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Posts Tagged ‘humility’

God empowers the humble.

“For the Lord delights in his people; He crowns the humble with victory.” (Psalm 149:4)

Let’s each put God first and others second.

The blessing of victorious living will be ours in God’s perfect timing.

As we patiently await the movement of His hand, we’ll grow deeper in faith and richer in eternal blessing.

As always, I love you
Martin

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If there is an enduring obstacle to your pursuit of a settled life, perhaps there is an unjust decision in your past, whether made by you or someone close to you.

If you believe in God, then you have to believe that people will always — eventually — face consequences for unjust decisions that harmed others.

You and I won’t encounter restitution decisions on the scale faced by King David in this passage, but the principle remains the same.

If we do wrong against others, particularly if it violates an oath made to God, somebody someday will suffer the consequences until there is a restitution/reconciliation effort.

The offense mentioned in this passage regarding King Saul violated Israel’s oath during the Promised Land conquest to not kill Gibeonites. It’s a long story recorded in Joshua 9 but the point is this: If we break a promise, even generations later, God will see to it that we face consequences.

Promises are very important to God.

It’s all about integrity.

Good thing, too.

We’re sure counting on God to keep His promise of eternal blessing to us.

Let’s do our best to live in ways that pours blessing into others’ lives, not broken promises.

And if we encounter a life obstacle that just won’t go away — whether individually or as a family or congregation — let’s pray for wisdom to see if a broken promise or residual, unrepentant sin is perhaps the cause.

A settled life moving unhindered toward eternity is a much better outcome.

As always, I love you
Martin

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“I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”

Matthew 18:17 is our teacher today.

On second thought, the little kid who loves going to church is our teacher today.

Friendly, unburdened by grudges, enjoying discovery of new things, wanting to share… these are characteristics of so many kids running around church buildings.

Let’s make sure that we have the same characteristics.

After all, this is what God expects from His kids.

As always, I love you
Martin

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We’ve all done it.

We shouldn’t have.

But we did.

Thank God for His gracious decision to give us another chance.

I’m talking about not following through on commitments we made to volunteer at church or to tithe weekly or to keep forgiving that irritating co-worker or to maintain a daily devotional life.

The list of commitments that you’ve made to God over the years is far more comprehensive than the above, I’m sure.

It certainly is with me.

Let’s do our best to abide by Jesus’ command to always have the transmission of our lives in drive rather than reverse.

It’s about living for Him and doing what He wants and not putting our faith gear into reverse, slipping back into our old ways and old reasons for living.

“Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)

Spring is a busy time in the church calendar. Let’s look for ways to volunteer and to give and to be vigilant to reject the temptations to skip out on our commitments.

We are profoundly grateful that Jesus didn’t pull His hands off the plow when He was working the field that was white unto harvest for Him. We’d have no eternal hope if He had not followed through.

There are people in our lives who need us to follow through with planting and watering of gospel seeds if they are to learn about the eternal hope we’ve already found.

Plow on, my friend. Break up the fallow soil of your worker or neighbor or relative as you love and plant and shine.

After all, our King died for His subjects.

As always, I love you
Martin

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If your job is going well, be careful.

If your health is good, be careful.

If your family relationships are strong and smooth, really be careful.

The fact is that we’ve all got to be very careful when our lives are going very well.

God said so.

For if we carelessly lose sight of the real reason why things are going so well, things just might turn south in a bad way.

“But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today. For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful!

“Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt. Do not forget that he led you through the great and terrifying wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, where it was so hot and dry. He gave you water from the rock! He fed you with manna in the wilderness, a food unknown to your ancestors. He did this to humble you and test you for your own good.

“He did all this so you would never say to yourself, ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy.’ Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.”

These words from Deuteronomy 8:11-18 provide a potent reminder that what we have regarding abilities, opportunities or possessions has been given to us by God. To Him we are beholden. And for Him should our obedience be complete.

Tell everyone that our blessings and abilities are gifts from God.

They just might want to start thanking Him for their blessings and abilities as they recognize — as should we — that it’s only because of God that they even have life.

As always, I love you
Martin

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It’s so nice to be around people who are so nice.

The alternative is not what anybody wants to experience.

That’s why I encourage you to think often today about how Jesus interacted with people.

He was always caring, always honest, always kind, always humble, always looking for how to help others and His words never tore people down.

He was the textbook friend.

When He spoke, life-affirming words flowed.

Let’s each pray for conformity to His example.

Let’s make sure that Jesus is Lord over ALL of our heart, not just the “church” part.

For how we speak to others is a direct reflection of the place Jesus has in our hearts.

Jesus said so.

“What you say flows from what is in your heart.” (Luke 6:45)

I love the people God has placed in my life and into my heart.

I just have to make more room in my heart for the words of Christ so that whatever I say to them will be caring, honest, kind, humble, helpful and encouraging.

I pray that you do the same because the world needs more textbook friends.

As always, I love you
Martin

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It’s such a brief line but it is incredibly potent in meaning.

For anyone who has just been restored to an important relationship because of another’s forgiveness, this verse fragment will hold special meaning.

“…what a relief to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the face of God!” (Genesis 33:10)

The context was Jacob’s return to his homeland after 20 years in what is now Iraq. He had fled there earlier out of fear that his brother Esau would kill him because of various deceptive and cheating behaviors.

Returning as an older and somewhat wiser man, Jacob still had fear that Esau might take revenge for the dirty deeds done to him a generation earlier.

You’ll want to read of this account by clicking here.

Despite the fear, Jacob headed home anyway. Previous chapters in Genesis recorded why Jacob believed he couldn’t stay in the land of his wives’ family.

Jacob knew when he fled his homeland two decades earlier that he had done wrong.

And now as he awaited the inevitable meeting with Esau, he was hoping that retribution and carnage would not be the outcome.

As you read the passage in the link above, you’ll see just how deep-rooted Jacob’s fears were.

But when the meeting actually occurred, there was no hatred, no shaking fists, no waving swords.

Instead, there was unmistakable forgiveness.

Jacob sensed that what he had received was not the fruit of human nature but instead the fruit of God’s Spirit overflowing through Esau’s face.

When Jacob saw a forgiving face with a friendly smile, he perceived it as the work of God in his brother’s heart.

Wow.

Perhaps you have a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate the work of God in your heart as you choose to genuinely forgive someone who has done harm to you.

If you’ll offer a smiling face to him or her as you seek to restore a relationship, embracing rather than attacking, you’ll bring relief to that person’s soul.

And they’ll know that what you’ve done is a reflection of God’s influence, not human nature.

Here’s the conclusion of the matter — there is perhaps no better way to portray faith than to forgive those who have harmed you.

Please, let people see the face of God in your life.

Forgive.

As always, I love you
Martin

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