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Posts Tagged ‘wisdom’

We’ve all had those “Gibeonite deception” moments.

I’m talking about that sickening realization that we should have prayed for God’s wisdom rather than trusting in our own.

It stinks to realize that we’ve been tricked and trapped by our pride, whether it be with a bad business deal, a poor choice of neighborhoods or a dysfunctional, morally compromised relationship.

You can read at this link about how the Israelites thought they were smart enough to make peace treaties without God’s help when they entered the Promised Land.

But then they realized that they weren’t smart enough and, as a result, stuck with a perpetual reminder that they did not cleanse the land of pagan influences as God had ordained.

King Solomon wrote in Proverbs 3:5-6 that we are to trust the Lord with all of our hearts and lean not on our own understanding. As we acknowledge Him (as Lord) in all our ways, then God will direct our paths.

Joshua and the people of Israel leaned on their own understanding rather than asking God for direction and they got burned.

Please pray for wisdom when it comes to entering into close emotional relationships or into business deals or into a church family or into a new place to live

Pride claims no need for God’s help.

Humility confesses an abundance of need for God’s help.

You and I are not smart enough to figure out all the angles but God’s wisdom can help us to avoid problems we wouldn’t see otherwise.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Traumatic events such as the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001 almost always produce feelings of loss and weakness.

But they also give us the opportunity to rebuild new hopes and gain new strength.

It’s true in the natural world and in the spiritual world.

Most every believer has experienced an extreme loss somewhere along the way in life, a loss that left him or her in a painful fog with little emotional strength to put one foot in front of another.

It’s at such times, though, that the value and power of faith in Christ can be clearly seen and received.

In the weeks and months after the 9/11 attacks, there was a sense of unity in this country that was special and that has long since dissipated.

I pray that our current atmosphere of chaotic finger-pointing and animosity toward Bible believers will somehow be reversed.

But if it doesn’t, we still have available all the help and hope we need.

Even when all else fails.

“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness,” Christ said to the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Paul was suffering as a result of God’s desire to strengthen and humble him.

Paul didn’t like it, of course, but over time realized that this hardship was for his best.

And for the best of God’s kingdom.

Because Paul suffered and learned, we’ve been able to learn from suffering.

So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me,” Paul wrote in verse 9.

People will be more interested in learning about our faith if they see it actually help us through a tough time.

So please don’t gripe about hard times.

Instead, rejoice in God’s grace during hard times.

It’s how Christ’s grace and power becomes more visible to us and to others.

As always, I love you
Martin

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I want to have 21-21 vision.

Yes, that’s right.

When I look at life through the lens of Proverbs 21:21, my life will be so much better.

“Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor.”

Jesus pursued righteousness and unfailing love and look at how amazingly His life impacted the world.

Look at the glorious blessings He’s receiving in eternity as He sits at the right hand of God.

You’ve known people who pursued righteousness and unfailing love during their days on earth and who now are experiencing perfect life, infinite righteousness and divinely given honor as they are with Christ in Paradise.

Satan will try to trap you and me today with temptations to think or do wrong.

He will whisper that showing meanness will make us feel better than showing mercy.

Let’s never forget that he’s a liar who only wants to destroy our souls and our influence for the Gospel.

Embrace passionately today your need for 21:21 vision.

The reward is out of this world.

As always, I love you
Martin

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I love the promise of Psalm 32:8.

When I embrace it as my own, my life is so much better.

The same better future can be yours, too.

“The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.’

I know very well of my random failures that can be traced to thinking I don’t need God’s guidance on a particular matter.

Invariably, I eventually realize that I should have paid closer attention to His Word and His Spirit’s voice.

The older I get, the better I listen.

Better late than never, right?

Listen well, my friend.

And live more successfully, more joyfully and more fruitfully.

It’s what God wants for us, according to Jeremiah 29:11.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Stick with me on this.

I read a verse this morning from Proverbs that sounds discouraging, yet it actually — indirectly — affirms the importance of investing time and effort and perhaps money into learning efforts.

If you find a person who really wants to learn at the job or in college or, better yet, at church, then you’ve found a good thing.

You’ve found a good investment.

People who want to learn are our greatest resource for our families, for our congregations, for our workplaces, for our communities.

People who don’t want to learn are foolish and are choosing to remain as such.

I want to be the person who is always learning, even though it takes commitment to vigilantly gain new knowledge and wisdom.

I never want to become the type of person mentioned in Proverbs 17:16 —

“It is senseless to pay to educate a fool, since he has no heart for learning.”

When my daughters were in private school and later in private colleges, a lot of money flowed from my bank account into the schools’ bank accounts.

I was glad, however, for being able to invest in the girls’ education since they both had hearts for learning.

Both have become very successful in their careers and I give all the glory to God for providing the resources needed for providing the education they needed.

If the girls had been slothful in their studies and disinterested in learning, though, I would have been a poor steward to keep spending fistfuls of money on their college bills.

Listen, if we display a heart for learning regarding the scriptures and the work of the Church and the ways of humbly encouraging/equipping others, God will continue investing heavily in blessing us.

Let’s be very careful to avoid becoming fools in God’s sight who aren’t striving to learn more about serving Him.

Please make it a habit to learn DAILY something significant about the Bible or about helping a church member. God always blesses those who invest in knowing Him — and serving Him — in a better 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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My hair has a bit more gray than it used to.

But my faith should also have more green than it used to.

You’ve perhaps heard that the best grapes come from the oldest vines.

I like that idea.

So does God.

Check out what Psalm 92:14 says about faithful believers:

Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green.”

You know some people at your church who fit this description, volunteering frequently and overflowing with vibrancy in their relationships with other church members and visitors.

They are wonderful role models for us all.

And they are fountains of blessing for God who loves to see their fruitful love for others.

Their gray hair might be chemically colored but their spiritual vibrancy and fruit-bearing is visible for all to see.

I want to be like this.

Even if you don’t yet have gray hair, I pray that you’ll demonstrate a green faith.

You’ll be making the world a better place.

As always, I love you
Martin

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