Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘love’

OK, so a husband buys his wife a dozen roses and it’s not Valentine’s Day, a wedding anniversary, a birthday or a “make up for dumb statement” day.

He buys them just because he loves her and wants to bless her.

She’s probably quite surprised, of course.

What she isn’t is silent about the purchase.

Almost certainly, she’ll tell somebody about what her husband did for her.

She just HAS to share the good news of the good blessing.

And so it is to be with us because of the many good blessings that God sends into our lives not because of some special day but instead because He loves us.

We’re not to keep silent about it.

“Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim His greatness. Let the whole world know what He has done.” (Psalm 103:1)

Have an answered prayer? Tell a co-worker that God answers prayers.

A new job? Tell a neighbor that God gives us opportunities to support ourselves and our family if we have one.

A new Spirit-led sweetheart relationship? Tell other singles that God knows you are made for relationship and that you’ve been praying for a life partner who is surrendered to Him.

A blessing of improved health? Tell unsaved relatives that God is in the business of restoration, whether it be physical, emotional, spiritual or d) all of the above.

God has blessed you in some identifiable way. Please let others know how much you appreciate His kindness and how much they’ll appreciate His kindness if they acknowledge Him as their God.

As always, I love you
Martin

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Following the news reports from around the world can leave one discouraged.

Brutal wars, rampaging disease, pervasive corruption, dissolving moral values and disintegrating families… they’re all realities that drag our hearts down and can pull us under emotionally if we let them.

These are very difficult times. And that’s not even considering the burdensome personal struggles that many of us face.

It’s vital to remember, however, that 1st Century Christians typically faced much worse in their everyday lives as compared to you and me.

Yes, many Christians in other parts of the world are facing biblical-scale persecution. But even they are offered encouragement from the Apostle Paul who wrote the words below after he had already faced repeated persecution and had 16 more years of persecution awaiting him before his martyrdom.

These words should be woven into the fabric of our faith:

“May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 3:5)

No matter how bad the news or how bad our circumstances, God is still on His throne.

His Word is still true.

His Spirit is still speaking to us.

His Son’s blood still cleanses sin.

Understanding these facts can spur us to express the love of God to people around us who are looking for love in all the wrong places.

God’s love endures.

So should ours.

Let’s love others the way that Christ loves us.

Sacrificially.

No matter how bad things get for us in this darkening world, we know that nothing evil can destroy the eternal joy that awaits in heaven for those who remain faithful

As always, I love you
Martin

Read Full Post »

When God looks at how you spend your time and money, how you treat the people in your life and at your moral conduct, what conclusion might He come to regarding the priority He has in your life?

Are your choices made in ways that first consider what He wants from your life? Do your choices show that you want to honor the pattern of living and loving that Jesus demonstrated?

Are you seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, trusting that all your earthly needs will be met if you put God first in everything?

This is all sounds good, but applying the principle in practical life certainly does take faith.

Helping a relative who has lost a job is a good thing but what if it means scaling back a long-desired, long-planned family vacation of a lifetime?

Hmmmm….. that’s a tough choice for some.

But what would God have us to do?

Imagine there’s a lucrative opportunity to snag a big promotion at work but it would require being chosen over a co-worker friend who is also seeking the promotion. You know about a big mistake the co-worker made but which the boss hasn’t yet discovered. Do you subtly “help” the boss learn about the error and thus eliminate your competition for the promotion and big raise?

What would God have you to do?

Listen, we have daily opportunities to display our faith in ways visible to others. In recent days, I’ve witnessed at length about Christ on a couple of occasions while talking with Internet sellers about things they were offering. It’s been very interesting how the Lord opened the doors to speak about Him.

I should have been doing more of this but at least I can commit to doing it more from this point forward. I know this is what God would have me to do and I desire to please Him.

A verse from my daily Bible reading — Psalm 73:25 — should guide our actions all day, every day. Whatever we do, whether in word or in deed, should be done for the glory of God. That, coincidentally, is what Colossians 3:17 tells us.

