Monday, October 18, 2021

Meandering Monday - Promoted - Martin Wiles

Welcome to Meandering Monday, where we take a trip back to an earlier post and enjoy it again.

For he was faithful to God, who appointed him, just as Moses served faithfully when he was entrusted with God’s entire house. Hebrews 3:2 NLT

On some days, it seemed she despised me; on other days, it appeared I was her favorite.

Imagine my surprise when the boss called me into her office and said, “I’m giving you a promotion.” And not just any promotion, but one that took me from an ordinary office worker to supervisor. I worried about how others in the office who had done more time than I would welcome me in my new position.

With the exception of a few bumps, the transition went well as I settled into my new title with its added responsibilities. I was accountable for more than I had been before, but there were days I wanted to return to my old position.

Jesus was greater than Moses, but like Moses, he was faithful to the mission the Father sent him on. Old Testament Moses was admirable as well and served God faithfully. From a small baby hidden in the bulrushes to escape a jealous king to the one who led more than a million people through a foreboding wilderness to the Promised Land, he served God with passion. He ruled over both complaisant and rebellious people but handled his promotion well—all things considered.   

Promotions at my various places of employment were always nice. Yet, with more authority came more responsibility—which made the promotion somewhat of a mixed blessing.

My best promotions, however, have come spiritually. Born a sinner with a horrendous future, I’ve now been promoted to a saint—not in practice but in position. Ironically, I’ve also been elevated to a servant rather than a ruler. In God’s kingdom, serving makes me greater than ruling.

My promotion involved a new heart that would prompt me to love and serve others regardless of their race, gender, cultural background, or financial standing. And although I’m not there yet physically, I’m now spiritually seated in the heavenlies with Christ. My promotion to heaven from hell is a sure thing.

Are you enjoying the promotions God has given you?

Prayer: Thank You gracious God for making us something more than we ever could have attained in our own power. 

Tweetable: Has God promoted you? 


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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Fall In - Martin Wiles

So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. 1 Peter 1:14 NLT

I looked around. He sat like a good little boy.

Every morning, when the big hand of my old school clock moved to the six, my grandson said, “Pop, it’s on the six.” That meant it was time for me to walk him to his class. This particular morning, we observed our normal routine. I took him by his hand, and we made our way across the campus to his room.

The previous night, intense thunderstorms had moved through the area. They downed one tree and many limbs on campus. They even blew the chain-link fence around the playground from its poles. In a nearby town, lightning struck a historical Presbyterian church, burning it almost to the ground.

My grandson’s teacher lived next to the burned church. As I chatted with her about the details of the previous night, I took my eyes off my grandson. Neither I nor she needed to watch him. The assistant teacher was also in the classroom.

After finishing my conversation, I turned to leave. That’s when I noticed what my grandson had done. He had walked to his cubby hole, hung his bookbag, and then proceeded to a large rectangular rug where he found the square with his name and sat. He never said a word, other than to tell me goodbye.

On the first day of school, my grandson’s teachers had given their students instructions on what to do when they came into the room. He followed them, and fell in line.

Peter encouraged his listeners to live as God’s obedient children. They had tried the other way of living and discovered it didn’t work. But they, like everyone else, were tempted to return to their old way of living.

I haven’t always been as compliant as my grandson. I’m sure at his age, I listened, too. But not always. And not always for the right reason. Often, I listened because I had been taught to obey authority figures, even if I didn’t agree with the rule. That teaching bled over into my relationship with God. I obeyed the commands, but not always for the right reason. Why my grandson obeyed at this point, I don’t know. He probably didn’t either.

When it comes to obedience, I can obey because I want to, because it’s the right thing to do, or because I love and appreciate the person I’m obeying. If I obey only because someone has made a law or a rule, at some point I’ll probably question the rule and disobey. Rote obedience isn’t enough. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day did that, and He reprimanded them … telling them they weren’t doing as well as they thought.

