Eilat Reminds You of the One Question You Must Always Ask

A Word of Warning When Your Ship Comes In

Sometimes a decision looks so good it can’t be bad. Or what we stand to gain overshadows any thought of what we might lose. But at the southern end of Israel sits a seaport with an ancient example that applies to your choices this afternoon.

Eilat Gives a Word of Warning When Your Ship Has Come In

(Photo: Boats at modern Eilat. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

The biblical city of Ezion-geber, near modern Eilat, served as Israel’s occasional port on the Red Sea. On one occasion, the gulf offered a tremendous opportunity for a lucrative shipping industry for King Jehoshaphat.

As with Jehoshaphat, Eilat parallels many opportunities you have today when your ship has come in:

  • The financial deal promises a sure return on your investment.
  • The kind, attentive gentleman asks for your hand in marriage.
  • The promotion comes with the salary you’ve waited for a long time.
  • The new church you’re attending is just around the block.

But in making these decisions, have you forgotten to ask the most important question?

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Envy Grabbing You? Here are 4 Tips for Freedom

And why getting what we want doesn't fix us.

For some reason, we tend to envy others. Big time. Be it a car, a position, a house, or a spouse, we want it. There just seems to be part of our nature that sees what we don’t have as what we need.

Envy Grabbing You

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

No matter what season of life we’re in, we tend to feel dissatisfied with who we are, or what we have, compared to someone else.

  • The teenager wants to be an adult.
  • The single wants to be married.
  • Those with no kids want kids.
  • Those with kids look forward to the empty nest.
  • The retired person longs for the seasons past.

If you’re not enjoying where you are today—and always looking for something better, something new, something else—then you’ll never have freedom in life.

Never.

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Get the Perspective You Need with 3 Truths

How to watch for the journey as well as the destination.

The Texas Driver’s Handbook has a tip that can help you today. A diagram shows when you sit in a parked car, you have a 180-degree field of vision. Great perspective. But then you start moving.

Get the Perspective You Need with 3 Truths

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Once you get going, your perspective immediately changes:

  • When your car accelerates to 20 M.P.H. that field of vision reduces to 66%.
  • At 40 M.P.H. your visual field shrinks to 20%.
  • At 60 M.P.H. your field of vision remains barely wider than the headlights.

Simply said, the faster you go the less perspective you have. The same holds true for your day today. If you never sit still, you never see the big picture—only the immediate right in front of you.

Here are 3 truths to give you the perspective you need for your journey.

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Lydia—How to Honor a Generous God

You can express love for God with anything you choose to offer Him.

Lydia made her way outside the city gate. A short stroll led her and a group of women to a familiar spot beside the Krenides River. For a synagogue to be established, ten Jewish men had to be in regular attendance. But there weren’t ten to be found in Philippi.

Lydia—How to Honor a Generous God

(Painting of Lydia at St Lydia chapel in Philippi. Courtesy of Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

That didn’t keep these women from worshipping together, though. They gathered every Saturday at the river for prayer. But this Sabbath was different. It would change Lydia’s life forever.

And her change can affect our lives as well.

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Learning from Ants, Plants, Bears, and Jesus

Try to guess the common reason for these acts of nature:

  • Why does the cactus turn itself perpendicular to light?
  • Why does the bear get fat before hibernation?
  • Why does the olive tree rotate its leaves?

The answers are all the same.

Learning from Ants, Plants, Bears, and Jesus

(Photo: Mosaic of a bear at the Caesarea Byzantine mansion. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Each is preserving for the future.

  • By turning to avoid heat, plants preserve moisture.
  • By stuffing itself with food, the bear can sleep a long time without eating. (I wish I could do that.)

God designed His creation—from plants to animals to people—to be savers.

The problem with people? We need a lesson on saving from ants, plants, bears—and Jesus.

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The Widow’s Mites and the Value of Your Heart to God

The true value of our hearts is hidden. But sometimes we reveal its value by how we give—not by how much. That’s the currency God cares most about.

The Widow's Mite and the Value of Your Heart to God

(Photo: The widow’s mite(s) were like these 2000 year old copper coins. By Royce Bair / Creative Commons license)

On His way out of the temple for the last time, Jesus sat down in the Court of the Women and observed those who made donations to the treasury. To be sure, this seemed an odd place to pause.

But the Lord had a lesson to teach His disciples.

It’s a lesson on how He values our hearts.

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Running a Marathon All Your Life

I ran my first marathon years ago. I call it my first, because that sounds better than calling it my last. But both are true.

At mile 26 in the run, I learned something I had never known before: a marathon is not 26 miles. Don’t believe it when people tell you that. It’s a bald-faced lie.

Running a marathon all your life

(Photo: Jon Rawlinson, The Long Road Ahead, via Wikimedia Commons)

As I stammered past the 26th mile marker, there was no finish line! I discovered—to my surprise—a marathon is 26.2 miles.

I learned some valuable lessons from that decimal point—as well as from all the running I did to get ready for that crazy race.

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Income Taxes and Other Strange Stuff

Income Taxes provide that strange, brief season each year when I cringe at every dollar I’ve made and rejoice at every one I gave away.

One dollar bill

By Verwüstung, Public domain, from Wikimedia Commons

I have income taxes and tax deductions to thank for that perspective. (I think.)

Without this strange, inverted view, we can look at our tax obligation as blood on the ground. Wasted money. Gone. Adiós dinero.

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Giving Money to God—A Matter of Give and Take [Podcast]

Giving money to God’s work remains an act of private obedience and worship, demonstrating that God owns it all and provides.

Giving to anyone or anything represents the true barometer of the heart, for Jesus said: “Where your heart is, there is your treasure.”

What you truly believe in, you will cheerfully support.

Deuteronomy 26:10; Luke 12:34; 1 Corinthians 9:11, 14; 16:2; 2 Corinthians 8:7; 9:7

Listen now:

Wayne Stiles Podcast