Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Interpreting the Signs - Martin Wiles

You fools! You know how to interpret the weather signs of the earth and sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the present times. Luke 12:56 NLT

If the signs weren’t right, she’d never leave the house.

My maternal grandmother was a fisherman—to be politically correct, a fisherwoman. Just a few miles from her house, the Santee River made its course. I didn’t know it when I fished with her, but I found out later she’d fished for a long time. As a young woman, she had used her money from selling fish to pay for Mom’s piano lessons.

Grandmammy and her sister-in-law dressed in their husbands’ clothes and headed for the river almost every day of the week. I can see her now—tying her cane poles to the rain gutter of her car, putting the boat motor in her trunk, making sandwiches, and getting jugs of frozen water from the freezer. But she’d never leave the house if the signs forbade her.

Before planning a trip, she’d walk onto the front porch and feel the wind against her face. She knew which direction East was, and if the wind blew from that direction she’d stay home. Or if fluffy, billowy clouds hung around, she’d also stay home. 

Thunderstorms arose quickly on the Santee River, and she had no plans to get caught in one. Her boat was small, she couldn’t swim, and she had no intention of getting swamped by rough water.

According to Jesus, His listeners were good meteorologists, but they didn’t know how to interpret spiritual signs. He would soon leave them—but He would return. They needed to know the signs of His coming so they could get ready.

Grandmammy didn’t sit around the house just because she couldn’t go fishing. And I shouldn’t sit around and do nothing as I wait on the Lord to return. Jesus said the fields were white for harvest. Spiritual work abounds as I await His coming.

I can’t determine the day of Christ’s coming—Jesus Himself didn’t even know that—but I can recognize the signs. According to Jesus, the days before His return will parrot Noah’s day when everyone did their own thing and wasn’t concerned about spiritual matters. Research reveals this is the overall mindset of people now: little interest in godly living, but much interest in selfish pursuits.

Grandmammy was always ready to go fishing whether she went or not. Get ready to meet the Lord at His return—and help others get ready too.



Prayer: Father, motivate us to ready ourselves for Your coming and to help others prepare as well. 


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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Throwback Tuesday - What Will Your Bio Say? - Martin Wiles

What Will Your Bio Say?

At the end of my life, what will my biography say? Will I be proud or ashamed?

My bookshelves house a number of biographies about famous individuals. People who were presidents, people who held high-ranking political offices, people who occupied notary positions, and people who simply made their mark on history. 

I doubt a biography about me will ever be written, but whether my biography ever makes it into print is immaterial—I’m writing it every day. And like a written biography, it includes such things as where I’ve worked, who belongs in my family, and the accomplishments I’ve made. More importantly, what I’ve done for others, my moral stance, and my emotional reactions will also be recorded. Read more...

Tweetable: What will your bio say?


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Monday, January 21, 2019

Am God, Will Travel - Martin Wiles

Have the people of Israel build me a holy sanctuary so I can live among them. Exodus 25:8 NLT

What I had on my back went with me everywhere I traveled.

On a bright morning, my wife dropped my daughter and I off at a secluded parking lot that accessed the Footrails Trail. Five days later, she would pick us up thirty-eight miles down the trail. On our backs, we carried everything we needed to survive.
  
Over the next five days, our backpacks followed us wherever we went. And we wanted them too, though many moments arrived when we wanted to shed them. The weight slowed us down and made our backs ache. Their cumbersomeness made walking awkward, but we knew the importance of a properly supplied pack. So we carried them all the way to the end. We dared not leave them behind.

After delivering His people from four hundred years of slavery, God led them to Mount Sinai where He gave Moses the Ten Commandments, along with many other ceremonial and dietary laws. Additionally, he told him to construct a tabernacle to house, among other things, the Ark of the Covenant—a box-like piece of ornate furniture with rings on each corner for poles so they could carry it everywhere they traveled on their way to the Promised Land. 

Even the tabernacle was portable. God wanted them to understand that while He was God, He still traveled with them everywhere their feet marched.

God still travels with His people. He’s not confined to a church or a denomination. He temples on the inside of His children through the presence of His Spirit. I can’t leave Him behind when I go places I’d rather He not go or when I say things I’d rather Him not hear. He’s with me everywhere—when I’m obedient, and when I’m not.

Wherever life takes me, God goes with me. He protects, guides, encourages, and comforts. I can’t leave Him behind, though in times of rebellion I might want to. He formulates every detail of my life for good, for He has my best at heart. And as my pack supplied all I needed for the hiking journey, so God gives me all I need to do life.

Regardless of where life takes you, remember God goes with you. He loves you, directs your life, and wants you to consult Him with every detail.



Prayer: Father, thank You for traveling with us through life and for supplying all we need to have an abundant time along the way. 


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Saturday, January 19, 2019

The Source of No Disappointment - Martin Wiles

They cried out to you and were saved. They trusted in you and were never disappointed. Psalm 22:5 NLT
I thought we had a friendship bond—and perhaps we did—but they didn’t know how to respond. When the chips fell, they walked out.
Like most people, I’d experienced a few sour patches along life’s journey, but this one came without warning. Things moved along at a smooth speed—or so I thought. Then it happened. Words were spoken by a loved one. Words I thought I’d never hear. My world collapsed. My mind numbed. Overnight, things metamorphosed from good to bad . . . worse than bad.
Having friends and family to comfort you when life takes a downward spiral is important. My family did a good job. They came to my rescue more than once financially. They called regularly to check on me. But some of my professional friends—whom I thought cared about me—abandoned me. No calls. No visits. No, “We’re praying for you,” or “What can we do to help?” Only one of two stood bravely by my side. I was disappointed. Thankfully, I had my source of no disappointment to depend on.
Disappointment sprinkles life, but one person who will never disappoint is God. He didn’t the ancient Israelites—and He won’t me. They had spent 400 years in Egyptian slavery, but when they cried out for God’s deliverance, He didn’t disappoint them. He appeared to Moses in a burning bush and told him to lead His people to freedom. With God’s assistance, Moses succeeded.
I don’t always understand God’s workings in my life. His ways are higher than mine and beyond my understanding. My faith must take over during these periods of misunderstanding. Otherwise, disappointment will gladly move in. When I trust Him to move me through tough times—at His pace, in His timing, and with His methods—disappointment won’t taunt me.
Others can’t always be depended on. They’re human and will disappoint me. I’m sure I’ve delivered my share of disappointment to others unintentionally. God, however, doesn’t share this human quality. He is faithful to His promises. What His Word says, I can depend on. What He says He will do, He will do—and will forever. He is continuously by His children’s side, never leaving or forsaking them.
God will never disappoint you when you trust Him with your life. 

Prayer: Father, thank You for Your continual presence that guides us through every step of life—good and bad. 

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