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No believer should add fuel to the fires of gossip at work or home or school or at church.

Gossip is so clearly opposed to God’s will and fuels division, not unity.

Of course, you already know this so why am I bringing it up again?

Because God keeps bringing it up in the teachings of scripture.

Apparently, gossip is a recurring flaw of human nature and we have a recurring need to be reminded of how disgusted God is with such behavior.

We’ve all been sliced and diced by gossip and we know how it stings to learn others are trashing us.

Sadly, we’ve all sinned somewhere along the way and joined in the slicing and dicing of another.

I thank God that we have a merciful Abba Father willing to forgive us.

And I thank God that He gives us repeated opportunities to forgive those who gossip about us.

The best way to avoid the trap of gossip is to learn and remember scripture.

For it is that roadmap of faith that can keep us on the path of godliness when Satan is luring us down the detour of divisive comments.

Here’s a message from today’s devotional reading that we should share with others. Doing so just might reduce the amount of costly gossip circulating in your corner of the world, even that spewing from your own mouth.

“Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops.” (Proverbs 26:20)

Life is more enjoyable when we’re not embroiled in quarrels. Let’s do all that we can to keep from “feeding the beast” of gossip.

God will be be pleased. And we’ll have more peace.

As always, I love you
Martin

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If you gave up a week’s vacation just so you could give detailed lessons to a relative wanting to learn sewing or carpentry or plumbing — but then the relative never did anything with the lessons learned — you’d probably be very disappointed and reluctant to help that relative again.

We know that we only have so much time in this life and we want to be the best stewards possible of that time.

I hope that none of us would ask someone to invest a large chunk of time into us and our spoken plans and then we don’t put their investment to use in our lives.

If you’ve ever been on the mentor side of this situation, you know the frustration of thinking you could have better used the time somewhere else.

God wants us to be good stewards of the investment made into our lives by Jesus Christ.

God saved us so that we’ll become more like Jesus, doing good deeds and bringing glory to the Father in heaven.

Ephesians 2:10 says we are saved in order to do good works. Colossians 3:17 says that all of our efforts should be pointed toward bringing glory to God.

Here’s a description of our role model’s life, one we’re called to imitate.

“He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.” (Titus 2:14)

Jesus did SO much for us.

Let’s not squander His investment into our lives and into our eternity.

He cleansed us.

He put His name upon us.

Let’s be totally committed to doing good deeds.

It’s what responsible relatives do.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Want a better life that God approves and blesses?

Want greater satisfaction of helping people to make good decisions that result in good outcomes?

Follow the advice of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and you’ll have the above.

You see, God wants us to be both vessels of good and recipients of good.

And that’s why He gave us the Bible:

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Dig into some devotional reading today.

You were saved to serve.

Let’s read.

Let’s allow God to transform us through His Word.

Let’s do this.

As always, I love you
Martin

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It’s so easy to get tangled up in multiple messes of everyday life to the point of distraction from God stuff.

It happens to us all.

Health woes.

Money woes.

Job woes.

Family conflict woes.

Car woes.

Personal morality — or immorality — woes.

Real estate or house repair woes.

The list goes on and on.

So often there are more woes than hours to resolve them, it seems.

So how are we to remain faithful with respect to the teaching of 2 Timothy 2:4?

Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them.”

Do the things of God first, that’s how.

Keep up with your daily prayer and Bible reading time.

Welcome any opportunity the Lord gives you for encouraging others and praying with them, particularly your family members.

Talk with others about the blessings that God has sent into your life and how He does the same for all who embrace Him.

Attend worship gatherings and home Bible study group meetings.

Tithe without fail.

Obey your Commanding Officer on high without making excuses as to why you’re not available for serving in the Lord’s Army.

Yes, we all have to manage our housing needs, our food needs, our transportation needs, job needs, family needs, etc..

In fact, if we don’t provide for our families, we’re worse than unbelievers, Paul wrote.

But providing a godly spiritual example is the greatest need they have from us. So let’s please the Commander of the Lord’s Army, Jesus Christ.

Let’s do what we need to do for the Lord and then we can do some of what we want to do for ourselves.

That way, we won’t get tangled up in cords that can drag us down rather than lift us up.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Everybody needs an Onesiphorus in his or her life.

Someone who is a friend through the toughest of times.

The Apostle Paul had a friend like this and it made a big difference in his life.

You know, of course, the very difficult times that Paul faced because of persecution against his faith.

Onesiphorus loved Paul, loved God and did all he could to serve both via an undying friendship.

This display of loyalty must have done wonders for Paul’s need of encouragement.

Here are Paul’s words to describe the value of the friendship with Onesiphorus:

May the Lord show special kindness to Onesiphorus and all his family because he often visited and encouraged me. He was never ashamed of me because I was in chains. When he came to Rome, he searched everywhere until he found me. May the Lord show him special kindness on the day of Christ’s return. And you know very well how helpful he was in Ephesus.” (2 Timothy 1:16-18)

Pray that God send a friend like Onesiphorus into your life so that you’ll be more encouraged in your service to God.

More importantly, pray that God transform you into a friend like Onesiphorus so that you might provide the depth of devotion and love for someone who is pouring his or her life into serving the Lord in the midst of difficult obstacles.

Perhaps you’ll be an Onesiphorus for a missionary serving overseas, sending repeated letters and gifts of encouragement as you build an ever-strengthening friendship.

Perhaps you’ll be an Onesiphorus for a Christian co-worker who is catching all sorts of grief because he or she won’t compromise morally or ethically as are other employees of the company.

Perhaps you’ll be an Onesiphorus for your pastor who is facing hassles because of his leadership efforts to change the culture of apathy within your congregation.

Be the friend that others need. Be an Onesiphorus.

In doing so, you’ll be “God with skin on” for one serving the Lord.

As always, I love you
Martin

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