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Martin Wiles

Dr. Martin Wiles

"Evil people try to drag me into sin, but I am firmly anchored to your instructions." --  Psalm 119:61 (NLT)

FRIDAY SERMON: Too near the sting

She may have drifted a tad, but overall her anchor held.

My maternal grandmother loved to fish in the Santee River, but not in the big open waters. She hunted the nooks and crannies. Places where the bream bedded and the catfish trolled. And with one small and one large cane pole, she spent most of her days fishing for fish she’d never eat.

FRIDAY SERMON: Good advice

In the beginning, she owned a small wooden boat. Later, she upgraded to a larger aluminum boat. But neither were safe in the open waters of the big lake when the water was rough. And for both boats, her anchor was nothing fancy. Often, she would use a bush. With a piece of string, she tied on. The waves from passing boats rocked her small craft, but it would never move from the spot she anchored it.

Occasionally, she’d fish in the open areas, and when she did, she used another anchor. Not an elaborate one, or one even shaped like an anchor. Her anchors were pieces of heavy metal tied to a string and then secured to her boat. These anchors didn’t hold as fast as the string, but her boat drifted little.

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FRIDAY SERMON: Stalked

Regardless of which anchor my grandmother used, the purpose was the same: keeping her boat where she had it so she could catch fish to sell to her neighbors.

Others attempted to drag the psalmist into sinful behavior, but God’s principles kept him firmly anchored.

Growing up with a dad who was a preacher, I had God’s commands and principles instilled in me from an early age. Before I could read the Bible, Dad read Bible stories to me. And when I learned to read, he encouraged me to read the Bible by myself. 

While I can’t say I’ve come across anything new in God’s Word, God’s Spirit takes what I already know and shows me different applications and understandings for it and then helps me relate it to the world’s ever-changing culture. This practice keeps my thoughts and actions anchored in obedience to Christ.

If I don’t stay anchored in the teachings of God’s Word, I’ll do what my grandmother’s boat would have done had she not anchored it: drift. Drift into patterns of thinking or acting that displease God and prevent Him from accomplishing His best for me. His Word holds me in His will.

Tie on to God’s Word so you won’t drift into forbidden actions or thoughts that prevent you from enjoying the abundant life Christ wants you to have.

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Martin Wiles is managing editor of Christian Devotions, assistant editor of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and author of Grits & Grace & God and Grits, Gumbo and Going to Church. His work is featured at www.lovelinesfromgod.com.

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