And if we live according to the pathos of Psalm 73:25, we will live to please God.

“Whom have I in heaven but You? I desire You more than anything on earth.”

Let’s do our best to a life totally surrendered to God, a life that desires Him more than anything else.

He clearly deserves it.

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 »

Embedded within the verses of Ecclesiastes 3 is a potent, little sentence that can sharpen to a razor’s edge our focus of life.

It speaks not about us, however, but instead about God.

“God’s purpose is that people should fear Him.” (verse 14)

This was written by Solomon, deemed by scripture as the wisest man in history other than Jesus.

And this was written after Solomon had forayed into random detours of fleshly foolishness.

The greatest king Israel has ever known concluded that all of God’s efforts in creation, in inspiration, in intercession, in revelation, in correction and in reconciliation were all focused on one objective — the salvation of people through faith in Him.

Ecclesiastes 3:14 is a wonderful companion verse to John 3:16, a verse you already know.

Ecclesiastes 3:14 is also a great verse to share with 2 Peter 3:9, another well-known verse that teaches us of God’s patient desire for all people to be repent of their sins so that they might gain salvation into eternal life.

You’ve heard that the “whole duty of man” is to fear God and keep His commandments.

This is not in scripture because God is a control freak.

This is in the Bible because God wants us to follow the safe path that gets us where He wants us to be forever — in His presence in heaven.

If it is God’s purpose for people to fear Him in the sense of loving and obedient respect, it is to be our purpose for living, as well.

Let’s show people that we love, obey and respect our heavenly Father so that they’ll see the fruits of a better, more emotionally secure, meaningful life that can be theirs as well.

It really is a Great Commission thing, you know.

As always, I love you
Martin

Read Full Post »

Every Gospel-minded believer looks for opportunities to build bridges of influence with non-Christians.

Bridges are essential if seeds of the Good News are to be carried over and planted into the lives of those apart from Christ.

The Apostle Paul excelled at exhibiting his passion for Christ in ways that connected him with lost people.

“I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.” I Corinthians 9:22

It doesn’t take very long in reading of Paul’s ministry life to see how fervent he was for evangelism. In jail or in the marketplace or in a synagogue, Paul’s fervor for an infectious faith was the same.

One thing you don’t see in his life, though, is spiritual compromise in order to build bridges with an unsaved person.

Paul didn’t need to go to “happy hour” or other world-centric activities in order to build a connection with hurting hearts. He looked for other opportunities within in their lives.

He understood that embracing spiritual compromise as an evangelistic approach is like asking a dieting person if he or she would meet you at the ice cream shop to talk about weight-loss strategies.

Let’s be careful that the common ground that we’re called to seek with others is common ground that Jesus would stand on.

Let’s pray more fervently that the Holy Spirit lead us in our connection efforts with those needing Christ. Such efforts clearly don’t have to be “churchy,” but they do have to be Christ-friendly, whether in the stands of a kids’ baseball game or at the wine-available wedding reception or at the workplace Christmas party.

Let’s remember Paul’s warning in I Corinthians 10:12 against thinking that we can handle any temptation circumstances within which we place ourselves —

“If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.”

Let’s stand where we know Jesus will stand with us. It’s better for us, better for those we’re trying to convert and certainly better for the Kingdom.

As always, I love you
Martin

Read Full Post »

I loved the plea that I read this morning.

“Let me hear of Your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting You. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to You.”

David’s words in Psalm 143:8 should be our words each morning.

We all want unfailing love.

And we all want to walk the safest, most fulfilling path that brings us closer to enduring joy.

We find both in the Lord.

Read of God’s unfailing love each morning.

Read the Bible devotionally.

The One-Year Bible Online is a great tool for doing so.

It’s what I use.

God’s love.

God’s path.

I find each when I click on this link and select the appropriate month and day to do my daily reading.

You will, too.

As always, I love you
Martin

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »