members toward Paul via acceptance of false reports.

Even in the midst of that disappointment, Paul’s love remained.

His integrity was solid.

His devotion never wavered.

Though treated as an enemy by some, Paul responded with love for all of his “dear friends.”

I’m sure that many prayers preceded his intercessory actions on behalf of the Corinthian Christians.

He loved them and wanted divine guidance and empowerment in order to strengthen the believers.

This, of course, is a wonderful example for us.

Everything we do as Christians, particularly toward those in our congregations, should be for strengthening others.

Not one of our God-given breaths should be used to say anything that tears down, but instead to build up.

And every calorie burned should be fueling our deeds rooted in faith, not flesh.

When our head hits the pillow tonight, may it be true that everything we did served to strengthen our friends.

As always, I love you
Martin

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