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Posts Tagged ‘trust’

We all need more real friends.

And more people need us to act as real friends.

We can have plenty of acquaintances we label as friends.

But unless those people are actually willing to intercede to help us when needed, are they really friends?

If we’re not willing to help somebody that we’ve described as our friend, are we really their friend?

God knows that we want and need real friends, loyal friends, interceding friends.

People we can trust to help us, not harm us.

If someone gossips about us, are they our friend?

If someone insults us, are they our friend?

If someone sees us in need and chooses not to help in any way, are they our friend?

Friends love. And that means, according to I Cor. 13:4, they always protect.

I want to be a real friend to more people.

And that means I need to be more diligent in seeking ways to help others, encourage others, defend others, pray for/with others.

Solomon described our vision for friendship in Proverbs 18:24 —

“There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.”

Let’s strive to build friendships that are not contingent upon circumstances but instead upon the leading of God to love in an enduring, interceding, encouraging, sacrificing way.

After all, there’s nothing better than experiencing a loyal love.

As always, I love you
Martin

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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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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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We all agree that simple is good.

I enjoyed the reminder of this truth that I read this morning during my devotional time.

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my Savior”

These simple words of 2 Samuel 22:1 instantly encouraged me.

I found comfort in knowing just how solid my life can be because of my faith in God.

He is my rock, assuring me that as long as I stand on His Word and do not depart from His presence, I will not fall and I will not be shaken.

For who is able to shake the ground under God’s feet?

No one, of course.

He is my fortress, assuring me that as long as I stay within the boundaries of His will, I will find His protection during the inevitable attacks of life.

Foes will send arrows and will batter the walls and pronounce all sorts of accusations. But they will not defeat the walls of God’s authority and promised safe haven for the souls of those who remain in Him.

And He is my Savior.

I really like this declaration of King David.

It’s great to have a solid place to stand and a fortress to protect us.

But what about eternity?

Do we really want to be in a situation forever where enemies can attack?

Of course not.

We look forward to the day in glory when enemies are no more and we won’t be standing on the rock but instead on streets of gold.

I am so glad that I have a Savior to deliver me to heaven.

Our rock. Our fortress. Our Savior.

It’s really a good thing that David saw God for who He is.

I pray that you see God the same way.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Sometimes, life within the guard rails might seem confining but it is actually very liberating.

For as we respect those rails as our protectors, we can focus on enjoying the journey, not fretting every moment about our car heading off the cliff.

That’s how it is with our respect for God and His Word.

When we realize that faith is not a feeling but instead a determination of direction, we gain confidence that our lives will actually mean something more than having perpetual happy moments.

It is the respect for God and striving to honor Him that keeps us on the road and not smashing against guard rails.

Or worse.

When we live honorably because of loving Him and knowing the consequences of not doing so, we are free to thrive as people who love and serve others.

Consider the words of Proverbs 14:27 —

“Fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death.”

Never stop drinking from that fountain, my friend.

Life as God desires for you is in that cup.

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 faced skeptics who told us we were crazy for considering a bold plan to go for a certain job or a certain team or a certain relationship or a certain address or, yes, a certain act of Christian ministry.

“Get serious!” they told us, adding that we’d be out of our league in pursuing the plan.

Who likes hearing “You’re not smart enough” or “You’re not attractive enough” or “You’re not tall enough” or “You’re not cool enough” or “You’re not spiritual enough” or some other verbal bucket of ice water down the back?

I certainly don’t and I’ve heard all of these and many other variants during my years.

Just as you have.

Sadly, sometimes I listened too closely to small-minded voices and scrapped my plans.

I was wrong to do so and I regret it.

This is not about ignoring godly, Bible-based wisdom from Kingdom-minded people. Such counsel should always be welcomed and given deep consideration.

But much of what we hear from others is rooted in the flesh, not in faith.

And so, when some skeptic says to us “Get serious!” and we pause to reflect, let’s make sure that the voice that carries the most weight is the Lord’s.

I’m so glad that young David didn’t listen to King Skeptic when the teen said he was fed up with Goliath’s foul, blasphemous boasting and was going to do something about it.

Here’s a snippet from I Samuel 17:32-33 —

“Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!”

“Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.”

Aren’t you glad that David didn’t listen when King Saul pulled the “Get serious!” thing?

I sure am.

When we’re considering a plan that we know advances God’s will because it helps other people to receive blessings from God and displays our confidence in God’s ability to use us for good, the Devil is not going to like it.

He’ll prompt others to discourage us so that we’ll give up.

That’s when others telling us to “Get serious!” actually creates a testimony opportunity as we explain that we ARE quite serious about serving God and helping people and walking in His power to do what the world thinks we can’t.

As always, I love you
Martin

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