Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘humility’

Like you, I’m saddened by the erosion of Bible-based morality in our communities that is even seeping into some congregations.

But I’m far from discouraged by it.

You see, this just serves as a reminder of the opportunities we Christians have to shine as lighthouses toward a darkened ocean.

Do I like that increasing numbers of people don’t care what scripture says about godly marriage and gender-appropriate conduct? Am I glad that so many have decided that congregational involvement is not needed in their lives?

Certainly not.

But the clear and repeated story of the Bible is that society ebbs and flows in the spiritual realm.

Based on my reading of scripture, we’ve got quite a ways to go before the downward slope of our national relationship with God hits bottom.

We can pray that national revival occurs long before that.

And we can pray for wisdom to love and serve people in such a way that our faith will shine like a lighthouse to those who feel like ships tossed in a dark, storm sea.

As long as there is even one neighbor or co-worker or struggling relative to whom we can show the love of Christ, we should be encouraged.

The power of grace abides and as long as we have hope to share, it’s vital that we remain faithful to the end of our days.

Perhaps “the end of days” Jesus described in Matthew 24:12-13 will happen before the end of our days physically.

In any event, let’s both be vigilant in looking for ways to guide others into the safe harbor of God’s gracious love.

As always, I love you
Martin

Read Full Post »

It’s the season of giving.

Please live in a way that shows a year-round attitude of blessing.

It’s what Christ did and it ‘s what we should do.

“We know what real love is because Jesus gave up His life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters” (I John 3:16).

Please consider giving up some time today in order to help a hurting friend or a frustrated family member or church volunteer needing a hand.

Please consider giving up some money in order to treat a discouraged neighbor to lunch.

Please consider laying aside that inner desire for payback for how that co-worker insulted you.

It’s all about giving in order to help others just as we would like others to give in order to help us.

The Golden Rule really is a great idea.

As always, I love you
Martin

Read Full Post »

There are many good reasons to teach accurately the wholesome words of Christ.

But Paul provided a particularly compelling reason in I Timothy 6:4.

“Anyone who teaches something different is arrogant and lacks understanding.”

Wow.

The last thing any believer will want to hear on Judgment Day is that his or her teachings had been arrogant and misinformed.

Let’s each commit to a probing, deeper understanding and humble sharing with others of Christ’s Living Water.

It will be SO much better to hear God say to us, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

As always, I love you
Martin

Read Full Post »

I want to be more like God.

I will never be God, something my imperfections remind me of quite frequently.

But I can certainly strive to imitate His nature.

Only good things will result from my demonstrating these characteristics so aptly described by the psalmist:

“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)

Do those around me want to see me display compassion and mercy and slowness to anger and unfailing love and faithfulness?

Of course.

People in your life want to see the same from you.

How much more influence would we have at work or home or school if people thought, “Yeah, that __________, he/she is so compassionate, so gracious, so cool-tempered, so loving and so godly.”

Let’s be like God, my friends.

God will love it.

And so will those whom God has placed into our lives.

As always, I love you
Martin

Read Full Post »

Traumatic events such as the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001 almost always produce feelings of loss and weakness.

But they also give us the opportunity to rebuild new hopes and gain new strength.

It’s true in the natural world and in the spiritual world.

Most every believer has experienced an extreme loss somewhere along the way in life, a loss that left him or her in a painful fog with little emotional strength to put one foot in front of another.

It’s at such times, though, that the value and power of faith in Christ can be clearly seen and received.

In the weeks and months after the 9/11 attacks, there was a sense of unity in this country that was special and that has long since dissipated.

I pray that our current atmosphere of chaotic finger-pointing and animosity toward Bible believers will somehow be reversed.

But if it doesn’t, we still have available all the help and hope we need.

Even when all else fails.

“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness,” Christ said to the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Paul was suffering as a result of God’s desire to strengthen and humble him.

Paul didn’t like it, of course, but over time realized that this hardship was for his best.

And for the best of God’s kingdom.

Because Paul suffered and learned, we’ve been able to learn from suffering.

So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me,” Paul wrote in verse 9.

People will be more interested in learning about our faith if they see it actually help us through a tough time.

So please don’t gripe about hard times.

Instead, rejoice in God’s grace during hard times.

It’s how Christ’s grace and power becomes more visible to us and to others.

As always, I love you
Martin

Read Full Post »

One morning, you hear the voice of the Lord calling you to take a few days off from work to go do something ministry-related.

Your heart and soul are convinced that this is the right thing to do because of the anticipated benefit for the Kingdom.

It might be a short-term missions trip to help dig a well in a parched village. It might be for four or five days to repair plumbing and electrical stuff at a low-income elderly relative’s house.

Perhaps it is simply the spending of time with a profoundly grieving sibling whose spouse just died.

In any of the above cases, it’s a matter of serving God by serving others.

But how do you get the time off unless you ask for it?

And how do you get the time off unless you’re in good standing with your boss?

Listen, we never know in advance when we’re going to be needed somewhere other than our job and we’ll have to ask for time off.

That’s why it is SO important to build a good reputation with our employer so that he or she is more willing to accommodate our request.

If we’re known as an employee with a rotten attitude or lazy tendencies, our request might not be honored.

But if we’re always loyal to our employer and work hard when on the clock in order to promote the employer’s best interests, our request will have a much better chance of success.

I encourage you to read of how this principle served the Kingdom of God more than 400 years before Christ.

This was the case with Nehemiah and you can read about it here.

Clearly, Nehemiah was respected and appreciated by his employer who not only granted the time off but also provided lots of material and security support for a very challenging mission.

It was Nehemiah’s years of faithful, godly service to a pagan king that paved the way for the granting of this ministry request.

Please be the best employee you can, always looking to serve your employer’s best interests.

For you never know when you’ll need to ask the employer a favor that will allow you to carry the favor of the Lord to someone else who needs it. As always, I love you Martin

Read Full Post »

I need to become more like King Josiah of the Old Testament.

You see, I have occasionally made wrong turns in life that weren’t clearly Kingdom-focused.

I can’t recall any defiant rejections of God’s path in my life. But I can’t say the same about random mixed-motive decisions.

You know what I’m talking about because you’ve likewise made mixed-motive decisions that were intended to benefit yourself and coincidentally benefit the Church.

Here are a few examples of how Christians have fallen short:

  • Single Christians sometimes invite opposite sex single Christians to church not just for Kingdom purposes but also in a desire to hook up in a relationship. If the dating possibility evaporates, so do the invitations to church.
  • Business owner Christians sometimes talk about faith and promote church attendance in order to build a business relationship, not just a Kingdom relationship.
  • Pastors sometimes fall into the trap of stretching out a counseling relationship with an emotionally fragile woman because of a desire to spend time with her when he should be referring her to a professional Christian counselor where she’ll get better help and he’ll avoid a trap that has claimed thousands of church leaders.
  • Husbands expect their wives to submit because it’s biblical but really he’s wanting the biblical principle to “bring her into line” instead of his being such a responsible, supportive, cherishing husband that the wife naturally wants to follow his leadership.

Josiah was a man who singly focused on the path of faith.

“He did not turn away from doing what was right.” (2 Kings 22:2)

Satan is constantly inviting us to step off the path of pure-hearted faith.

He dwells on what we’re missing by walking the straight and narrow.

Let’s make sure to focus on not missing out on the unfathomable riches and joy of heaven.

Let’s not try to walk two roads at once.

Let’s never turn away from doing what is right.

As always, I love you
Martin

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »