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Posts Tagged ‘truth’

Please look for an opportunity today to help change the future of a child.

Help a kid learn some timeless principle from scripture.

Or show a kid what it means to be generous or forgiving or self-controlled or patient or some other Christ-like behavior.

After all, don’t you want the kids in your life to become more like Jesus?

Let’s live out the teaching of Proverbs 22:6.

“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.”

Thanks for caring about the future of the world, particularly that kid’s world.

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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Guard rails are not fences.

They’re not there to keep cars off the road but instead to keep cars on it.

Fences are to keep people out.

Guard rails are to keep people in.

Sometimes, we Christians lose sight of this when it comes to our faith.

The Bible and the beliefs it calls us to embrace are for the purpose of keeping us in His family, not for trying to keep people out.

Scripture really is, in effect, a God rail.

Here’s why I say this:

“Godliness guards the path of the blameless” Proverbs 13:6

Godliness is a guard rail.

It keeps us on the narrow path that leads to eternal life.

When we reject godliness — and we’ve all had moments or seasons of doing so — the guard rails disappear and we inevitably end up in a ditch — or worse.

Nobody likes running into a guard rail… or a God rail.

We get banged up and we have consequences to sort through, not the least of which is a bruised, convicted conscience.

I’m thankful for the God rails in my life that the Holy Spirit has used to get me back between the lines of godly living.

I pray that you’ll feel the same as you travel the narrow road.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Before any effort I undertake today, I need to seek wisdom for how to proceed.

Wisdom does not come naturally to us or we wouldn’t have to seek it.

It’s more than common sense.

Some choices are obvious in life such as making sure your car has enough gas or enough air in the tires before heading out of town.

But some choices are not so obvious. Do I stop to visit a shopping mall on the way to Grandma’s house for the night or do I stop on the way back?

Common sense might say it doesn’t matter since you’re going to stop at one time or another.

But wisdom says to stop on the way back so that precious time with feeble Grandma isn’t sacrificed due to spending several unplanned, extra hours sifting through all the sale racks at an unadvertised, 40% off sale in the mall’s stores.

Wisdom says we’ll always find deals in the future but we won’t always have time with Grandma.

It’s a principle of life that seeking wisdom before making choices is the best path.

For haven’t we all made choices that turned out to be the unwise ones because we didn’t seek the wisest course of action before we made our choice?

For the believer, there is the powerful, concise multi-tool for wise living that is found in Matthew 6:33 —

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things (necessities such as food, clothing, shelter, income) will be given unto you.”

Even God established the place of wisdom before He did anything else in Creation.

For through His wisdom, Creation was formed.

“The Lord formed me from the beginning, before he created anything else.” (Proverbs 8:22)

If God thought that wisdom needed to be in place before the crafting of Creation, shouldn’t we make every effort to have God’s wisdom via scripture and prayer-seeking guidance of the Holy Spirit before we make important decisions regarding family life, church life or work life?

I think so.

Whatever important decision you’re facing now at home or church or work, please take the time to seek God’s wisdom before making your choice.

Seek biblical principles and examples relating to your choice.

Seek advice from trusted, spiritually mature believers.

Pray.

Make no decision without the guidance of godly wisdom.

The regrets of not doing so are just too painful.

As always, I love you
Martin

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There’s a treasure map in millions of homes across our nation.

In fact, there are billions of the maps lying here and there around the globe.

If only the people with access to the maps would use them, their lives would be infinitely richer.

Why don’t you pick up today and start studying the treasure map in your possession?

It’s the map that starts with Genesis and ends with Revelation.

If you’re a disciple of honesty, you’ll tap into riches untold.

“He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.”

These words from Proverbs 2:7 offer me great encouragement.

I’ve lived long enough to know that a treasure of common sense is far more valuable to my soul and well-being than are treasures of things.

A thing in my yard or in my garage or in my wallet cannot give a friend the wisdom to cope with a tough situation.

But common sense gleaned from scripture can rescue the hurting or confused soul.

Please, seek the treasure of common sense.

Be honest in all you say and do.

God has a huge outpouring of life-giving common sense that He wants to pour into your life.

As always, I love you
Martin

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The last book of the Old Testament is rich with relevant counsel for Christians.

A couple of verses in chapter 2 of Malachi are of particular interest since they describe what I know God has called me to do.

And not just because I’m a pastor.

These are words that describe the ministry to which God as called every Christian:

The purpose of my covenant with the Levites was to bring life and peace, and that is what I gave them. This required reverence from them, and they greatly revered Me and stood in awe of My name. They passed on to the people the truth of the instructions they received from Me. They did not lie or cheat; they walked with Me, living good and righteous lives, and they turned many from lives of sin.” (vv. 5-6)

Wow. What a wonderful legacy that the Levites had left as described by Malachi 2.

I want to live this kind of life.

I want to leave a legacy like this.

And so I need to live with reverence and worship with awe, passing onto others the truths of the Bible as I commit myself to righteous living.

It is then that I will be more effective in turning others’ lives from sin.

Please…. join with me in this call from God as we head into a new year.

So many need to experience His grace and peace and power as part of a new life.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Morning Devotion: Unbelievable

It’s time for a very practical devotion.

It’s one thing to read stories about people drowning because they went fishing offshore in decrepit boats lacking life preservers and because they didn’t know how to swim.

It’s quite another to actually see people miles out in the ocean crowded in decrepit boats as they fished, with no life preservers visible on the vessels that looked older than the occupants.

Could they swim if need be?

I had no way of knowing but I sure hope so…. at least long enough for another boat in the area to attempt a rescue IF the decrepit boat’s captain had a signal alarm.

I’ve almost felt guilty in the past when I’ve cruised past by such boats while on our boat.

I’ve wondered if I should just stop and wait in case their boat starts sinking.

But I headed back and, fortunately, I read of no drowning reports the next day so that decrepit boat must have headed back as well.

I was reminded of the above experiences while reading this morning from the One-Year-Bible.

A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.” (Proverbs 27:12)

Please be the kind of person who carries jumper cables in your trunk, who makes sure the spare tire is inflated, who never leaves home without some cash in the wallet, who never leaves a parking lot or driveway without checking the vehicle’s fuel guage and who nevers goes boating without life preservers, adequate fuel and a two-way radio or cellphone.

Be prepared for what might happen even if you don’t expect it to.

Nothing good comes from being the person with no plans and no prayers when bad things happen.

Please make sure that your advance preparation includes prayers for God’s protection from an incident even occurring or, if danger does occur, for God’s wisdom and strength to get you through it.

As always, I love you

Martin

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