Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Throwback Tuesday - Wearing Blinders - Martin Wiles

Wearing Blinders

When worn properly, they prevent me from noticing what God desires I see. 

As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores. Luke 16:21 NLT

I first noticed them when I was a young boy attending town Christmas parades. As the horse-drawn floats and carriages meandered by, the horses sported blinders to remove their peripheral view. At the time, it made no sense to me. Why would the owners not want their horses to see in a certain direction? Later I learned it was for the safety of the crowd and the one riding the horse or driving the carriage. Read more...

Tell us your story about wearing blinders. 

Tweetables: Are blinders keeping you from seeing what you need to see? 


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Monday, March 1, 2021

Living with Positivity - Thomas Brown

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31–32 NLT

Being negative is one of the worst things we can do to our bodies.

Our bodies release a hormone that will make us negative. And this negativity can spread like wildfire.

The Israelites had this same problem. God told them to wander and live in the desert because of their disobedience. Some of them were negative, They wanted to return to bondage in Egypt. When they finally reached the Promised Land, their leader, Moses, sent twelve spies to scout out the land. When finished, the spies brought back a mixed report. Ten said they could not defeat Canaan. However, two of them, Joshua and Caleb, said that with God, they could defeat their enemies.

We should imitate Joshua and Caleb. The world needs more positive people to spread positivity.

Think of several people to whom you can spread positivity.

Prayer: Father, help us spread positivity to others. 

Tweetable: Are you spreading positivity? 

Thomas Brown is a sixth-grader at Greenwood Christian School. He has a brother and a dog named Lucy. He has lived in Abbeville all his life and hopes to one day go to Alaska.


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Saturday, February 27, 2021

A Captive Conscience - Martin Wiles

But then David’s conscience began bothering him because he had cut Saul’s robe. 1 Samuel 24:5 NLT

My conscience spoke … but I didn’t listen.

My conscience had been programmed with the right stuff. Mom and Dad made sure of that. They took me to church every time the doors opened. I heard Daddy preach the Bible, and I listened as teachers told me Bible stories. At home, my rules mimicked God’s commands, and discipline followed if I didn’t adhere to them. I also experienced the positive side of God’s commands as I enjoyed love from my family that parroted God’s love.

Then I became a teenager, and things changed. I didn’t enjoy the rules anymore. And suddenly, Mom and Dad seemed overbearing. I wanted to get away … to do my own thing. Having friends who felt the same way didn’t help. Bad company can corrupt good morals. I didn’t stand for the right but reveled in the wrong.

As I enjoyed my bad behavior, my conscience bothered me. I knew my behavior was wrong and displeased my parents, my teachers at church—and God. At the moment, I didn’t care.

Eventually, my conscience got the better of me. I confessed, repented, and turned back to the way I knew was right. This soothed my conscience and made life more pleasant.

Like me, David listened to his conscience. David served as a warrior in King Saul’s army, but God had also chosen him as the next king. The prophet Samuel had anointed him as such when he was only a shepherd boy herding his father’s sheep. As David’s military conquests increased, so did Saul’s jealousy. Now, David ran, and Saul hunted him.

As Saul entered a cave to use the bathroom—a cave David and his army hid in—David crept up behind him and cut off a small portion of his robe. That’s when his conscience kicked in. Even though Saul reigned as a cruel and ungodly king, God had commanded that the people support the king. David apologized to Saul.

Our conscience makes up a part of humanity. God works to help us know the difference between right and wrong. When we choose the wrong, God convicts us. If we don’t listen, the conviction—and discipline—grows. Years of rejection can lead to a seared conscience. One where doing wrong doesn’t bother us anymore. A dangerous place.

The right response to God’s conviction is repentance and confession. When we do this, things between us and God are righted again. He can use us in His Kingdom’s work, and we will once again enjoy life.

Our conscience can be our guide only when we have programmed it with God’s commands and principles. Why not do that so your conscience can guide you properly.

Prayer: Father, give us the courage to program our consciences with the right things.

Tweetable: Do you have a captive conscience? 


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Friday, February 26, 2021

Flashback Friday - Balanced - Martin Wiles

Balanced

Time comes in the same increments for everyone.

So be careful how you live… Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Ephesians 5:15-16

Flipping and tumbling across the floor didn’t concern me. Even bouncing off the trampoline and flipping over the horse beam didn’t tax my nerves. Watching her swing round and round on the bars only made me a little nervous. What set my nerves on edge was the balance beam. The other gymnastic activities my daughter performed could have resulted in injury, but the balance beam appeared the most dangerous. Walking, jumping, and flipping on a piece of a narrow slither of wood simply didn’t seem safe. Happily, she never injured herself. Read more...

Tweetable: How are you finding balance? 


