Thursday, May 24, 2018

God of the Deep - Martin Wiles

For you look deep within the mind and heart, O righteous God. Psalm 7:9 NLT

A surgeon’s eyes look where others’ eyes don’t.

While in his sixties, Dad was diagnosed with a defective heart valve. He could have a mechanical valve or a pig’s valve implanted. He chose the mechanical. Shortly after the surgery, the valve malfunctioned. We took him to Atlanta for a second surgery.

In both instances, surgeons were able to see what I never have—and don’t want to: the inside of a chest. Scalpels cut apart Dad’s chest and rib spreaders separated his ribs, allowing the doctors to see my father’s heart and all other organs that God hid behind the rib cage. They could watch the heart beating, see the valves working, observe the blood pumping and flowing.

Had I been there, I wouldn’t have watched long before passing out. But the doctors and nurses take a regular view of people’s insides. They see what most people never witness.

God has the ability to do the same. He made us, knows every intricate part of our anatomy, and understands how all the parts work and fit together. He knows which bone is connected to which bone—and didn’t have to attend medical school to learn. But His look goes deeper than the physical.

God looks into my mind and heart. Not merely at all the electrical forces taking place in the brain and not just at all the pumping of blood that occurs in the heart. He sees with eyes I can’t. God sees the motives behind my actions. When I do a good deed, He knows if I’ve done it with honorable reasons. He knows if my heart is sensitive to others’ needs and if it’s tender toward Him. He sees the hurts and the damage done by others.

Pretending is a waste of time. God gets to the heart of the matter. I may fool others, but God knows what’s really pumping inside of me. My heart and mind are open books before Him.

The good news is that what’s broken is fixable—just as my dad’s heart valve. Improper motives, unhealthy emotions, hardened hearts, hidden agendas, unforgiveness, hurts. None of these pose a problem for God. All I have to do is allow Him to work on me.

God sees what you can’t in your heart and mind. Go to the God of the deep for the healing you need.


Prayer: Father, look deeply into our hearts and minds. We ask You to heal our hurts and sharpen our minds. 

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Table Light - Martin Wiles

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 KJV

Crazy is taking two young children to a restaurant and trying to enjoy a meal.

My daughter refuses to take her two and four-year-old out to eat. They are loud and rambunctious. She can’t enjoy her meal and is totally flustered by the time the whole episode is over. My wife and I aren’t so afraid. We’re also older and mellower.

We have taught our grandsons to say the blessing before meals, so when our food arrived the oldest piped up that he was going to say the blessing. At this point, all the two-year-old can get out is “God is.” Did I mention they were loud? And they were. His blessing was loud enough for every waiter, waitress, cook, patron, and manager to hear. I asked him to say it quieter. He obeyed, but had to start over again. Then he had to start over again because I didn’t have my hands folded properly. By the time he was through, everyone’s food had been blessed whether they wanted it to be or not.

I was soon embarrassed for another reason: that I had asked him to say it quieter. He wasn’t ashamed to let anyone or everyone know he loved God and was thankful for the food God provided. My blessings are normally so low the person in the next booth would have to strain to hear. My grandson was doing a better job of letting his light shine than I do.

Levi was doing what Jesus instructed His followers to do: letting his light shine. The light that proclaimed he loved God. The light that proclaimed he was thankful. No doubt others saw his light. Hopefully, some thanked God that we had taught him to give thanks to God for the food.

Letting our lights shine isn’t about us. There is a purpose, but it’s not so others will pat us on the back. Our shining lights should be shined with the intention that others will come to know the God we serve. After all, He is the one who gives us the courage and power to let our lights shine. Jesus said if we deny Him He will deny us before the Father. Personally, I’d rather be accepted by the Father.

Let your light shine brightly before others. Never be ashamed of the One who gave His life for you.



Prayer: Father, give us the opportunities and the courage to let our testimony for You shine brightly before others. 

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Throwback Tuesday - Angels All Around - Martin Wiles

Angels All Around

She came when we least expected it, and only a few bags of items and a quiet knock revealed her presence.

My wife and I were enjoying a leisurely evening when a thump caught our attention. Thinking a picture had fallen or the cat had knocked something over, I reluctantly relinquished my comfortable chair to search for the culprit but found nothing out of order.

A few moments later, a knock at the door once again sent me from my evening repose. Read more...

Tweetable: Have you had an angel visit?


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Monday, May 21, 2018

Waking Up God - Martin Wiles

Wake up, my God, and bring justice! Psalm 7:6 NLT

I come from a family of nappers.

