Saturday, August 1, 2015

Seeing Beyond the Present - Martin Wiles

Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead. Hebrews 11:19 NLT

Sam couldn’t see beyond the present, and it almost cost him his happiness—and life. His dad had left the family for another woman when Sam was a small child. Now, ten years later, his mom decides to re-marry. The guy is okay, but Sam cannot focus on anything but his real dad. 

All these years, Sam’s dreamed and imagined that his mom and dad might get back together. Her present marriage seals the coffin. Not only is she marrying, but he and his siblings will be moving to another state with a different culture. New school, new church, new friends. 

Sam doesn’t adjust well. He needs something to help him get through. When one of his new “so-called” friends offers him a pill to help him do just that, he takes one. And later, another. One day, he takes too many and finds himself in the hospital. He just couldn’t see beyond the present—and the picture was murky. 

By faith, Abraham had the ability to see beyond the present. He and his wife had waited for years on the promised son God said would arrive. Now Isaac is a young man, and God is asking Abraham to do the unthinkable: sacrifice his son. Abraham knew God’s promise, however, and could see beyond the untenable moment. 

I’m often more like Sam than Abraham. Life’s troubles bottle up and cloud my vision: finances, relationships, employment, kids, friendships. Life seems to require every bit of energy I have just to get through the day. I’m consumed with fighting daily battles and worrying about how it will all pan out tomorrow. 

Only by a confident faith and trust in God’s guidance over my life in the present and his concern for my future can I see beyond today. By faith, I can let him hold tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day. 

Let God help you see beyond your present struggles.

Prayer: Father, give us faith to trust You for the future we cannot see. 

Maggie is a teenager who chooses love over a dream. Nominate my book for a Kindle Scout contract. Click to preview & vote. 


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Friday, July 31, 2015

Flashback Friday - Martin Wiles

Pressured To Share

Series: Perfected By Pressure
Sharing is now one of my favorite things to do. But this wasn’t always true.

Like most people, I had items I didn’t mind sharing, but there were some things reserved just for me. Special books. If I had more than one copy, I’d share, but if not I wouldn’t. Favorite pens. I’d loan them but would also make sure they were returned. 

Seems silly now that I think about it, but our selfish natures often require God’s pressure so we’ll open our hands. Read more...

Maggie is a teenager who chooses love over a dream. Nominate my book for a Kindle Scout contract. Click to preview & vote. 


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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Longing for a Better Place - Martin Wiles

But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God. Hebrews 11:16 NLT

The color of his skin destined him to a life of misery. Mistrusted, hated, scorned, ribbed. Regardless of where John traveled, the response was the same. Life took a devastating turn when he was falsely accused of kidnapping and killing two young white girls. Instead of suspecting the newly hired white man, the father and his employer immediately accused him—he was a black man. 

The local sheriff quickly arrested him and hurried him through a mock trial. Evidence was skimpy, but the verdict had been decided before the trial began: death by electrocution. Yet John was a godly man. 

Even though he knew he was innocent, he accepted his lot with a pleasant smile. When the day came for him to walk the “mile” to the electric chair, he went willingly, showing nothing but love and appreciation toward the guards who had no choice but to carry out their duties. John knew his race was against him and that there was no hope, but he could smile. What he longed for—and would soon experience, was a better place. 

Chapter 11 is known as “Faith’s Hall of Fame”—and for good reason. The writer catalogues numerous people from the Bible’s pages who willingly endured hardships because they had faith there was a better place ahead. Sickness, doubt, persecution, death, fear, rejection. All faced through the lenses of faith.  

Though there are many things about this present world I enjoy—technological marvels, family, grandchildren, job, material possessions, and friends among them—I still long for a better place. Life’s pleasures are tainted by the destructive forces of sin which always places a bitter taste in my mouth and dampens my full enjoyment. 

John didn’t fear death because he longed for a better place. I try desperately to parrot his faith. I enjoy what God gives me, but I long for the better place he has prepared. 

As I await that day, I keep trudging along with a smile on my face as I accomplish what God gives me to do. 

Prayer: Father, we praise You for creating an eternal home for Your children. 

Maggie is a teenager who chooses love over a dream. Nominate my book for a Kindle Scout contract. Click to preview & vote.   


God’s Provision in Tough Times – 25 True Stories of God’s Provision. Use coupon MWiles for 20% off on ebook.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Pleasing God - Martin Wiles

And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. Hebrews 11:6 NLT

Children live to please; grandchildren do as well. 

My wife and I have the privilege of keeping our grandson every day while our daughter works. Though less than two years of age, he lives to please and is quite excited when he does. Putting away his toys brings a handclap of joy when the job is done. When we ask him to fold his hands for the blessing before dinner, he eagerly obeys. Handing us an item is done without fussing or arguing. Should we say, “Let’s go to Pop’s school,” he heads for the door. Regardless of what we ask, he obeys. 

However, we know the time is quickly approaching when he won’t be as eager to please. The desire to disobey will sneak in, and his sinful nature will rear its ugly head. 

Acceptance—a basic human need, explains children’s eagerness to please. By pleasing others and receiving their praise, approval, or thanks, this need is satisfied. Being accepted results in happiness and healthy living. Feeling unaccepted delivers the opposite. 

Parents aren’t the only ones I’m born with an innate desire to please. I also have this inborn need for God’s acceptance. My instincts drive me to worship and attempt to please him. If I neglect or ignore this need, I’ll find myself going down paths of rebellion—just as children do when they reach the “terrible twos.” But if I move toward this instinctive desire, I’ll gain his acceptance. 

Faith is the only way to please God. Faith in what his Son Jesus did on Calvary’s cross. Faith he has an eternal home awaiting me. Faith he’ll see me through every trial. Faith he can show me abundant living. Faith he’ll work all things for my good even when they aren’t good. Faith he’ll enable me to do what he’s given me gifts to do. Faith, plain and simple. 

Faith in God drives us to obey him, and this is the only way we can please God. Are you living to please God or someone else?

Prayer: Father, enable us to please You by living a life of faith in Your Word and promises. 

Maggie is a teenager who chooses love over a dream. Help me secure a Kindle Scout contract. Click to preview & vote.    


Come Empty – Pour Out Life’s Hurts and Receive God’s Healing Love. Use coupon MWiles for a 20% discount on ebook.

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