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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

"Loving God, Loving People"

"God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them"  (Hebrews 6:10).

Photo of Sister Howard and me (March 2006)
I accepted Christ when I was teenager and attended a church in Independence, Missouri. This last Spring I visited with my first pastor's wife, who is now a widow still living by herself. My brother and I had a great visit and were able to thank and bless her for the impact she and her husband had in our lives. They were great examples as they demonstrated Christ's love and total dedication to the flock. Here's a photo of "Sister Howard" and me. She and her husband are a part of my spiritual Christian heritage. 

Early in their marriage they faced a loss we can hardly imagine that required significant overcoming. While they were pastoring a church in Iowa their eleven year old son was killed by a drunk driver as he was delivering newspapers.  She wept, all these years later, as she told us the details of the heartbreaking story.  Both she and her husband understandably had a very difficult time but by God's grace they overcame and touched many for Christ and she continues in ministry to this day.

In yesterday's message* I shared from the daily verse, particularly highlighting the first two phases and the assurance they bring to counter discouragement in our service for Christ.  God is not unjust and He will not forget our work!

Now let's receive further encouragement with the latter part of the verse.  How do we show our love for God?  Surely through our praises, thankfulness, obedience and in many other ways.  But this verse specifies a way that goes to the very heart of ministry. 

Notice the phrase, "the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people."  Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me" (Matthew 25:40).  In some wonderful way as we help and serve God's people we are actually helping and serving God.

The writer of Hebrews was confident that this help was active and ongoing, as he finished the sentence with "and continue to help them."  Are you in active service for God and to His people today?  If so, keep it up.  What a great blessing long-term, faithful, dependable encouragers are. God rewards in this life but His greater reward will be given in the life to come!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's prayer: Jesus, as You call us You also equip us to reach out to others with a message of repentance, hope, and newness of life.  It is not in our own strength or ability that we can do this, but we go forth in Your name, Jesus, representing You who does all things well.  Thank You for those who, in obedience, reached out to us showing us the way to You, our Lord and Master.  Amen.

Today I have a different way of sharing a supplemental musical resource.  I encourage you to consider passing it on, along with a personal note, to someone who's like Sister Howard in your life. It's an online card with a great message and song background called "Legacy"  By clicking on this link it should open to the Dayspring site and the specific card.  Just follow the directions to play it and send it.

I am amazed at the material on this site. Here's another one that really blessed me loaded with beautiful lighthouse pictures accompanied by related Scriptures with background music.
(These pages may require a high speed internet connection)

* Yesterday's message

I also mentioned this visit with Sister Howard in the message I wrote March 31, 2006.

Yesterday I made a visit to a state prison. What a reminder of the curse of drugs and other intoxicants. The measures taken by the staff to prevent anything from coming in indicate the great determination that some must have to get them in. Among screening I was potentially subject to both a full body cavity search (which I didn't have to do!!!) and a canine search. Virtually all crime is a result of intoxicants and sexual perversions. How timeless are the truths of God's Holy Word.  One other observation was how many of the women visiting men in the prison were dressed as Muslims.

The man I visited admittedly committed a grievous crime and has a long sentence. However after he was arrested he received Christ and repented of his sin and is now seeking to serve the Lord while in prison and letting his light shine. A couple of weeks ago I shared a message about letting our light shine wherever we are and a reader wrote me whose husband is in San Quentin prison in California. She shared with me that this is a favorite chorus among the Christian prisoners and they have adapted the wording to declare, "Even in my prison cell, I'm gonna let it shine!"

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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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