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Posts Tagged ‘lies’

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

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Most people have the ability to sense if someone is lying to them.

The falsehood might be tipped off by certain non-verbal indicators of nervousness.

Or it might be tipped off by a glaring incongruency between words and facts.

Whatever the case, it is never a good moment when lying occurs and our “Something smells!” sensor starts flashing.

That’s why we’re called to always be truthful.

It is actually quite comforting to have a friendship with someone who never lies to you.
vIt builds trust.

And without trust, there can be no emotional intimacy, whether in a romantic relationship or with a “buddy” relationship.

I have a number of friends with whom I have complete trust that they won’t lie to me.

It’s really good.

I’d never want a kiss from them on my lips — something that I reserve for my wife Lori — but the depth of my appreciation for their integrity is still profound.

Why the reference to a kiss?

Consider these words from Solomon:

An honest answer
 is like a kiss of friendship.” (Proverbs 24:26)

Be truthful in all your communications. Let’s reject the twisting of facts or others’ words in order to put ourselves ahead of others.

We won’t always like one another’s words, But at least we can embrace one another with a shared commitment to integrity and mutual well-being.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Most parents have told their kids that “cheaters never win and winners never cheat.”

Well, the principle is important and should be communicated.

The reality, though, is that cheaters sometimes do get an edge in various settings.

At least temporarily.

  • A better job promotion than the honest person.
  • A better real estate deal.
  • The date with the pretty, rich girl at school.
  • Holding up the championship trophy — before the rules-breaking scheme is discovered.
  • More popularity with community bigshots who love the spotlight on themselves but resent the spotlight on what they did to get there.
  • These are just a few ways that unethical people can sprint to the front of the pack via unsanctified words and deeds.

    It’s a crucial life skill to be at peace with second place or third place…. or last place…. when it comes to maintaining our personal integrity.

    What matters most is how God sees our decision to reject cheating.

    We’re to do what’s right, no matter the earthly outcome.

    And sometimes that means “losing” to cheaters.

    God will always provide for us if we’ll abide in His way.

    I was reminded of this truth today while reading from Proverbs 19.

    “It is better to be poor than dishonest.” (verse 22)

    I’d much rather go through the day with an empty stomach than with an empty heart.

    An empty stomach is only a temporary problem.

    An empty heart can very easily become an eternal problem.

    The next time you’re tempted to cheat, to compromise on your ethics, to disregard the Holy Spirit’s warnings to reject that temptation, please recall Proverbs 19:22.

    Being poor is a temporary problem before the eternal windfall.

    Dishonesty is a poison pill that leads to an eternal fall of another sort.

    Choose wisely.

    Choose truth.

    Choose life.

    As always, I love you
    Martin

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    Cheaters never …..”

    You know how the sentence goes since you heard it countless times during your childhood years.

    Hopefully, the lesson stuck.

    If we’re living the godly life, we’re living the honest life.

    Particularly in our business dealings.

    God rejoices when we resist cheating in commerce, just as He expects of our behavior in any setting.

    “The Lord demands accurate scales and balances; He sets the standards for fairness.” (Proverbs 16:11)

    Be a winner.

    Be truthful when selling or buying and working or supervising.

    Always.

    Even when cheating might pad your pockets more thickly in this life.

    For the day is coming when every pocket is going to be turned inside out.

    That’s when the only lasting assets will be the unfading memories of the godly actions done to please God and serve others.

    You know the line, “You can’t take it with you.”

    That’s true. But when it comes to eternal assets, you can sure send them on ahead by serving God and others.

    As always, I love you
    Martin

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    It’s important that we think twice before ignoring the Holy Spirit’s warnings to us.

    We all hear them from time to time when we’re being tempted by Satan.

    We’re at the fork in the road, with the narrow, twisting path of holiness heading one direction and the seemingly smooth and straight superhighway of sinfulness heading the other.

    Unfortunately, we all know what it’s like to have taken the wrong turn.

    What seemed best to the flesh turned out to be the opposite.

    This is what we must remember no many how many days we have in life.

    For how we listen to the divine Navigator is a reflection of our relationship with the divine Ruler of the universe.

    Jesus put is this way in John 8:47…

    “Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.”

    When God’s voice via the Holy Spirit seeks to guide us away from temptation, let’s make sure to listen.

    For if we don’t, what are we saying about our relationship with God?

    And that’s a very dangerous place to be in view of how our lives could end at any time.

    Jesus asked in Luke 6:46, “Why do you call me ‘Lord’ and not do what I say?

    Let’s make sure that our words and our walk line up when we’re at home or work or school or church… or even on the highway.

    Listening to God’s voice is what godly people do.

    As always, I love you
    Martin

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    Nothing is hidden from God.

    His flashlight is on everything.

    As kids, when the light was on and an adult was watching us, we behaved in school or at home or at church.

    When we thought nobody was watching, however, sometimes we didn’t.

    We’re all guilty of this, of course.

    It’s so much better when we choose to behave as if in the light and in the sight of somebody bigger.

    “Even Death and Destruction hold no secrets from the Lord.
How much more does he know the human heart!” (Proverbs 15:11)

    Hopefully, you’re in the middle of the narrow path of Christlike living and don’t have secret behaviors you’re trying to hide from God.

    Because you can’t.

    Just as I can’t.

    Let’s do all we can to be like Jesus.

    His life was an open book.

    And since heaven is granted only to those in the Lamb’s Book of Life, let’s do all we can to walk in a way that shows we are living for Him.

    And when we do mess up, prompt repentance will get us back on the path that keeps us on the pages of that book. Romans 8:1-2 promise so.

    As always, I love you
    Martin

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    So Israel was told by God to drive out the pagan tribes upon entering the Promised Land.

    Why? To prevent the corruption of theology and morality that would surely follow if they didn’t.

    Some Israelite tribes did drive out some of the pagan tribes inn their appointed regions during the decade or so of conquest expeditions beginning with Jericho.

    But some tribes didn’t.

    The Book of Judges cites the tribe of Judah’s failure as attributable to the enemy’s chariots, when really it appears to be lack of faithful determination.

    Pharoah had chariots. Many of them. And he was determined to use them as his key weapons for forcing the fleeing Hebrews back into Egyptian slavery.

    The problem for Pharoah was that the chariots didn’t float and were destroyed by the collapsing walls of the the temporary corridor through the Red Sea.

    God was bigger and “badder” than the chariots.

    Judah forgot that and looked at the threat, not at history.

    We do the same sometimes.

    We see threats and feel fears.

    We forget about the fact that chariots don’t float and that God is bigger than our biggest enemy.

    We forget that God called us to overcome the enemy territory in our moral lives, our ethics lives, our financial lives, our prideful, control-freak-of-other-people lives.

    Big victories don’t come by defeating weak enemies who flee when we say “Boo!” in Jesus’ name.

    Those kinds of victories involve pitting steely faith against iron chariots of “stumbling block” sins and sometimes-oppressive peer pressure and physical/financial limitations that leave us feeling vulnerable.

    The same God that emptied the tomb despite all that forces and wishes of Satan, his demons and his co-conspirators on earth is the God who is bigger than the chariots in your life and mine.

    Whatever territory in your lifestyle that an unsanctified enemy is dug in, don’t fear the rattling chariot as you begin to attack it with the conviction of transformation.

    Press in to God with prayer and study and association with fellow spiritual warriors and then press forward in faith that God will shield you from destruction as you carve out a larger sanctified zone in your life.

    Remember, chariots don’t float when overwhelmed with a flood of Living Water.

    As always, I love you
    Martin

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