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Posts Tagged ‘wealth’

A day rarely goes by that I don’t see a homeless person begging for money.

It’s usually at a busy intersection of a frontage road and a six-lane road near the church building.

I’ve noticed that 99 percent of drivers ignore the one begging.

I’ve also noticed that when a driver does hand something to the begger, it is usually some coins.

I’ve resisted giving cash because of how so many homeless people end up buying what harms the body, not helps it.

When I’ve thought ahead, though, I’ve prepared bags of food and water to give the homeless person.

It’s much better to provide a hearty meal than it is some cash that can be used for drugs or booze.

I’ve been convicted lately by my lack of preparedness for meeting the hunger need of homeless people.

I’ve handed out dozens of “Blessing Bags” in the past but have not been diligent lately to have some on-hand in my car.

After a shopping trip this week, my church office now has enough “Blessing Bag” provisions to make up 20 food-for-a-day bags.

I’ll be asking a volunteer to assemble the bags so that I and others can start helping homeless people to have some food.

Ultimately, this is an act of worship toward God.

Here’s what I mean:

“Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but helping the poor honors Him.” (Proverbs 14:31)

When we help the poor, we’re serving as God’s hands of kindness.

And we’re showing God that we’re not living just to please ourselves.

Listen, sharing with the needy is a great form of worship.

Let’s all do so more often.

It’s the honorable thing to do.

As always, I love you
Martin

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The path to success is narrow.

The Bible says so.

Here’s what God told Joshua about how to be successful.

“Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” (Joshua 1:7-8)

Want more success — real success — out of your life’s relationships, career, health, finances?

Get more of God’s Word into your life.

Does it help us or harm us at home or work or wherever when we become more like Jesus?

You know the answer.

Studying the Bible and meditating on it is how we become more like God and His Son and it’s how we find more success in life.

Let’s walk the narrow path with God’s map in our hands, in our heads and in our hearts.

There’s a clear payoff for doing so.

As always, I love you
Martin

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If your job is going well, be careful.

If your health is good, be careful.

If your family relationships are strong and smooth, really be careful.

The fact is that we’ve all got to be very careful when our lives are going very well.

God said so.

For if we carelessly lose sight of the real reason why things are going so well, things just might turn south in a bad way.

“But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today. For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful!

“Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt. Do not forget that he led you through the great and terrifying wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, where it was so hot and dry. He gave you water from the rock! He fed you with manna in the wilderness, a food unknown to your ancestors. He did this to humble you and test you for your own good.

“He did all this so you would never say to yourself, ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy.’ Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.”

These words from Deuteronomy 8:11-18 provide a potent reminder that what we have regarding abilities, opportunities or possessions has been given to us by God. To Him we are beholden. And for Him should our obedience be complete.

Tell everyone that our blessings and abilities are gifts from God.

They just might want to start thanking Him for their blessings and abilities as they recognize — as should we — that it’s only because of God that they even have life.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Here are five reasons to be kind.

And they’re certain in yielding benefits to both beneficiary and benefactor.

You see, God promised.

“Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor!

The Lord rescues them when they are in trouble.

The Lord protects them and keeps them alive.

He gives them prosperity in the land and rescues them from their enemies.

The Lord nurses them when they are sick and restores them to health.”

These words from Psalm 41:1-3 are wonderfully encouraging.

Five blessings for those who give blessings to those who struggle financially.

Let’s be kind to the poor.

It pleases our Abba Father who will be more inclined to help us during our times of need.

If you’re not sure how to begin showing this sort of kindness, ask your pastor for ideas or at least keep a bag of easily-eaten, preserved food in your car to give to a homeless person if you see one.

As always, I love you
Martin

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King Solomon said that most people striving to be “successful” are doing so because they envy their neighbors.

Simply stated, pride fuels the desire to be as successful or more successful than others.

Solomon — a king who knew something about success — said in Ecclesiastes 4:4 that this craving is like “chasing the wind.”

The king said it was much better to have one handful with quietness than to have two handfuls after the stress of combining hard work and chasing that wind.

The better course is to recognize the futility of thinking that money by itself brings happiness, he said.

Happiness instead comes from being diligent and honorable in our behavior at whatever work we do, recognizing that money is to be seen as fuel, not as a trophy.

I’ve never seen a sports car owner brag about the size of his or her vehicle’s gas tank. That’s because he or she sees the gas as fuel, not as the admired feature.

In a sense, that’s how we’re to view wealth.

It is to be a tool, not an idol.

And when we find enjoyment from our work and are at peace with God wherever we are financially, we are truly blessed.

We trust that God will never allow us to “run out of gas” before we arrive at our eternal destination.

We can enjoy our lives without a perpetually pouty face that thinks God hasn’t blessed us enough and that we’re gonna have to make up for what He hasn’t given us.

Consider these words from Ecclesiastes 5:19-20:

“…it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God. God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past.”

Would I like to have a bigger paycheck? Of course.

Is my level of appreciation for God’s grace diminished because I don’t? Absolutely not.

Whatever I have is a gift from God that is not mine because of my merit but instead because of His mercy.

I am to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and then trust that He will add to my life all that is needed financially so that I can keep doing more of the same.

Even if my income drops, I’m hopeful that my love and service to Him will not.

I’m just glad to receive any blessings from God.

Perhaps you feel the same.

As always, I love you
Martin

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I need to give more loans to God.

Perhaps you do, too.

If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord— and He will repay you!” (Proverbs 19:17 NLT)

Find someone today who needs a financial or time-investment gift and lend to the Lord.

The returns on your investment will be out of this world.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Just about everybody has had a Psalm 142:4 moment along the way.

Perhaps even a bunch of them.

Here is the description:

“I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought!
 No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me.”

It’s not a happy place to be emotionally when you feel alone to the point of the above statement.

It’s probably not an accurate statement that nobody on the planet cares even a bit about you.

But when has depression ever been about accurate perceptions?

David is credited with writing the above words and he surely had plenty of reason to be discouraged.

Just as we have reasons to encounter discouragement from time to time.

It really does stink when we think nobody cares that we’re sad or hurting or broke or lonely or unemployed or whatever.

David was obviously venting when he wrote this verse, just as we vent when asserting that nobody cares about us.

Fortunately, David came to his senses and realized something very important.

Even if every human rejected him and lacking any emotional support from people, David knew that he’d find the soul-sustaining help from God. In the Lord, he already had all that he really needed.

“Then I pray to you, O Lord.
I say, “You are my place of refuge.
 You are all I really want in life.” (Psalm 142:5)

Notice that David wrote in the present tense. That tells me that David was defining a practice, a consistent response of the soul to those times when he felt that nobody cared about him.

What great advice for us.

When we’re bummed out because of circumstances and feelings that we struggle alone, let’s run to our place of refuge, our ever present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1).

God really is all we need in life.

As always, I love you
Martin

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