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Posts Tagged ‘gentleness’

You can make a big difference in somebody’s life today.

Comfort them.

With words of encouragement.

Or deeds of assistance.

Or funds toward an overwhelming bill.

Pray with them.

Defend them.

A handwritten note can do wonders.

Just do something.

After all, others have comforted you during tough times.

You know how much it can help.

So does God.

That’s why He told us in 2 Corinthians that our mission includes the call to comfort.

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.” (2 Cor. 1:4)

If you can’t think of somebody in your circle of influence who needs comfort today, ask God to show you who needs what you’ve been blessed to receive in the past.

Remember, nobody likes feeling alone.

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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When you were a teen and visited the homes of your friends, you could typically tell right away if the family members there respected each other and treated one another with kindness.

And if you sensed that relationships were not cherished but instead taken for granted, you probably didn’t want to return.

Who wants to stay in a home where people don’t do all they can to protect one another emotionally?

I Corinthians 13 tells us the “love always protects.”

If somebody trashes me in my family — whether biological or workplace or team or church — do I really want to be there?

I encourage you to be the kind of family member God expects you to be — caring, encouraging, protective.

This is what I need to do for others, as well.

Here’s what Paul wrote regarding the importance of this attitude when it comes to building strong congregations:

“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.” (Ephesians 4:2-3)

We all know of congregations that could accomplish more for the Kingdom in their communities if a greater sense of unity — of humility and protection — permeated every heart in the flock. Perhaps this describes your congregation.

Please, be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Make every effort to be humble, gentle, patient, forgiving and surrendering your opinions/preferences to the greater cause of shared purpose and accessed power from God.

It’s what loving faith families do.

It’s what you and I are to remember the next time the Enemy’s whisper calls us to either turn away from a Christian brother or sister or, even worse, turn against them.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Every adult encounters hassles from critics somewhere along the way.

Often, it’s at the job when a particular co-worker doesn’t like you and you might even not know why.

What you do know is that any error is magnified in significance, either in how it is perceived or in how it is broadcast to others at work.

The same is sometimes true of stressed relationships with relatives, with classmates or even with others at church.

There are very few people who aren’t disliked by at least one person.

So how do we respond to people who don’t like us?

By not liking them back?

That’s not the mature approach, is it?

It’s certainly not the Christian approach.

Here is King Solomon’s advice in the matter:

“When people’s lives please the Lord,
even their enemies are at peace with them.” (Proverbs 16:7)

Let’s do what makes God happy. Let’s live the squeaky clean life that Jesus lived.

Let’s do the Philippians 4:8-9 thing and we’ll face less harrassment from other people.

And a harrassment-free life is definitely worth pursuing.

As always, I love you

Martin

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It doesn’t take a genius mind in order to have good, godly relationships.

It does take a humble heart, however.

The biblical author James gives us a clear recipe for how we should treat our relatives, our friends, our co-workers, our church members and whoever else the Lord places in our lives. The more we practice this pattern, the more good relationships we’ll enjoy.

“…peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.” (James 3:17-18)

We all need more people in our lives like the above.

And they need the same.

Let’s do our best to provide such to them.

Let’s do what James said.

There’s a harvest of righteousness waiting for them and us on the back side of our choice to plant seeds of peace rather than criticism and division.

As always, I love you
Martin

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I’m glad that God puts so many core truths of scripture on the bottom shelf for us.

I’m talking about “Keep It Short and Sweet” biblical principles that make for a successful life of faith and are described simply so that our clogged minds can attain/retain the kind of life that God wants and people need.

Today’s reading in the One-Year Bible contains yet another example of this simplicity.

“For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

This wasn’t Jesus talking.

This was the Apostle Paul.

He wrote these words in Galatians 5:14.

But actually it wasn’t Paul who coined the quote above.

It was Moses.

Well, OK, it wasn’t actually Moses.

It was God.

For the “Love your neighbor as yourself” was given by God to Moses as part of the book we know as Leviticus. More specifically, the phrase comes from Leviticus 19:18.

From God to Moses to Paul to us.

Passing the torch of truth.

Passing the commission to love.

Like Paul wrote in I Corinthians 13, if we don’t sincerely love others as diligently as we love ourselves, we’re rebels against the authority of God.

Wow.

Rebel? Or servant?

Which one are you?

Do I look for people who need encouragement? Or am I waiting for SOMEBODY to encourage me?

If I like it when somebody buys my lunch, do I look for opportunity to bless someoneby buying their lunch?

If I like being quickly forgiven when making mistakes, do I quickly forgive others when they do something that costs me time or money or aggravation?

If somebody says something awkward, do I refuse to bring attention to it since I’m sure that I’ve said awkward things and have been glad when others just let it go without comment?

It is not our human nature to treat others as nicely as we treat ourselves.

It IS evidence of a transformed, godly nature, though, when we do.

That’s why how we treat others shows the place of God’s Word in our lives.

Let’s get to the lovin’ the way God wants and others will get the message that we love God.

As always, I love you
Martin

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“Note to self — Never view a hot temper as a tool for success. Hot tempers are like hand grenades instead of rifle bullets, injuring many rather than resolving a specific problem.”

I don’t intend to play pyschiatrist this morning.

I simply want to encourage us both to ignore Satan’s taunting the next time somebody does something that upsets us.

He wants us to get mad and then get loud or get harsh on the way to “getting even.”

How sad.

This isn’t about becoming a spiritual wimp. We ARE to stand firmly for godliness and fairness and protection of the innocent.

But we are to do so with dignity and abundant self-control.

We are to do so with the Word’s wisdom, not with razor or raucous tongues.

We are to do so in a way that people will see our Christ-empowered, Christ-directed nature that seeks not to protect personal vanity, but instead to pursue a resolution through the principles of truth and fairness and kindness.

Please reject Satan’s offer of hand grenades.

King Solomon spoke to this need in the following manner;

People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.” (Proverbs 14:29)

Let’s be people of understanding.

The world already has enough fools.

As always, I love you
Martin

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