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Wednesday, June 7, 2006

"The Best Way"

"This is what the LORD says-- your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: 'I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go'" (Isaiah 48:17).

All over our country and around the world young people are graduating at this time. Last night our local public high school had graduation and several of our daughter's friends graduated. When we picked Ester up yesterday on her last day of being a junior in her high school, she had such a big smile as she approached the car.  We knew the first words from her lips would be "Now I'm a senior!"  She did not disappoint us!

Graduation is an important milestone in life and in so many ways a vital fork in the road of life. Often, due to lack of proper direction in the early formative years, so many choose the wrong way at this point.

I want to encourage graduates and all reading this to hear a very clear message from God's Word.  This morning I studied on the phrase "the way".  This specific phrase has great meaning in the Scriptures.  God chose Abraham to "command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD."  Moses urged the people to "walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you."  The Psalmist declares, "I have chosen the way of truth."  The sense of the Hebrew word for "way" in the above passages is "a course of life or mode of action."

In the New Testament Jesus said, "I am the way" and a descriptive designation for the early church in the book of Acts was "the Way".  One of the last uses of the phrase in the Bible is so pertinent to our time. It describes when, "Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute."

The daily verse expresses a truth that we all do well to hide deep in our hearts. "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you."  Truly, our Father knows best.  We all need to keep this truth before us, but our young people are especially at a point in life where there is a battle raging over this issue in their souls.  They hear so many voices asserting "this way is best for you."  But God directs us in the way we should go.

My prayer for them is well stated by the prophet Isaiah in another verse.  "Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it'" (Isaiah 30:21).  And that's my prayer for each reader today as well!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's prayer: Jesus, I pray for families whose children graduate from high school or college this year.  What a tremendous and long-range accomplishment this is in the lives of our young people.  I ask that You would empower our graduates with great foresight, godly wisdom, daily discipline, and a sense of purpose as they enter a new season of their lives.  May their hearts be fully consecrated to You as they use their natural giftings and learned skills in the marketplace.  Though much about their future is not yet revealed, You have given absolute direction about their personal spiritual walk.  No matter what field of study or where they locate geographically may Your voice be clearly heard, "This is the way; walk in it." No matter what season of life we're in, help us to never forsake the unchanging, fundamental truths we learn from steadfastly walking in Your way. We joyfully acknowledge it is the best way!

A powerful song to reinforce today's message is the classic hymn "Take My Life". Brooksyne is playing it in the background to today's podcast.  Also here's an online video version.  This is from my favorite online source of worship songs, Willingdon Church in British Columbia Canada.  This church places their entire service each week up on the web. They also archive each song and that make it very easy to find.

Yesterday I placed a photo of a wood plaque a friend made for me with out providing an explanation.
Wood art

I know many of you have seen this as it was popular when I was a young Christian in the seventies. At first sight it appears to be just strange, illegible characters. Look hard or squinting may help and you will see it says "Jesus"

Years ago a friend of mine from New England shared this story with me. He saw a couple of men coming upon this saying on a sticker on the back window of a van.  One said to the other "I know that says something, I just don't know what!"  They looked on for a few minutes until in exasperation they walked away and one of them frustratingly exclaimed, "Jesus Christ, I know that says something."  But of course they never saw it.

Scriptures used in today's message:
Genesis 18:19
Deuteronomy 5:33
Psalm 119:30
John 14:6
Acts 9:2
2 Peter 2:2

Finally today – We live an interesting area and yesterday we had a giant cow in our neighborhood!

Photo of Giant Turkey Hill Dairy cow

Actually it's a promotional cow for a local dairy. Here are some cow stories for your enjoyment!

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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. Used by permission; 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 I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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