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Friday, April 21, 2017

Horse-drawn pickup ride 4/20/17
These little guys in their grown up hats are enjoying their ride in the back of a pickup just as we did when we were kids! Photo taken through the windshield on the fly as we passed them near New Holland, PA, thus the darkness and grid reflection from our car dashboard.

"But You Were Washed"

Message summary:
Today we consider the phrase "But you were washed." A hymn asks the question, "What can wash away my sin?" and in the next line answers, "Nothing but the blood of Jesus."

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"And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Corinthians 6:11
).

Samsung washer
This morning we a new washer delivered. We had bought a washer two years ago but it was part of a Samsung washer recall last fall. Several weeks ago Brooksyne saw a washer on sale at Lowes with even more features that costs only $10.00 more than the rebate we got from Samsung due to the recall, so I guess we made out pretty good!

Throughout our marriage we've done pretty good with washers. The Sears washer we replaced two years ago had finally gone out.. It was in our home when we bought it 15 years ago. The previous owner said it had been used by his grandmother for about 30 years.*¹

When we consider the various laundering methods of old we are sure grateful for an automatic washer. We see people in third world countries washing along a river and Brooksyne recalls her early childhood years when her mom washed their clothes using a wringer washer. It was a lot of work for their family of 7. They had no dryer and, as many of you will recall, dress clothing had to be starched and ironed. It was an all day or two day event before the task was fully completed. The automatic washing machine is a modern convenience we take for granted, but when reviewing the past, we know what a time and labor saving machine it is in the majority of homes.

Romans 3:23
Washers are needed to clean our dirt-stained clothing but, far more importantly, a "cleanser" is needed to wash our sin-stained souls. There are no exceptions to this need of washing, "for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). We all need a heavy duty soul cleansing.

So often this need is considered in a comparative context. That is, we may tend to see ourselves OK compared to others we perceive as much more evil than ourselves, but in doing so we miss the more important message. The Bible declares that we are all sinners in need of a Saviour; we can't be good enough on our own for it will always fall short of appeasing God.

The other night I went with some friends to a teaching presentation by Dr. Frank Turek who has an apologetic ministry called crossexamined.org. He had a powerful powerpoint presentation and one slide was labeled "God's Perfect Moral Standard". On the one side is a photo of Mother Theresa, practically universally recognized as one of the goodest*² persons that ever lived. On the other side is a photo of Adolph Hitler, practically universally recognized as one of the most evil persons that ever lived. There's a place for your photo generously placed between Mother Theresa and "the immoral". Regardless of where you ma
y fit in, all humans fall short of God's perfect moral standard and need a Savior. We all need a divine washing!

God's Perfect Moral Standard (Dr. Frank Turek crossexamined.org)

Today's Scripture portion is in a powerful context, "Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."

Paul wrote this passage assuming a knowledge the Corinthian believers had;
"Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God?" He then presents a warning found throughout Scripture we must heed, "Do not be deceived". This is all the more important in our day when acceptance of certain behaviors and attitudes has permeated the church due to popular acceptance in the world that in the past was more aligned with the Judeo/Christian viewpoint. This warning of being deceived is followed by a listing of specific sins (certainly not an exhaustive list but rather representative).

1 Corinthians 6:11"And that is what some of you were." The readers he addresses may not all have been involved in these specific sinful behaviors but some were. Notice that wonderful word "were". Genuine conversion is a life change. As an old gospel hymn states, "What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought, since Jesus came into my heart."

Paul concludes his teaching with "But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Corinthians 6:11).

But let us conclude our daily message with just a reflection of the phrase "
But you were washed." A hymn asks the question, "What can wash away my sin?" and in the next line answers, "Nothing but the blood of Jesus."


Be encouraged today,


Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, I thank You for Jesus who entered the Courtroom of Justice with me as I sought favor with You. I went to relinquish my sins but the only problem is that I had no defense or payment to offer in exchange for them. I entered the Courtroom dressed in my very best as I presented to You my righteous acts but one by one I realized they were seen as filthy, crimson rags. They were like leaves that shrivel up when detached from the vine.

But then Your Son, Jesus, my Advocate, took His robe of righteousness and lovingly placed it over my heavy shoulders. It was at that glorious moment that I realized You looked away from my filthy, crimson rags that Jesus removed and looked upon my new robe of righteousness. I was able to give You nothing but a heart full of crimson stains but You exchanged it for a surrendered heart that is now white as snow. I am wholly grateful that when You look at me You see Jesus' righteousness. He paid the full price, He paid it all. I owe Him everything and it will take all my remaining days on earth and all eternity in heaven to express my love and gratitude for His incomparable love and sacrifice toward me.  Amen.



*¹ We found this message when we replaced our washer and dryer two years ago. Based on the serial number we determined this Sears washer, which the previous owner left when we bought the home, was at least 34 to 40 years old!

*² "Goodest" is supposedly not a word but I can't think of a better one to express my thought.



Water Street mission truck 4/20/17
Yesterday JK Mechanical, one of the companies we serve as chaplains, had a Community Work day serving to make improvements to the historic Water Street Mission in downtown Lancaster. Over 75 employees served to make our community and the world a better place. Are you a business owner or manager? This is a wonderful way to let your light shine and spruce up a non-profit community-minded ministry.

JK Mechanical at Water Street Mission workday 4/20/17
These men are running a new gas line, a skill set they have as HVAC installers.

JK Mechanical at Water Street Mission workday 4/20/17
Brooksyne watches as Ken and Fred cut some shelving.

JK Mechanical at Water Street Mission workday 4/20/17
These men were in the basement of the old textile factory that houses the mission parging over an old brick wall. This photo has an interesting Easter egg at the top. See here.
 Women were present also, but unfortunately we didn't get photos of them at work!

Tim Farrell at Water Street Mission 4/20/17
While at the mission I visited with our long-time friend Tim Farrell who serves with the mission leadership team. The mission houses 180 and serves many others.



Today's Suggested Music and
Supplemental Resources

"Nothing But the Blood"  Video  Homecoming singers  "What can wash away my sin?

"Since Jesus Came Into My Heart"  Video  The Collingsworth Family

"Thanks To Calvary (I Don't Live Here Anymore) Video   The Cathedrals

"Oh, What a Savior"  Video   Ernie Haase & Signature Sound


Dr. Frank Turek's ministry is here and provides some helpful ministry materials for download here.

JK Mechanical 

Water Street Mission  Restoring Lives - Through God all things are possible.

Finally today:
Amish pickup in New Holland, PA 4/20/17
As I waited for Brooksyne to visit the employees at Comfort Inn in New Holland yesterday this horse and buggy passed by on Main Street. It's a common sight in that area but not so common is the burgundy colored buggy with colored spokes. The local Amish have uniformly colored gray buggies and the old-order Mennonites are black so I don't know whether this was a different sect or a friendly "rebel"!



Stephen & Brooksyne Weber 4/17/16 (Click to enlarge)
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber

(Click on photo to enlarge)

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Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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