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I Samuel 26 describes the opportunity David had to kill King Saul, the unjust ruler whose jealousy left him obsessed with killing David.

Despite the persistent push of Saul to end David’s life, the young king-in-waiting resisted the temptation to seek revenge against Saul.

The opportunity was right there for the taking, according to the passage. But David said it was best to let God take care of the payback stuff.

“Surely the Lord will strike Saul down someday, or he will die of old age or in battle. The Lord forbid that I should kill the one He has anointed!” (I Samuel 26:10-11)

We know the Bible teaches us to resist revenge. Let’s follow David’s example the next time that we’re tempted to pursue payback against those who harm us.

God sees what hassles we’ve faced and He will not leave people without consequences of attacking us for no good reason. He is not unjust. He’s just waiting for the right time.

Let’s focus on doing good and let God focus on bringing consequences to those who’ve done bad things to us.

That’s so much better than trying to play God and never getting it right.

As always, I love you
Martin

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You can give life to somebody today.

Perhaps even several people.

It’s all in how you speak to them.

“Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4)

It’s easy to speak gently to one who pleases us or at least doesn’t disappoint us.

But when somebody doesn’t do or say what we like, the temptation comes along for us to punish the person with our tongues.

Let’s not give Satan what he wants.

After all, he’s in the business of stealing, killing and destroying, according to Jesus (John 10:10).

We all know from personal experience that words can kill the spirit or dreams or relationships.

Let’s give others what they need and what God wants — let’s speak gentle words to them.

It’s how Jesus spoke during His ministry.

It’s how we are to speak during ours.

As always, I love you
Martin

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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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Psalm 105 is a description of how God delivered the Hebrews out of Egypt with divine protection and provision.

It’s a quick read that illustrates the power and purposes of God.

You can check out that passage and others in today’s One-Year Bible reading by clicking here.

The psalm provides a marvelous picture of God’s mercy and might.

So why did God do these things for the Hebrews?

Verse 45 has the answer:

“All this happened so they would follow His decrees and obey His instructions.”

Sometimes the Hebrews did what verse 45 described.

Life was good in the Promised Land at such times.

Many times, though, they ignored God’s Word and God’s will.

And despite repeated pleas made to the people through prophets inspired by God, the people recurringly ignored God’s Word and His will.

You know what happened as a result.

The fountain of blessings dried up and the tsunamis of torment took its place.

We’ve experienced the same to a lesser extent, I’m sure.

Life is always better when we learn and obey.

It’s no accident that God has blessed you with health, with relationships and with income.

Please be careful that your life of faithful obedience will be clear to all, including Him.

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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