Obedience must flow from love and appreciation. When we reach the point where we obey God’s commands because we love and appreciate Him, our obedience will be more consistent. His principles bring us hope now and give us hope for the future. And that’s enough to produce obedience.

Make sure you’re obeying God’s commands for the right reason.

Prayer: Father, move us to obey You simply because we love You. 

Tweetable: Have you fallen in line with God's will? 


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Friday, October 15, 2021

Macaroni Salad

   

Ingredients
 
6 HARD-BOILED EGGS (DICED)

1 ½ CUPS HAM (COOKED, DICED)

2 CUPS COOKED MACARONI (CHILLED)
                     
MAYONNAISE
                                     
SALT/PEPPER
                                                                         
PAPRIKA
 
Directions

MIX EGGS, HAM, AND MACARONI TOGETHER.

ADD ENOUGH MAYONNAISE TO MOISTEN.

SEASON WITH SALT AND PEPPER.

SERVE ON A BED OF LETTUCE.

SPRINKLE TOP WITH PAPRIKA.



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Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Walk-on Wednesday - Just like Me - Martin Wiles

Welcome to Walk-on Wednesday. By Hump Day, we are struggling, but we believe a good devotion can strengthen us to finish the week strong. 

Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us…so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Hebrews 2:17 NLT

Imagine my surprise when I received a response that said: “You have the same name as my husband.”

The reader who read my devotion saw her husband’s name at the end, but the place of residence didn’t match. That’s because it wasn’t her husband; it was me. He was in Canada; I was in the United States. Through this coincidence, we established a relationship. But even though we shared the same name, we shared little else. He was older, and so were his children. We didn’t look the same, and I had no record of him in my genealogical records. He had great-grandchildren; I only had grandchildren. 

Jesus, on the other hand, was made just like me. He took on human flesh and experienced the same things I experience: hunger, thirst, tiredness, betrayal, abuse, hardships, misunderstandings, rejection, financial deprivation, anger, temptation, grief. The only way he could take me to the Father was to become like me in every respect—except for my sin.

Through Christ, God created everything, but only by becoming like me could he truly understand me. Since he has experienced similar life experiences, Jesus can identify with what I face along life’s journey. The ups and downs, the mountains and the valleys, the temptations and the triumphs. Having experienced how cruel this world can be, he can show me the mercy I so often need. Life’s knockdowns are numerous, but Christ’s grace and mercy are abundant enough to get me through them all.

The greatest advantage, however, of Christ becoming like me was fashioned at the cross. Through his death, he took away my condemnation. Though he wasn’t sinful, he took my sin so I could go free. By faith, my sins are forgiven and no longer charged to my account.

Have you thanked Christ lately for becoming just like you?

Prayer: Eternal God, we thank You for the love that motivated You to allow Your Son to become like us and procure our salvation. 

Tweetable: Are you becoming like Christ? 


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Monday, October 11, 2021

Meandering Monday - Scared to Death of Death - Martin Wiles

Welcome to Meandering Monday, where we take a trip back to an earlier post and enjoy it again.

Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying. Hebrews 2:15 NLT

I was suddenly and unexplainably overcome with the fear of dying.

It seemed odd that I should experience this, especially since I was only a pre-teen and statistically had sixty or seventy years ahead of me. This fear was also strange because I had no reason to fear. Dad preached often on heaven and hell. Those who accepted Christ would enjoy the first while those who rejected him would experience the second. I had done the first. Yet, I feared not waking up, having a heart attack, or being involved in a tragic accident. This sense of dread seemed to last forever—although, in reality, it was only a few weeks.

To identify with humans, Jesus took on flesh and blood. We experience death, so he decided to face it as well—but for a different reason. Taking my sins upon himself brought death for Jesus. Satan has the power of death, but when I trust in Christ, death’s power is broken. No longer is it necessary for me to live with the dread of dying.

