Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Why Are There Inequalities Among People? - Martin Wiles

Series: Hey God…I Have a Question

The rich and poor have this in common: The LORD made them both. Proverbs 22:7 NLT

First used by Louis Blanc in 1851, the slogan De chacun selon ses moyens, à chacun selon ses besoins (“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need”) was later popularized by Karl Marx—the father of Communism. Communism maintained socialism’s full development would result in an abundance of goods and services that everyone would enjoy uniformly. Although the philosophy sounded good, it didn’t materialize. Not everyone works equally hard nor can humans perfectly run the structure that disseminates the goods and services. 

Differences abound within humanity…not only in race and language but also in economic standing. Why didn’t God give everyone the same amount of money, possessions, job opportunities, children, pets, etc.? 

Free will often explains the differences. God created everyone with this wonderful feature. Normally he doesn’t interfere with the outcomes of my decisions unless he’s using disciplinary tactics to confront my negative choices. At least within a democratic society, God allows me the choice to reside where I choose—a country where the average annual income is $75,000 or $500. 

Other inequalities appear because of government style. Some are born in countries with totalitarian governments and have no means of escape. Their opportunities are limited. Governments are ruled by errant people, and therefore differences abound. 

Circumstances—whether a particular government style or other aspects, also explain inequalities. Generally speaking, I am who I am and where I am because of genealogical heritage…not necessarily personal choices. There have been occasions when I was able to change my circumstances but others when I couldn’t…because of circumstances. 

Among the inequalities, however, there are commonalities. God has created everyone, loves everyone, and sent his Son to die for everyone. While the color of our skin, the income we earn, and the possessions we own may differ now, there will come a day when we’ll equally enjoy what God has made for us in heaven and on the new earth. 

Prayer: All praise we give to You merciful Father for the great abundance we have in You presently and the unimaginable plenty we anticipate in the future.

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Martin N Michelle
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Throwback Tuesday - Martin Wiles

One Stitch At A Time

She was a marvel to observe, and you never knew what she would make next. 

My great grandmother was a master crocheter. She would sit for hours with needle and thread, seemingly content to labor tirelessly on her projects. But nothing began until the yarn was rolled into a ball. This is where I came in. I held the mass of string firmly while she pulled and rolled. This prohibited tangles while crocheting. Then she carefully placed the rolled yarn in a cloth bag so it wouldn’t escape when she stitched. 

I never saw my great grandmother use a pattern; I suppose they were ingrained in her mind. Her motions seemed repetitive: pull a little slack, make a few stitches and then repeat the process. Read more...

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Martin N Michelle
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Monday, October 20, 2014

Why Does God Seem Silent? - Martin Wiles

Series: Hey God…I Have a Question

At times, God may appear silent, but he always speaks loudly and clearly.

And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. I Kings 19:12-13 NLT

I recall a time when God seemed silent. My wife and I had followed a call which appeared unambiguous at the moment. Shortly after arriving at our destination, however, we wondered if we’d heard God correctly. We persevered for several years. Our successes were mixed with failures, false accusations, and doubts. In spite of our questions and efforts to escape our dilemma, God seemed to take forever to deliver us. Even after the deliverance, we found ourselves in another difficult situation. God was working…he wasn’t silent…but from our perspective it certainly looked as if he was. 

Elijah probably felt the same. Elijah was accustomed to God behaving in spectacular ways. When he faced the false prophets representing the local pagan gods, God proved his reality with fire from heaven. But when the queen placed a death sentence on Elijah, he ran like a scared rabbit. He expected God to be in the earthquake…but he wasn’t. Perhaps he was in the fire…not there either. Where he was was where Elijah least expected him—in a still small voice. 

Appearances can be deceiving. When it appears God is silent, he never is. Satan would love nothing better than to deceive me into thinking God doesn’t care about my circumstances or that he’s forgotten about me. But God hasn’t—and he never will. 

Thinking God can only work in one certain way—as Elijah apparently did, can prevent me from hearing God. He often works outside of the box in which I attempt to confine him…just to prove he can…simply to remind me he’s God and I’m not. 

Loving God with all my heart and seeking his kingdom first will always keep my ears clean so I can hear clearly when God calls. Are you perceiving God’s call plainly? 

Prayer: Gracious Father, we thank You for speaking Your will into our lives so that we might enjoy the abundant life You offer. 

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Martin N Michelle
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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Why Have You Led Me Where I Am? - Martin Wiles

Series: Hey God…I Have a Question

The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.” Genesis 12:1 NLT

“I wouldn’t be where I am today had *Tony not brought me here.” 

As we enjoyed a relaxing but candid conversation, *Fred admitted the above truth. His confession confirmed his humility. It also reaffirmed in his mind why he was where he was. God had used him for ten years to pastor a church that may have never considered him had it not been for the influence of a fellow pastor. 

I too have been in places and wondered about God’s purpose. Perhaps Abraham pondered God’s directions also.God had a rationale for asking Abraham to trade one pagan land for another—one he’d never visited. He and his descendants would be given a small geographical area of land where they were to be God’s light to those captured by sinful lifestyles. God can lead me to particular places because he wants me to influence a person or group of people. 

God took Moses from the house of Egypt’s Pharaoh—where he enjoyed unlimited luxuries, to the backside of a desert where he tended sheep. All because Moses let his anger get the best of him. After a cooling off period, God instructed him to lead his people out of a 400-year-old slavery stint. God can guide me to specific places so he can teach me important lessons— instructions I’ll use for future assignments.

God led Jonah from his comfortable homeland to a city populated with people he hated. After running from God—and spending a few nights in the belly of a large fish, Jonah obeyed and watched an entire city turn to God. God can maneuver me through certain periods to teach me how to love all people as he does. 

When God has led you to a particular place and you’re wondering why, ask him to reveal how he plans to use this journey for your good and his glory.

Prayer: O God our Governor, teach us patience as we await the reasons for why You have led us down new life avenues. 
*Names changed to protect individual’s privacy.

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Martin N Michelle
Help us spread God's encouragement through his love lines. Share this devotion with a friend. 
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