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We’ve all made some poor spending decisions along the way.

And we’ve regretted it.

In fact, we might still be paying the price for those choices years later.

Hopefully, we’ve learned to be more thoughtful about the implications of our choices.

The writer of Psalm 119 knew the sting of poor choices, I’m sure.

And he determined that he would strive to avoid such.

How?

Verse 56 shows us:

“This is how I spend my life:
 obeying your commandments.

Listen, if we spend our time obeying the teachings of God’s Word, we’ll always spend wisely.

We won’t squander the money God places into our hands.

Instead, we invest it into those things that help us to help others.

We won’t waste the time God ordains for us in this life.

Instead, we’re redeem it for the sake of exalting Him, helping His people and reaching out to the unsaved with love, hoping that they will choose to become His children.

Spend wisely today, my friend.

Make sure that you consider God’s Word and will at every decision intersection you encounter today.

There’s only so much time in the wallet of days that we’re given by the Lord.

Let’s make sure that others’ lives and our legacy is richer because of our choices.

As always, I love you
Martin

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We’re all wired to be heroes.

Not like with the movies and the recurring rescues from beasts or thugs or natural disasters, but with real-life crisis threats.

I’m talking about the threat of emotional collapse when someone we know feels that nobody cares about him or her.

I’m talking about the threat of financial collapse when one is desperately needing help in finding a job.

I’m talking about the threat of physical calamity when one is in need of a kidney or bone marrow transplant or donated funds for a vital medical procedure.

We can all be heroes in one setting or another.

The greatest way we can be heroes involves the eternal soul.

The book of James shows us how:

My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back from wandering will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.” (5:19-20)

If you have a relative or friend whose faith once burned brightly yet it is now barely flickering in the winds of worldly living, please ask God to show you how to take heroic action for that person.

Communicate your love.

Communicate God’s love.

Communicate what’s at the end of the road he or she is walking.

Remind them of the joy they once felt in Christ’s arms.

Remind them that Christ’s arms are still open and that His blood still cleanses.

Remind them that the father wanted the Prodigal son to come home and that God wants every wandering soul to come home.

There won’t be a whoopin’ for the one who returns, but instead a lot of Woo-Hoo!!!

God is a Daddy who wants His children to come home.

Let’s be children who want our wandering spiritual siblings to come home.

Let’s be heroes.

Let’s start looking for people to rescue.

As always, I love you
Martin

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James 4:17 says that knowing the right things to do spiritually, but then not doing them, is sinful.

I choose to apply this teaching in a positive way.

I intentionally glorify God and help His people when I choose to do the things scripture has called me to do.

I’m turning knowing into doing.

I need to do this with 100 percent of my decisions, which means I still have some room for improvement.

Perhaps you do, too.

We encounter decision intersections all the time, testing if our faith will guide us or if our faith will be seen as the ignored back-seat driver.

We all know which choice God wants for us.

When it comes to sharing money with others in need, what would God have us to do?

When it comes to forgiving one who has offended us, what would God have us to do?

When it comes to rejecting temptations that would damage our Christian testimony before others or perhaps only before God, what would He have us to do?

When it comes to inviting others to a home fellowship group/Bible study, what would God have us to do?

When it comes to giving tithes and other offerings to support congregational and missions ministry, what would God have us to do?

For each of the above and for countless other decision intersections, it’s clear what God wants from us.

Let’s obey His will and avoid the label of “sinful.”

It’s so much better to know that we’ve honored God and helped others.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Jesus said, “By their fruit, you will recognize them.” (Matthew 7:16 NIV)

Anybody can tell the difference between an apple tree and run-of-the-mill maple shade tree. Even if nearly blind, a person will eventually be able to discern that one tree has fruit and the other doesn’t.

Christians are called to bear fruit. It’s the expectation of God following our salvation.

If we don’t bear fruit, the question arises: Do we have faith?

For in God’s sight and in His Word, faith and fruit are inseparable.

You know the words of James, the brother of Jesus who wrote that faith without good deeds is useless.

James didn’t write that good deeds save our souls. The Bible is clear in that we’re saved by grace, not by works lest any man boast.

Good deeds DO, however, show that we have a saved and surrendered heart that wants to please God first.

James wrote, “Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions.” (2:21)

Notice that believers are “shown right” by actions, not made right by actions.

Listen, wearing a wedding ring doesn’t make you married, but it is worn to show others that you are married.

And if, when you leave the house, you take off the ring, what does that say about your marriage?

There should be no mistaken identity when it comes to what others — including God — perceive about our faith.

We breathe. We worship.

We breathe. We serve.

We breathe. We give.

We breathe. We forgive.

It really is that simple as our living faith is demonstrated in every corner of our lives.

Is there somebody at work or on your neighborhood street who doesn’t know you’re a Christian? Do they see the fruit of a saved life?

Let’s pray for wisdom and humility so that if anybody in our circle of influence doesn’t know we’re Christians, we’ll clearly love and serve them in an unmistakably Christian manner.

For how can we share a faith with them if they don’t know that we have it?

As always, I love you
Martin

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If you have a flowering bush by your front door, do you want people to see several dead branches prominently visible as they come to visit you?

Of course not.

You’ll most certainly prune away those useless branches that are not only “uglifying” your yard but that are also not serving the bush.

If you don’t prune them, what does that say about you?

Dead wood doesn’t serve us.

And it doesn’t serve the Kingdom of God.

That’s why we’re called to keep our lives connected to the Vine of Christ and His flow of Living Water.

As we do so, we’re far more likely to bear fruit rather than become dead wood.

Such a lifeless form is no good to anybody.

“Faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.” (James 2:17)

Look for an opportunity today to do a good deed for someone. If you don’t see one by the afternoon, pray for God to create one before you go to bed.

Even if you write a simple email or text message of encouragement to somebody who is discouraged, it will be a fruit that occurred because you wanted your faith to overflow into another.

Take a friend to lunch.

Buy flowers for a family member. Even if at the grocery store to save money.

Write a thank you note to a co-worker.

Call a church ministry team leader to volunteer for an upcoming ministry effort.

Mow the neighbor’s front yard.

You’ll figure something out.

Just let God guide your faith and it’s fruit will follow rather than appear hollow.

As always, I love you
Martin

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