The ways we try to redefine death are numerous. We refer to the person as deceased or passed rather than dead. Instead of funerals, we attend homegoings or memorials. Regardless of what term we use for the person or the event itself, death is still death.

Also fascinating are the ways we try to avoid death—or at least its timing. Lifts on various parts of our bodies, workouts, vitamins, wrinkle creams. The list is endless. Death still comes.

The only way I’ll escape death is if I’m alive when Jesus returns. Barring that, I’ll die. But I’ve already conquered death. Christ defeated death by rising again, and since I’m in Christ through faith, I’ll do the same. I don’t have to fear death, try to prevent it, or cushion the reality of it with other names. My hope and confidence are in the only One who can set me free from the fear of dying: Jesus Christ.

Have you conquered the fear of death?

Prayer: Merciful Father, thank You for taking away the sting of death by giving us the hope of a wonderful eternity with You. 

Tweetable: Have you conquered the fear of death? 


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Saturday, October 9, 2021

Get Involved - Martin Wiles

“Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!” 1 Samuel 17:32 NLT

Everywhere I looked, I saw her name.

I was new to the church, but it didn’t take long to tell who did what. As in most small churches, some people wore many hats—some because of their own choosing, others because they just liked staying busy or because they wanted to make a name for themselves.

When the time came for the committee to meet and begin selecting teachers and committee members for the next year, I noticed Judy’s name was everywhere. On this committee. On that committee. Helping with the kids. Assisting with fellowship meals. She had a family of her own, and she worked outside the home. I wondered how one person could muster the time to do all she did.

I didn’t have to wonder long. Prior to the Nominating Committee’s first meeting, Judy approached me and said, “I’m not doing anything this year.” She wasn’t mad, just tired. Burned out. For maybe the first time, I had met someone who had burned out doing good things. She reminded me of myself.

At the first church I pastored, I had almost done the same thing. Only mine wasn’t all church work. I taught at a local school four days a week, worked with the local literacy agency teaching adults to read, and worked on my master’s degree. And oh yeah, I had a family, too. It took my grandmother’s advice, a bleeding ulcer, and a change of venue to get me reoriented.

David wanted to get involved also. When he took resources to his brothers who were fighting in King Saul’s army against the Philistines, a giant named Goliath came out and mocked the army of Israel and Israel’s God. David couldn’t stand the shame and offered to take down the giant.

God wants us involved in His kingdom’s work, but there are so many “somethings” out there. How do we decide which something or somethings to get involved with? Some somethings don’t advance God’s kingdom and can steal our focus from God entirely. Too many somethings can burn us out, weigh us down, and steal our joy.

Balance is the key, and staying in close contact with God through prayer helps us find that balance. When asked, God will put up the red lights and the green lights, so we know what to take on and what to leave alone.

God wants workers, but He doesn’t want burned-out workers who’ve lost their joy, their strength, and their desire to serve Him. All of which can happen when we take on too much.

Ask God to show you where He wants you to get involved.

Prayer: Father, guide us to know when to say, “Yes,” and when to say, “No.”

Tweetable: Is your plate too full? 


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Friday, October 8, 2021

Broccoli and Potato Soup

 

Ingredients
4 RED POTATOES (CUT INTO LONG STRIPS)
    
2 CUPS CHOPPED BROCCOLI

1 ONION (DICED)

1 LARGE CAN OF EVAPORATED MILK

½ TEASPOON SALT

¼ TEASPOON PEPPER

½ CUP VELVETTA CHEESE

1 TABLESPOON CORNSTARCH

Directions
COOK POTATOES, BROCCOLI, AND ONION IN A QUART OF WATER.

COOK UNTIL TENDER.

ADD SALT, PEPPER, MILK, AND CHEESE.

DISSOLVE CORNSTARCH IN COLD WATER TO THICKEN SOUP.



Thanks to all our faithful followers who share our posts! We also invite you to follow and like us on FacebookPinterestTwitter, and Instagram. Help us spread God's encouragement through His Love Lines.