Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Throwback Tuesday - Martin Wiles

Lifelong Productivity

Spring. Trees budding. Flowers blooming. Freshly plowed fields embedded with fruit-bearing seed. Youthful vigor. The sun’s warming rays. Life at its finest. Invincibility. 

Summer. Unbearable heat. Incipient fruit dangling from trees awaiting fall. Busyness. Too much to do and too little time to do it in. Misplaced priorities. Mislaid focus. Life is good. Read more...


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Monday, June 27, 2016

Making Love Last - Martin Wiles

Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery. Hebrews 13:4 NLT

He was the picture of faithfulness, but he carried a fake ID hiding a dark secret.

Frank was a dedicated church member and faithful husband—or so it appeared. He and his wife had moved back to their hometown after his retirement from the military. They immediately joined their old church and went to work. Frank held a number of positions, among them chairman of deacons. 

Several years after their return, Frank’s dark secret came out after it was discovered that he and the preacher’s wife were having an affair. This wasn’t his first. Unfaithfulness had happened before with another friend’s wife, which was why they had chosen to re-locate. As with the prior incident, Frank’s wife decided to remain with him. But they would change locations again and start over. Perhaps, this time it would be different. 

According to statistics, many don’t take the high view of marriage God does. Certainly, there are occasions when God gives permission for the marriage to dissolve. He allows it for adultery—although He doesn’t command it, and He certainly doesn’t expect a partner to risk their lives or their children’s lives by staying in an abusive situation. 

If I’m going to make love last, I must define marriage as God does. Ideally, it is for a lifetime: “until death do you part.” Unfaithfulness and abuse may rob one partner of that pleasure, but it should at least be the intent when taking marriage vows. 

Faithfulness is a must for love to last. For God to make unfaithfulness an allowance for divorce shows how seriously He considers faithfulness. Not only faithfulness to the other spouse but also faithfulness to everything necessary to keep a marriage strong: faithfulness to serving God together, faithfulness to equality in the marriage, and faithfulness to helping each other with family chores. 

Remaining faithful in marriage also means preparing for temptation. Temptations to unfaithfulness abound. Satan loves nothing better than to destroy homes. He knows the lifelong havoc this can inflict. Unfaithfulness is the big home wrecker. Time in the Word, time in prayer, and time with my spouse will help keep temptation away so I can remain faithful. 

Are you working diligently to make love last in your marriage?

Prayer: Father, turn our eyes toward You for wisdom to make our marriages strong. 

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Saturday, June 25, 2016

God’s Grasshoppers - Martin Wiles

We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. We felt like grasshoppers next to them, and that’s what we looked like to them. Numbers 13:33 NLT

Quan was struggling with a foreboding sense of insignificance. 

Quan's people were celebrating a feast for their gods. They didn’t want them to send evil spirits to punish them. Quan, however, wasn’t participating. He would rather spend time with the local Christian missionaries, the Folicks. They had arrived on his island two years ago to tell his people about a greater God. Only a few listened. Quan was one of them. His life had radically changed, but he felt insignificant. What could one person do to influence the actions of so many? 

Joshua and Caleb no doubt felt insignificant as well. Among twelve spies Moses had sent to spy out the Promised Land, they were the only two who returned with a favorable report. Yes, the cities were walled, and yes, the people were fierce, but they had God on their side. They could conquer the land. God rewarded their diligence. Joshua was chosen to lead the new generation of Israelites into the Promised Land, and Caleb was given a parcel of land. 

I—like Quan, Joshua, and Caleb—have felt the creeping fingers of insignificance. I listen to media sources, and it appears evil is overwhelming good. What can I possibly do to stem the flow? Christians are in a minority, and I circulate in a very small part of the world. How much of an influence could I possibly exert?

Lack of trust will keep me feeling helpless, and this is exactly where Satan would love for me to camp. God, on the other hand, wants my faith. Faith—even as small as a mustard seed—can move mountains because it is placed in the One who has the ability to shift them. I can do great things because the One who lives in me is greater than the One who lives in the world. What appears small to me, He can use to make a major impact. 

One thing we have that Quan, Joshua, and Caleb knew nothing about is technology. With the click of a mouse or the tap of a finger, we can send the gospel—along with spiritual encouragement, across the world. 

Think of one way you can use your technology to overcome feelings of insignificance. 

Prayer: Father, when we feel insignificant, remind us who we truly are in Jesus Christ. 

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Friday, June 24, 2016

Flashback Friday - Martin Wiles

Hearing God’s Will

“I think you should be a preacher,” a fellow parishioner kindly remarked. But how would he know? 

I heard the same thing from God when I was about twelve years old, but years of running had clouded his voice. After all, can a middle schooler really discern God’s plan? When a co-worker made the same statement, I began to wonder if God was telling others what I wasn’t hearing. After all, this particular person didn’t know my present situation or past history. Eventually, I determined they were right, but had I not listened I may have missed God’s plan. Read more...


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