Power naps. The men on my father’s side of the family believed in them. When supper was over and the kitchen cleaned, my grandfather would sit down on the couch to watch the news or a football game. Several minutes later, his head was bowed.

My father’s profession allowed him time to nap during lunch. And he did. When lunch was over, he retired to the recliner where he took a fifteen-minute nap. No alarm clock was needed to awaken him.
I’ve followed in the tradition. When I can, I take a power nap after lunch. In twenty minutes or so, I wake up. I know how to take a nap.

My wife, on the other hand, doesn’t. Although she claims she is going to take a nap, she really means she is going to sleep for two hours. Waking her goes something like this:

“Hey, babe. It’s time to get up.”

“I’m awake,” she says—followed by snoring.

“Are you gonna get up?

“Give me 30 more minutes.”

After thirty minutes, “Hey, babe. Your thirty minutes are up.”

After several episodes of this, she finally gets up. 

God doesn’t sleep—or even take naps. But it seems as if He did to the psalmist. He was being falsely accused of trying to kill the king and take the throne. Although God had selected David as the next king of Israel, David needed God to wake up and deal with his accusers.

God’s time frame is different than mine. To me, it may appear He’s sleeping when in reality He’s only napping. He sees the injustices in the world and those committed against me by others—as He did David’s, but I must trust Him to act according to His timetable, not mine.

What appears as bad or an injustice to me might not to Him—so He naps. I normally thought my parents’ punishments were bad for me but later learned they weren’t. I have to trust God to do what’s best as my heavenly Father.

Nor is revenge mine. David could have dealt with his accusers, but he chose to ask God to instead. God says revenge belongs to Him, not us.

In times of trouble, call out to God. But remember, He never naps or sleeps, and He is always concerned about what concerns you.



Prayer: Father, thank You for always coming to our rescue, even when it appears You are sleeping and unconcerned. 

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Do the Book - Martin Wiles

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. James 1:22 NLT

When a four-year-old teaches you something you don’t know, you listen.

At evening, just before bedtime, is when my daughter and my oldest grandson have some of their most meaningful conversations. Such as the recent one about book parts.

“Who wrote this book?” he asked

My daughter gave him the author’s name, but he said that wasn’t right. “Well who then,” she asked.

“The author.”

Opening the book to the first page, he asked what page this was. She said, “The front page.”

“No, the title page.”

“And what about this part,” pointing to the edge where the book title is printed.

“The edge?” my daughter questioned.

“No, the spine.”

Funny, I don’t remember knowing the parts of a book when I was four years old. In fact, I’m not sure I learned those things until I was in middle school. Of course, I didn’t know a lot of things children seem to be born knowing how to do now.

But knowing the parts of the book isn’t the most important part. If my grandson didn’t know what was inside the book, he was missing out. According to James, the same is true when it comes to the Bible. Knowing where the title page is, who the authors are, where the books are, where the concordance is, and where the spine is will do me little good if I’m not familiar with the information therein. I have to do the book, not just know the book.

Dad made sure I did. He read the Bible to me before I could read and taught me the importance of reading it myself after I learned to read. He also taught me the necessity of learning God’s command and principles and then obeying them. Though there have been periodic times when I did a little disobeying on purpose, for the most part, I’ve been a doer of the Word.

Knowing what God’s Word says does little good if I don’t put the teachings into action. Jesus says loving Him equals obeying Him. The Word shapes my life into the form God wants it to be. It leads me to the most exciting life I could possibly live as well as gives me strength for the trials and armor for the temptations.

Don’t just know the book; do the book.



Prayer: Father, give us the courage to be doers of Your Word, not just hearers. 

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Friday, May 18, 2018

Flashback Friday - Hope Assured - Martin Wiles

Hope Assured

As a child, I had hopes. As an adult, I still cling to some of them, but I’ve also formed others my childhood mind couldn’t comprehend.

I hoped to make it to adulthood where I could enjoy life apart from my parent’s control. I hoped to find a good job so I could live comfortably. I hoped to make good grades in school. (That was an earlier hope. By the time I reached high school, I no longer cared.)

As an adult, I hope to avoid contracting a fatal disease that leads to an earlier than normal demise. I hope my children will serve the Lord. I hope my wife and I will grow old together. I hope, I hope, I hope. But I have no guarantee any of these hopes will actually materialize. Read more...

Tweetable: What hopes carry you through life? 


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