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Posts Tagged ‘helpfulness’

It would be good if the Lord used you today to sweeten the air around a friend.

For you see, your Spirit-led words can be as perfume to the heart and soul of that friend.

The Bible says so:

“The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.” (Proverbs 27:9)

Have a friend who is struggling with a decision regarding employment or a family need or a medical procedure?

Pray for wisdom from God and for compassion to intercede with thoughts and actions that have been filtered through the words of scripture.

Consider carefully how your words might be best received in the way intended.

Display a deep understanding of how the friend is feeling… the fears and the hopes.

When the friend believes that you are sincerely trying to help because of your love for him or her, the receptivity of the words will be better.

Just the fact that you genuinely care about him or her will speak volumes and provide a refreshing, sweet aroma to a heart burdened with sometimes-stinky concerns.

Our friends need divine perfume.

Let’s pray for God to supply us what they need.

As always, I love you
Martin

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King Solomon served me spiritual breakfast today.

My faith tummy is full of meat from Proverbs 25, a healthy portion that has four entrees for my soul.

Each of the four verses in Proverbs 25:11-14 is rich and relevant to our lives.

Aspire to see each one become evident in your life and you’ll be a better vessel of blessing for your corner of the world.

I certainly should appreciate these guidelines for better living.

  • “Timely advice is lovely, 
like golden apples in a silver basket.

  • “To one who listens, valid criticism
 is like a gold earring or other gold jewelry.

  • “Trustworthy messengers refresh like snow in summer. They revive the spirit of their employer.

  • “A person who promises a gift but doesn’t give it 
is like clouds and wind that bring no rain.”

When the Lord sends timely advice our way, let’s appreciate its nourishing value rather than resent someone for thinking we need help.

When truthful advice stings a bit, let’s view the discomfort as something that can prod us to make our lives more valuable and more beautiful.

When our employer can count on our integrity, it is a blessing that renews his or her zeal for the business, something that often leads to more blessing for all employees.

And when we remember to give anniversary gifts or birthday gifts or Christmas gifts or gifts pledged for other reasons, we bring refreshment to our relationships.

Let’s look for opportunities to wisely conduct ourselves with each of the above.

We’ll become more like the person God wants us to be and more people will experience His goodness flowing through us.

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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There are so many ways that our Christian faith can be displayed to the world around us.

Sometimes, though, we Christians mess up and seemingly beat people over the head with the fact of their sins, missing the opportunity to graciously point them toward a better way.

It’s not about ignoring the reality of unrighteous behavior and telling lost souls that they’re saved apart from conversion.

It IS, however, about showing and teaching grace to others with the recognition that it was our awareness of God’s gracious love that prompted us to repent of sins and surrender our hearts to Christ.

It’s all about love, really.

God’s love for us.

God’s love for others.

God’s love that should compel us to love others.

And God’s love flowing through us toward others as a sign of our faith.

The Apostle Paul said as much in Galatians 5:

“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (verse 6)

Yes, we should understand the “why” and “what” and “how” of various volunteer roles at church. We should understand the pattern for worship in our particular congregation. We should understand how to use Bible study tools and the need to be faithful in our tithing toward ministry activities and we should understand the various practices and responsibilities for involvement in a congregation.

But if we don’t get the Galatians 5:6 thing right, we’re failing God and failing others.

Express your faith today in a tangible, merciful way that really counts.

Love people in ways that help to point their hearts toward the Lord.

After all, isn’t our love for them rooted in His love for us?

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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Having an intercessory, shepherd’s heart is not just for the Christian apostles of the 1st Century.

It’s something that every Christian is called to have.

Even if we’re shepherding just one person.

Here’s what the Apostle Paul wrote regarding his shepherd’s heart:

I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak without my feeling that weakness? Who is led astray, and I do not burn with anger?” (2 Corinthians 11:28-29)

We should pray daily for the believers and congregations within our circles of influence. They’re our family, after all.

When a Christian brother or sister is struggling, we should feel their need for help and encouragement. That’s when we’ll be more likely to come alongside of them in prayer and active efforts to help as fellow believers should.

If someone is getting bad information, whether doctrinally or with how live in everyday life, we should be discerning of the poisonous path being promoted and we shouldn’t complacently say nothing because we don’t want to get involved.

When we do speak, though, it should be with words based on facts and scripture, not only our feelings and opinions.

For opinions often have little influence against destructive behavior designed to tear down others in order to divide loyalties.

Let’s all commit to being good shepherds, regardless of if we wear the title.

There are too many sheep starving for safe pasture, Living Water and someone to help them against the wolves.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Perhaps the greatest way to communicate faith to an unsaved person is to do all we can to comfort that person when things go sour in his or her life.

For it is at such times that the non-Christian can see the value of heart-comforting faith that has sustained us and that can do the same for them.

Even the non-believer understands that divorce hurts, that losing a family member to accidental death hurts, that losing a long-held job hurts.

When the non-believer sees that our hearts might be hurting yet we are also finding healing through the comfort of our faith — and we continue trying to provide blessings to others — it gets them thinking.

We’ve all faced some really tough times in life.

If we’ve held tightly to God’s hand during such times in ways that others noticed, we can testify authentically about the strength and direction we’ve found.

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Corinthians 1:4)

That testimony of a comforted heart can provide a huge boost to our evangelistic influence.

Let’s sincerely want to help others to stop hurting emotionally.

Let’s comfort them.

Let’s show them how faith in God helps us to stop hurting emotionally.

Let’s show them how God comforts us.

As always, I love you
Martin

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