The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Thursday, March 9, 2017
"A Child's Faith"
Mollie has to put up with Ester's penchant for taking selfies. She looks like she's ready for a factory visit with her safety glasses. But then Ester has to put up with Mollie being terrified during storms (as do we)! Five years ago Ester got Mollie when she was a 3 months old puppy as a birthday present. Today is Ester's 28th - sometimes it's hard to believe all that Ester has survived in her health ordeals, but we are so thankful for God's miraculous intervention in her life.
Message summary: If you are a believer in Jesus Christ do you "eagerly await" the return of the Savior?
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"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love" (1 John 4:18). "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body" (Philippians 3:20,21).
Today is Ester's twenty-eighth birthday. She will be joining us for our chaplaincy visits this morning and afternoon since many of the employees have met her through the years and will be pleased to see her. Then we will head over to the famous Shady Maple Smorgasbord where she will get her "free" birthday meal. (That is "free" with one paid meal!) We will celebrate with birthday cake and ice cream tonight, with our Zimbabwean friend's joining us.
Today we recall a lesson from her life many years ago when she was eleven. We were living in New England at the time and she had her second episode of atrial flutter (her heart was beating at 220 beats per minute).
This required an ambulance trip to Boston Children's Hospital and treatment in the emergency room surrounded by a team of doctors and medical students. (BCH is a teaching hospital for Harvard Medical School.)
At that time Ashley, a young girl in our church and friend of Ester's, a few years older than her, went with us and observed the emergency room treatment. Interestingly, Ashley is now an emergency room physician at the The Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. We remain friends with her parents. Her dad, Andy, developed the very first Daily Encouragement website for me in 1999. Later this month Ashley is getting married.
It was a daunting sight as the medical personnel worked on Ester. It seemed like there were about fifteen in the tight closed in room surrounding her bed, many of them observing the procedure as part of their training. Ester gets extra attention due to the extremely high heart rate brought on by her a/f. It's troublesome to look on as medical personnel decide the proper treatment, but also because she is enduring great physical distress.
In the midst of this she gave an impromptu witness crying out, "I just want to die and go to heaven and be with PaPa!" Her PaPa Sherrell (Brooksyne's dad) had died a couple of weeks earlier in Feb. of 2000. Well, we did not want to hear that and of course we still don't. A healthy, God-given instinct is the will to survive.
But it did get us to thinking. Wasn't she really expressing a faith that we wanted her to have?
We are born with only two natural fears (fear of falling and loud noises). At least that's what it says on the internet. Every other fear we learn and through life we acquire many others, including the fear of dying. We want Ester to have a strong will to live and I believe that's God-given as well. She simply has come through so much that she wouldn't be here if she didn't. But perhaps she was expressing a simple faith in that statement that should please us as Christian parents.
Read the second daily verse again. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ do you "eagerly await" the return of the Savior? For many years we have sung, "When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be." That was Ester's PaPa's favorite song and one she still associates with him and always requests during a hymn sing.
Do you believe that? I sure do and I really want to learn from a child's faith. When I die (in God's good time) I go to heaven and that's better. And I'll see a whole bunch of wonderful people, including Ester's PaPa. Most of all I'll see Jesus. As Paul said elsewhere, "I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far" (Philippians 1:23).
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, I'm so glad our citizenship is in heaven where we eagerly await our Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly bodies so that we will be like His glorious body. We're also glad for the repairs we can make to these mortal bodies that keep us living and experiencing a quality of life that makes life more bearable and our experience on earth more enjoyable. But we know that one day these bodies will give out and we will exchange them for immortal bodies that will never need repair, that will never age, and that will never grow weary. Until then help us to keep on keeping on and looking up with anticipation for the soon coming King. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Jesus Cares For Me" Video Bart Millard
"When We All Get To Heaven" Video Casting Crowns
"Just Be Held" Video Casting Crowns
"The Cross" A brief article written by Pastor Richard Dresselhaus on his blog: "One For The Road" He makes a vital point, "Sadly…in many churches this message (of the cross) has lost its place. Other things have taken over. Strategies for church growth…lectures on lifestyle issues…political posturing – they replace the focus on the cross."
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
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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