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Thursday, February 25, 2021

A Glad Reunion - Martin Wiles

And people will come from all over the world—from east and west, north and south—to take their places in the Kingdom of God. Luke 13:29 NLT

I made the trip—all in the name of a cedar chest.

I thought I had inherited all the family treasures that any family member had left—until my dad’s sister called. She wanted to know if I wanted my great-grandmother’s piano and night table, as well as my grandmother’s cedar chest. Of course, I did. Although my wife and I are downsizing as I near retirement years, we are hanging on to family heirlooms.

I called a friend who has a truck and asked if he and his wife would drive us two hours away to get my treasures. I had my doubts we’d be able to get the piano—doubts that proved true. Old pianos either take a forklift or six good men to lift. We had neither. But I did get the cedar chest, the table, and a laundry hamper full of old pictures.

But the greatest joy of the trip wasn’t the treasures. That came in getting to see my aunt, my uncle, and my cousin. Nine years had passed since I’d even talked with my aunt and uncle, and I hadn’t seen my cousin in as many years. Since we had always been close growing up, this was the treasure—and the joy—of the trip. 

Jesus taught about a narrow door, Himself, through whom all people must enter if they want to experience another joyful reunion at the end of time. A reunion where all who have believed in Him from the beginning of time will live together forever while enjoying the presence of God and the angels.

Seeing the One face to face who died for us will be joy enough, but other things will make this heavenly reunion pleasant also. The things that separate us on earth will disappear. One hundred miles separate me from my cousin, and ninety miles from my aunt and uncle. The same amount of space separates me from the place I love to go more than anywhere else: the mountains. But prejudice, selfishness, greed, social class, and other things can also separate.

Our eternal home will also know no sorrow, tears, pain, or sin of any variety. This, too, will make it joyous. We will surely have a feast of food, but the greater feast will be worshiping and praising the One who gave His life that we might have forgiveness.

Have you made plans to attend the greatest reunion ever?

Prayer: Father, thank You for providing the greatest reunion ever.

Tweetable: Are you anticipating the greatest reunion of all? 


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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Rejected - Martin Wiles

Absalom did this with everyone who came to the king for judgment, and so he stole the hearts of all the people of Israel. 2 Samuel 15:6 NLT

Frankie experienced something he never wanted: rejection.

Frankie remembered the day well. The day his wife said, “I don’t love you anymore.” Then she proved it by leaving him and their two children. As if that rejection wasn’t bad enough, more followed. Frankie pastored churches in a denomination that frowned upon divorced pastors … almost ostracized them, in fact.

Frankie sent out hundreds of resumes to churches. Nothing. He finally decided to take a job outside of church work, and for the next six years, he worked diligently in areas he didn’t think God had called him. Then he remarried. His new wife wanted him to pastor again. More resumes. More rejections. Nothing seemed to have changed, until one church took a chance on him and called him as pastor. But even there, some members rejected his leadership because he had been divorced.

Like Frankie, I remember rejection as a child. I wasn’t the most athletically built boy. Nor was I interested in sports. So, when Physical Education class took place, and the teacher chose two team captains to pick teams, I was always the last one selected. Rejection hurt then … as it does now.

King David knew rejection too—and by one of his own sons who decided he wanted to be king. He brown-nosed the people, who eventually turned to him as king and rejected his father. Absalom eventually ran his father out of town.

The reasons others may reject us vary. Often it concerns our appearance, jealousy, or our likes and dislikes. Sometimes, it’s because they see others rejecting us, so they just follow suit. Acceptance is one of our basic needs and when others don’t accept us, it hurts … deeply.

God gives us good news though. He never rejects us. When we turn to Him, we find Him turned to us. He loved us enough to send His Son to die for us, and He accepts us based on what Christ has done on Calvary.

Acknowledging our hurt is beneficial. So is realizing that not everyone will ever accept us. Jesus was perfect, but rejected by many. But amongst others’ rejection is God’s acceptance, and His is the only real acceptance that matters. His acceptance allows us to experience peace and fulfillment in life.

Seek to live at peace with others, but more than that enjoy the acceptance of God.

Prayer: Father, thank You for accepting us, even when others reject us.

Tweetable: Have you been rejected? 


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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Throwback Tuesday - Strength in Unity - Martin Wiles

Strength in Unity

We can accomplish more together than we can apart.

Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. Ephesians 4:3 NLT

A charter member leaves the church because children are allowed to play games in the family life center. A group splits and forms their own church because they didn’t like a decision made by the majority. A member spreads vicious rumors about one of the church’s leaders even though they are false. A member disagrees with the majority’s decision on a matter but becomes a thorn that spreads dissent in the church. Members fight over the style of music, the color of the carpet, or what color to paint the Sunday school rooms. A young Christian leaves the church when the church decides they won’t continue in a community fellowship because it is interracial. Just a few of the situations I’ve encountered in my church journey. Read more...



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