Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Book of Books - Martin Wiles

For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are. Hebrews 4:12 NLT

No book exists forever…with the exception of one. 

Collecting old books is a hobby I started several years ago. In that short time, I’ve amassed hundreds of books dating from the 1800’s. One I happened upon was dated 1821. For its age, the book was in excellent condition. The inside page noted it had been housed in a Charleston, South Carolina, library. I quickly grabbed it, took it to the register, and gave them two dollars. But despite its condition, one day it too will deteriorate.

Only one book will last forever, and the writer of Hebrews tells why. The Bible is living, not bound by covers that will fade, crumble, separate from pages, and finally dissolve or be thrown away. No material that books are made from is indestructible—the Bible included, but God’s Word won’t cease to exist because the covers and pages deteriorate. 

The Word of God is more than covers and paper. It is a person. John wrote, "In the beginning the Word already existed" (John 1:1). God gave His Word to writers, but it existed before then, and it will continue to exist even if all Bibles are destroyed. 

God’s Word is preserved by His life-giving Spirit who is more powerful than any force imaginable. The Word is sharper than the sharpest knife, slicing deep into my innermost being to expose my true self so that I might compare my current state with what God wants it to be. When the gap has been revealed, I can petition Him for guidance to bridge the chasm. 

I shelve my old books. Some I wrap in cellophane. Rarely do I read any of them. Turning the pages would only hasten their demise. Not so with God’s Word. It is meant to be handled, digested, and experienced. 

Let God’s eternal Word shape your actions and attitudes. 

Prayer: Father, enable Your Word to become alive in our lives. 



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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Throwback Tuesday - Martin Wiles

The Prayer Closet

They can be organized or unorganized…neat or cluttered.

My wife and I once lived in a one-hundred-year-old home with two diminutive unlit closets. Then we moved to a 2500 square foot home with closets galore. Presently we’re enjoying inadequate closet space again. One is stacked with treasures we don’t have room to unpack, another is crammed with coats, and still another functions as a laundry room, clothes closet, and linen closet combined.  Read more...



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Monday, February 20, 2017

Little Things Matter - Martin Wiles

If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. Luke 16:10 NLT

His absence almost caused a catastrophe in the coffee café room.

I never paid much attention to what Bill did—until he was absent one Sunday. Noticing that he wasn’t there at his normal time, I plugged the coffee machines in, thinking he was running behind. When it became evident he wasn’t coming, another gentleman and I hurriedly prepared the coffee, only to have the first pot turn out cold, weak, and full of grounds. 

That night after the evening services, I made my rounds to lock the buildings. When I came to the coffee room, I noticed both pots were still on—one hosting a carafe with baked coffee. 

Those who visit our coffee café room probably take what Bill does for granted as I did. His absence reminded us how important the little things are. Jesus thought so too and taught one’s faithfulness in doing small things would lead to greater responsibilities. 

Greatness is normally measured by our titles, by how much we’ve accomplished, or by how many people we manage. Not so in Jesus’ economy. He’s more concerned about our attitudes and motives—the why’s behind what we do. If done for the wrong reasons or with ulterior motives, the doing doesn’t count—at least not in His eyes. 

By our definition of greatness, quantity is important. Jesus considers quality. Whatever He gives me to do, He wants me to do it well—even if it’s no more than making the morning coffee at church. Doing the little things also fosters humility—a trait highly praised by God. 

A lot of people doing a multitude of little things is what makes God’s Kingdom advance. We may hear more about the larger churches or the more influential movers and shakers, but the no-names who work faithfully at their respective churches and in their communities make large impacts for Christ. 

Be faithful in whatever God gives you to do—even if it appears to be a small task. 

Prayer: Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to us. May we be just as faithful to You.


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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Unashamed - Martin Wiles

For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes. Romans 1:16 NLT

Some things I was ashamed of growing up, I’m now ashamed I was ashamed of.

Until my middle school years, I was proud of my parents. While they didn’t give me everything I wanted, they gave me all I needed. I never had to wear raggedy clothes or holey shoes. Mom prepared home-cooked meals, and our cabinets were never bare. Though my parents were not lovey-dovey, they always acted in ways that let me know I was loved. Abusive or negative words never flowed from their mouths. They wanted the best for their three sons. 

When I reached the teenage years, my attitude changed. Suddenly, feelings of shame over who my parents were arose. I didn’t enjoy telling people my father was a preacher because then I was labeled a “PK.” I was expected to be good all the time. And the rules I had previously willingly obeyed now seemed foolish. Being made to go to church every time the doors were opened didn’t help either. Many of my friends never darkened a church’s doors. 

Reflecting now, I’m ashamed that I was ever ashamed of my parents. Unfortunately, I was sometimes ashamed of what Paul proclaims loudly that he wasn’t ashamed of: the gospel of Jesus Christ. I didn’t like others to know I was a preacher’s kid. I certainly didn’t flaunt my faith—and rarely shared it. 

Things changed when I was in my mid 20’s. I adopted Paul’s attitude—and for good reason. The gospel is good news, and people need to hear some good news. After all, bad news is almost all we hear from media sources. Telling people they are loved unconditionally and can be forgiven of their sins is encouraging news worth spreading.

I’m not ashamed to share something that includes an invitation for everyone. God excludes none except those who refuse on their own volition to come. Nor am I ashamed to share something that has eternal consequences. Refusing to accept God’s gospel means an eternity in a less than pleasant place. 

Sharing news that has the power to change lives is something to be proud of, not ashamed of. When the good news of the gospel is received, everything changes: my outlook on life, my priorities, my relationships, and my eternity. 

Are you unashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ? 

Prayer: Father, give us the fortitude to boldly proclaim the best news we could ever share. 

Looking for a wide selection of genres in Christian books at discount prices? Use coupon MWiles for 20% off. Click here to see selections.







Thanks to all our faithful followers who are "sharing" our posts--please keep it up! We also invite you to follow and like us on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter. Help us spread God's encouragement through his love lines.

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