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I love how words written nearly 2,000 years ago can still speak as potently as ever about the pattern for successful living and loving.

These words that the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church can enliven your heart and relationships if you’ll put them into practice today as I will attempt to do:

“Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Corinthians 13:11)

Wow. Talk about the four legs of a solid faith! I certainly want the God of love and peace to be with me. Hopefully, you do, too. Let’s get to it then….

As always, I love you
Martin

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It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking we could never be as faithful as Jesus.

But what set Him apart from the world was not simply His divine origin or supernatural powers. For if He had possessed those yet not lived according to the Isaiah 11:5 Messianic prophecy regarding His nature, you and I would have had no hope of eternal life.

Why? Because He would have failed to live the righteous life that qualified Him as the spotless sacrificial Lamb.

But Isaiah 11:5 doesn’t speak only about the future Savior.

It also speaks to us as to how we can live more like Him.

“He will wear righteousness like a belt and truth like an undergarment.”

As you and I put on the covering of truthfulness as our first garment for living — the foundational element behind all of our interactions with others — we’ll be more able to display the righteousness that holds our lives together.

Please make the putting on of truth part of your “getting dressed” each day. Plan for a devotional time early in the morning. Jesus certainly did and look at how it helped Him.

The rest of your day will be more likely to display the righteousness God desires to see and those around you need to see.

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There’s a good reason that God desires to provide comforting strength and encouragement to believers when they’re experiencing tough times.

It’s so that those believers can do the same for people in their lives who are experiencing tough times.

It really is true that we’ve been called to be vessels not only of truth and love but also of active intercession.

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Corinthians 1:4)

The next time you pray to God for comforting strength and encouragement, please do so with not only your own interests in mind but also on behalf of those whom you’ll be able to help on the other side of your despair.

As always, I love you
Martin

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From time to time, I encounter people whose hearts are burdened because their family members seem distant from each other or perhaps even at odds with one another.

My soul aches for them because I know how sweet it is when family members experience unity.

I was reminded of this contrast this morning while enjoying my daily Bible reading. Here’s a passage from that reading that speaks to a remedy for disconnected family members.

“I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.” (I Corinthians 1:10)

The specific context of this verse involves congregational life in an ancient Greek city. The principle, however, applies to each of our lives in a very contemporary way.

If you’re not experiencing relationship with a sibling or cousin or parent or child to the depth that you desire, choose a path leading to harmony with a particular set of guiding values or with a servanthearted project.

That shared pattern for living or project for service will do wonders for helping you both to focus on what can unite you rather that divide you.

This is one reason congregational life is such a potent catalyst for closer relationships within families.

Harmony is never an accident. It is always a fruit.

Choose it today.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Here are some winning words that will help us to become more successful today. Oh yeah, they’re 3,000 years old but as relevant as ever.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)

Here’s the wrap-up — Honor God and your day will always be a success. And when blessings come from a pleased God, we’ll honor Him even more.

As always, I love you
Martin

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