Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘kindness’

We’re all wired to be heroes.

Not like with the movies and the recurring rescues from beasts or thugs or natural disasters, but with real-life crisis threats.

I’m talking about the threat of emotional collapse when someone we know feels that nobody cares about him or her.

I’m talking about the threat of financial collapse when one is desperately needing help in finding a job.

I’m talking about the threat of physical calamity when one is in need of a kidney or bone marrow transplant or donated funds for a vital medical procedure.

We can all be heroes in one setting or another.

The greatest way we can be heroes involves the eternal soul.

The book of James shows us how:

My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back from wandering will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.” (5:19-20)

If you have a relative or friend whose faith once burned brightly yet it is now barely flickering in the winds of worldly living, please ask God to show you how to take heroic action for that person.

Communicate your love.

Communicate God’s love.

Communicate what’s at the end of the road he or she is walking.

Remind them of the joy they once felt in Christ’s arms.

Remind them that Christ’s arms are still open and that His blood still cleanses.

Remind them that the father wanted the Prodigal son to come home and that God wants every wandering soul to come home.

There won’t be a whoopin’ for the one who returns, but instead a lot of Woo-Hoo!!!

God is a Daddy who wants His children to come home.

Let’s be children who want our wandering spiritual siblings to come home.

Let’s be heroes.

Let’s start looking for people to rescue.

As always, I love you
Martin

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »