Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Better Left Unsaid by Martin Wiles

Just because it can be said doesn’t mean it should be.

They come in various shapes and sizes. Some appear overly wide with large lips and teeth to match. Others seem so small as to make one wonder whether they’re capable of functioning at all. Some are attached to flawless faces while others are implanted on faces scarred with physical disfigurements. Regardless of the shape or size or what type of face they’re connected to, all mouths have the ability to do the same thing: speak. And therein lies the dilemma. For while they can be used for much good, they’re often used for the opposite. 

Gene Hackman, in the movie Mississippi Burning, said to his boss, “You don't know when to speak and when to shut up! That makes you a fool!” Joseph, it seems, had the same problem. One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever. (Genesis 37:5 NLT) No doubt Joseph was excited about the sketchy details God had given him concerning his bright future, but this favored son may have stirred the pot a bit when relaying his two dreams to his family. 

When speaking, I should consider whether what I’m saying is necessary. Not everything I know must be spoken. Some things are better left unsaid. Or if I feel I must disclose them, the manner in which I share them is important. I’ve learned I don’t have to communicate everything I know even if it is the truth. 

My shared words should also be kind. One popular daytime talk show host always ends her show with the challenge: “Be kind to one another.” Not bad advice. 

Another matter for consideration is whether what I share builds others up or tears them down. Are my words helpful? If not, I should probably keep them to myself. 

When you’re thinking of sharing a group of words, consider: “Would this be better left unsaid?”

Prayer: Father in heaven, make the words of our mouths pleasing in Your sight.

Begin each day with a dose of encouraging thoughts. Order your print or Kindle copy today from Amazon. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Throwback Tuesday by Martin Wiles

Welcome to Throwback Tuesdays. Because we think any devotion is worth reading more than once. 

Take a trip back in time by reading this devotion from an earlier time. 

Created With Purpose

Why am I here? What's my purpose? Questions I've considered. And most everyone else too. 

Adolescents contemplate them and the answers normally chart their life's course. Not considering them leads to roller coaster rides with little direction and accompanying unwise decisions. Read more...

Martin N MichelleThanks to all our faithful followers who are "sharing" our posts--please keep it up! We also invite you to follow and like us on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter. Help us spread God's encouragement through his love lines. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

God’s Desperate Love by Martin Wiles

God loves us too much to leave us where we are. 

Recently, I watched as an emotionally disturbed mother drove her van full of children into the ocean in an attempt to end her life and theirs. Fortunately, rescuers converged upon the scene and successfully salvaged them. One child rested on his mother’s lap desperately attempting to steer the vehicle to safety. The others screamed that their mother was trying to kill them. Though the rescuers didn’t know the mother or children, their love wouldn’t allow them to leave them in this desperate situation. 

God loves us where we are, but when we’re not where we should be he loves us too much to let us remain there. The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. (Psalm 32:8 NLT)

God loves me so much that he’ll discipline me when I go astray. No parent is perfect with their disciplinary measures, but God is. He knows exactly what it will take to return me to the straight and narrow. 

God also loves so desperately that he sent his Spirit as my continual guide. Listening to his still small voice keeps me on track and sets up a scenario wherein I can enjoy his best. God didn’t create me out of boredom. His plans for me are good and enjoyable. 

The desperate love of God motivates him to mold me into Christ’s image. He invests time in me and wants to be engaged in my life’s details. Through blessings, trials, suffering, and mistakes—and even through Satan’s temptations, he forms my life to look more like his Son’s. 

What’s more, God loves me so desperately that he’ll give the strength for any difficult journeys I encounter. Never will he leave me to travel them alone. 

Are you experiencing and enjoying the desperate love of God? 

Prayer: Thank You merciful God for taking the time to invest in us despite our numerous foibles and mistakes.

Martin N Michelle
Thanks to all our faithful followers who are "sharing" our posts--please keep it up! We also invite you to follow and like us on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter. Help us spread God's encouragement through his love lines. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Fig Leaves Won’t Do by Martin Wiles

God must sometimes chuckle as he views our attempts to cover ourselves.

Recently I discovered our cat was using our formal mahogany dining room table as a scratching post. When I noticed it, I became livid. I grabbed my furniture polishing kit, retrieved the Old English Scratch Cover, and went to work. While it covered the scratches, it didn’t remove them. The cat’s claws had extracted part of the wood, leaving indentations behind. I covered, but I couldn’t remove. 

Fig leaves were Adam and Eve’s scratch cover. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. (Genesis 3:7 NLT) After they disobeyed God’s command, they immediately noticed something they hadn’t before: they were naked. Shamed over their sin, sewing fig leaves together was their attempt to cover their sin scratches. I’ve done the same. 

I’ve discovered fig leaves of projection won’t cover sins of unforgiveness. Projection is attributing to others unpleasant—and in many cases sinful, attributes I have that I’m unwilling to acknowledge. It’s speaking negatively about other people’s unforgiveness when I’m the one who needs to fess up.

Nor will fig leaves of displacement cover the sin of unrighteous or misplaced anger. Allowing my wife and kids to experience what I may feel toward an ill-mannered and uncooperative boss doesn’t work. 

Neither can I cover my unhappiness with the fig leaves of overwork. I must remove the leaves and uncover the root cause. 

I can also attempt to cover my lack of initiative in life by throwing a continual woe-is-me pity party. That only makes others avoid me. 

Fig leaves didn’t work for Adam and Eve, and they won’t for me. Sins are only covered by Jesus’ blood of forgiveness. Other emotional issues also need his comforting cover, and I can always trust him to make an appropriate cover for me as he did for the first couple.

What are you trying to cover your sins or emotional challenges with?

Prayer: Father in heaven, guide us to Your loving arms for the cover we require.
Martin N Michelle

Thanks to all our faithful followers who are "sharing" our posts--please keep it up! We also invite you to follow and like us on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter. Help us spread God's encouragement through his love lines. 
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