Thursday, March 26, 2015

Running from Problems - Martin Wiles

Elijah was afraid and fled for his life…There he came to a cave, where he spent the night. I Kings 19:3, 9 NLT

Running from problems never leaves them behind; it just puts us in a different location. 

Jack* was a runner…but not for exercise. He ran from problems—or more accurately addictions. Nor were his addictions chemical. They were sexual. Though he was a happily married man, he had a habit of having affairs. His first was during his military career and with his best friend’s wife. His wife forgave him, but they changed locations by moving across the country. Moving didn’t solve his dilemma. Before long, he had suckered another innocent married woman into his deceptive web. When his wife discovered this affair, they moved back across the country. 

Elijah was also a runner. When the wicked queen placed a death threat on his head for killing some of her pagan prophets, he ran for his life. His final destination was a cave. Here, God brought him face to face with his problems: unfounded fear and lack of trust. 

Running from my problems doesn’t work; examining and admitting why I’m in the predicament does. Like Elijah, I have to answer the question: “Why are you here?” Is it fear, lack of trust, a rebellious spirit, or unconfessed and willful sin? Until I admit my problem, I’ll remain in the cave. Rather than running from my problems, I should run to them by facing them and securing the help I need. The help may come in the form of confession, a Christian counselor, or an accountability partner. 

Instead of facing his problem, Elijah threw a pity party. He thought he was the only one left following God when there were actually thousands more. Wallowing in self pity or seeking sympathy from others won’t cure the problem. God gave Elijah a few tasks to complete that would take his eyes off himself and would focus him on others. In the end, his running ceased when he began depending on God for success. 

Are you running from your problems or running to God for help?

Prayer: Eternal and all-powerful God, remind us You are larger than any problem we may face.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Can I Know the Truth? - Martin Wiles

Series: Hey God…I Have a Question

“What is truth?” Pilate asked. Then he went out again to the people and told them, “He is not guilty of any crime.” John 18:38 NLT

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but truth isn’t. 

What is truth? Is there truth? Where can I find it? Is truth for me truth for everyone? Does it change? All questions people wrangle with and reach different conclusions. Relativism makes truth relative, or changeable. Individual relativism allows the individual to set the parameters. Cultural relativism lets each culture define truth. Imagine the missionary’s surprise when, after telling a native tribe about Judas betraying Jesus, he noticed they praised Judas instead of seeing his error. In their culture, betrayal was an honorable trait. 

As Jesus stood before Pilate, he proclaimed to represent truth. Pilate contemplated his statement and asked his infamous question, “What is truth?” Jesus said he was and is the way, the truth, and the life. Not all agree. 

Truth is not relative…either to individuals or cultures. What I think is the truth matters not; nor does what others think. Truth for me cannot not be truth for you. But individual relativism promotes this concept. You do what you want, and I’ll do the same. Stay out of my business, and I’ll stay out of yours. Cultural relativism manufactures the same mistake. What is true in one culture is true in another. Just because a culture may accept rape as legal doesn’t make it so in God’s eyes. 

Individuals and cultures don’t erect the rules for determining truth. There are moral absolutes that transcend individuals and cultures, and God establishes them. They are viewed most clearly in God’s Ten Commandments and in the two commands Jesus said were the most important: love him with all one’s heart and our neighbors as we do ourselves. 

God established moral absolutes...truth…in the very beginning and recorded them in his Word. Jesus represented truth when he resided on earth. What I think should be or is truth is immaterial. It only matters what God proclaims. Have you discovered truth?

Prayer: Thank You, most glorious Father, for giving us the truth.
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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Throwback Tuesday - Martin Wiles

5 Things Men Should Find Attractive In Christian Women

Series: 5 Things A Man…
The 1960’s and 1970’s were challenging years, but it was when I came of age and began searching for a wife.

Amidst the sexual revolution, drugs and loose morals, I looked for one who hadn’t fallen prey to the times and who matched the Bible’s teaching about honorable wives. Living in the twenty first century, finding a good wife is more challenging, which may explain why thousands flock to online dating services that match personality traits. Read more...

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Powered to Serve - Martin Wiles

Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all. Acts 2:41 NLT

Power can be addictive. Our culture seems to be enamored with power. I don’t want just any computer. I want a powerful one that will start up quickly and do the tasks I desire with lightning speed. No dial up or slow internet connection either. When I click, I want immediate action. And my cell phone can’t be an outdated version from several years ago. I must have the most up-to-date version with all the bells and whistles that performs functions quickly. We crave power…I crave power. 

On the seashore, God had re-commissioned Peter—taken away his discouragement and replaced it with confidence. Seven weeks after Jesus’ resurrection, the church was born on the Day of Pentecost. Peter and the other apostles were filled with the Spirit and began speaking the gospel in other languages. When questioned, Peter delivered a power filled message on behalf of the other apostles. Three thousand people believed. 

Peter’s success depended solely on the power of God’s Spirit residing in him. Pentecost saw the coming of the Spirit in a fresh way. The same Spirit Peter possessed is given to all believers. God’s might is unlimited, and God’s power in me is limitless as well. It saved 3,000 people after Peter preached. When I depend on his energy in my life, there is nothing I can’t accomplish when it fits his will and plan. Obedience unleashes the muscle of God. 

When filled with God’s Spirit, I can operate with boldness. Like Peter, I can speak the truth even in the face of opposition…the truth that will set people free from sin’s slavery…the truth that is often unpopular. Yet, as I experience God working in my life, I must be careful not to give pride a stronghold. Peter was incredibly familiar with the trait—an attribute the Bible warns against frequently. Anything that results from my work for God is because of his power in me. 

Are you tapping into your serving power?

Prayer: Almighty God, thank You for giving us the power of Your Spirit so we might do Your work successfully. 


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