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Friday, December 6, 2019

Main Street gas lights in Wellsboro, PA (from publicbroadcasting.net)
Main Street, Wellsboro, PA

"Jesus The Messiah"

Message summary: Jesus the Messiah was not and is not a mere myth who needs to be demythologized.

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"This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah" (Matthew 1:1). "Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah" (Matthew 1:16). "For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty" (2 Peter 1:16).

Usually, at this time of year as well as Easter, we can count on the secular press presenting numerous articles questioning the authenticity of Jesus and the integrity of the Biblical record. Several years ago "US News and World Report" presented an article titled "The Jesus Code – America is rethinking the Messiah – again."

Throughout the centuries many have been on a quest to "reinvent" Jesus, essentially making Him into their own image. You will hear scholarly-sounding phrases such as "demythologizing" or "discovering the historical Jesus." Of course these endeavors begin with the assumption that the Gospels and New Testament record are unreliable.

When I read these articles I am always struck by the designations such as "scholars assert", which tends to lend credence to these faddish theories. Those still seeking and those who may be newer in their faith or ungrounded may find their faith shaken. After all, they are the scholars and who am I? I consider another New Testament verse, "Professing to be wise, they became fools" (Romans 1:22).

The designation "scholar" is interesting and can be so misleading. Indeed there are many who are educated and attain the title "scholar" who do not have faith in Christ. Typically when these secular articles are written they seek out these unbelieving scholars. They are presented as objective but that's far from the truth. It's true not only in theology but in other fields as well.

But there are also many scholars who believe the Bible and stay true to the Faith.  Some have kept their faith in spite of the onslaught of cynicism and unbelief they faced while attaining a "higher education".  And then there are others who, at one time did not believe, but eventually examined the evidence and by God's grace turned in faith to the Lord!

Lee Strobel, a journalist who at one time was an unbelieving skeptic, came to believe in the Christian faith. He wrote the "The Case For" series. His first book (as I recall) was "The Case For Christ" written from the perspective of a skeptic searching for the truth about Jesus Christ. In it he interviews a series of world-renowned scholars who are recognized specialists in their field of study. I'm particularly blessed by the way he asks many of them at the end of the interview how their study had impacted their personal faith and life.

This week we began with the blank page in our Bibles between the Old and New Testament and then considered the very first verse in Matthew's Gospel. Today we use the final verse in Matthew's genealogy, a portion not often quoted; "Jacob, the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of who was born Jesus, who is called the Christ". The genealogy of Christ, although not among the most exciting reading in Scripture, places our Lord Jesus Christ clearly in the historical record. Jesus the Messiah was not and is not a mere myth who needs to be demythologized.

I can learn of the historical Jesus in these sacred pages of Holy Scripture and I'm not interested in a reinvention, nor a reinvention of the reinvention, for when we dabble that's what happens. I firmly believe that the Gospels present the truth about Christ and I rest my faith on this teaching rather than the fickle views of the latest "scholarly" musings.

I find great encouragement in the Apostle Peter's straightforward reminder: "We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty" (2 Peter 1:16). Many years ago Brooksyne and I, before we ever came together, chose to follow "Jesus The Messiah" and this day, December 6, 2019 we once again make that declaration! We urge all our readers to do the same.

One day when heaven was filled with His praises,
One day when sin was as black as could be,
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin—
Dwelt among men, my example is He!

Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me;
Buried, He carried my sins far away;
Rising, He justified freely forever:
One day He's coming—O glorious day!


Be encouraged today,


Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, there is much authenticity available through the annals of history and most importantly the written Holy Scriptures - that You sent Your Son, Jesus, to earth in the form of a babe to be born to a virgin maiden. Your Son was sent for the major purpose of bearing the sins of humankind upon Himself as He died in our place. Those unwilling to receive these facts based upon the Scriptures will constantly be searching and find only the ever-evolving explanations, rationalizations, clarifications, enlightenment, or whatever the current fad teaching is during their quest. When we come to You in faith we accept that which is written in Scripture and base our lives upon its teaching, putting to death our old sin nature and rising to life our spiritual nature. Thank You for this glorious transformation. Amen.



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Special Year-end Financial Appeal

We want to thank all who have financially supported our ministry this past year (and some for many years!). We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. Like many ministries, we typically see a spike in giving at the end of the year for which we are most thankful.

Our ministry labor is comprised of approximately half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive compensation. Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each would provide half of our ministry expenses and income.

If you would consider making a donation to our ministry see here for more information.

To donate directly online here. This will open to a page that designates the offering to: WEBER,STEPHEN CHAP, Specialized Chaplaincy Ministry ID: 700001-237376

Make A DonationPlease Note: We also provide this easy option due to the convenience, for international supporters, and for those who may not be concerned regarding receiving an official tax deductible receipt. Click here to send an offering using PayPal. This will open to a page that states "Brooksyne Weber"

Thank you,

Stephen & Brooksyne



Jean, a reader from Maine wrote concerning yesterday's message: I just wanted to say that L.L. Bean has changed their "lifetime guarantee" (that people were abusing - I knew a man who took good shoes - that had worn well - back for years and years and kept getting a free pair.) They still have a great guarantee though. A one year warranty - but if there is evidence of inferior quality they will make it right. And they now require a proof of purchase. People were buying L.L. Bean clothes at lawn sales and taking them back!



Ed from northern, PA provided the answer to our initial quiz yesterday:

Albert Benjamin Simpson
Dwight Lyman Moody
Clive Stapes Lewis
Frederick Fyvie Bruce
Aiden Wilson Tozer
Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Harry S. Truman - The S. is only an initial, he did not have a middle name. The initial honors his grandfathers, Anderson Shipp Truman and Solomon Young.

Speaking of Bible scholars and those known by their initials I recently watched this thought-provoking video by N.T. Wright. He is a preeminent New Testament scholar, best known for his works defending orthodox Christian belief. His initials stand for Nicholas Thomas. In the video (5 years old) his concept of the danger of changing the meaning of words is very instructive, even more so today given the gender nonsense flooding our country.



Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)"   Video  Casting Crowns



Finally today:
Main Street gas light in Wellsboro, PA (from Pinterest, https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevecarroll/)
A gas street light in Wellsboro, PA

Wellsboro is a small hamlet in northern Pennsylvania. This Saturday they have the "Dickens of a Christmas Celebration". That's why I posted the Main Street Wellsboro photo as our lead photo today. (They are real gas lights.) In our view Wellsboro is the prettiest small town in northern PA. It's really kind of like Bedford Falls, the fictional town in "It's A Wonderful Life"!

Here's a description of the celebration from the website:

Are you looking for a getaway weekend to rekindle the old fashioned Christmas spirit? Then plan to join us in Wellsboro on Saturday, December 7th, 2019 for the 36th annual Dickens of a Christmas. Wellsboro's Main Street and the surrounding side streets will be closed to traffic and will become an early Victorian marketplace featuring all types of delectable wares for eating and drinking, as well as delightful gift items for wearing or enjoying.

Beginning at 9:00 a.m., the food and craft vendors, strolling musicians and singers, dancers, and street corner thespians will spread up and down Main Street, extending on to Waln and Crafton Street, and a portion of Central Avenue. Performers and vendors will be appropriately costumed and decorated to create a Victorian atmosphere that fits so well with the Wellsboro Gas Lights. With the streets closed to traffic, you have the freedom to stroll and enjoy the festivities.

Wellsboro is located here on Google map

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Stephen and Brooksyne Weber at Longwood Gardens 8/10/19
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
Longwood Gardens, August 2019

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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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