A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Home About Us Archives Free email subscription Listen to these messages
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Click here to listen to this message on your audio player.
Today's background music is "It Is Well With My Soul."
Mephibosheth bowed down and said, "What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?" (2 Samuel 9:8).
We received word this morning that a long-time friend of ours has gone home to be with the Lord. For many years Wilfred was the greeter at our church in northern Pennsylvania and many in that church will fondly remember his warm smile. For the last several years he has been confined to a nursing home in an increasingly diminished mental state.
Brooksyne leads in weekly hymn sings in several nursing homes. As expected, most of the residents are elderly but in one particular setting she also has an opportunity to minister to the disabled. Bill*, who has a horribly disfigured face due to a congenital birth defect, regularly attends these hymn sings. His condition is called Sturge-Weber's syndrome, named for the two doctors who discovered this disfiguring disease. His head is oversized, his face is misshaped, and his features are so out of proportion that he deals with curious people who point and stare at him in revulsion when he is in public settings.
It is my heart's desire to be filled with compassion toward people like Bill. Mephibosheth is among my favorite "lesser known" Bible characters. His story is told in 2 Samuel 9 and if you're not familiar with his life you may need to read this entire chapter and some study material about him. Today's message is a summary.
He had a lot more than his share of problems and was now the sole surviving member of Saul's family with David as the king. His own personal esteem was horrendous. He considered himself a "dead dog." Since dogs were not valued by the Hebrew culture (in the sense we do as pets) this self-description packs a double whammy, kind of like us saying "a dead skunk like me." But David models the love of God when he sought Mephibosheth out and made a place at the King's table for him. This is an excellent illustration of grace exhibited in the Old Testament.
Some of you reading this just may not be able to identify with Mephibosheth at all. Life is going pretty good. Most importantly you have an assurance of God's love and a network of caring people around you. I encourage you to consider others who may need a lift today by your expression of personal interest or your act of kindness. David so powerfully illustrates God's grace in the fact that he didn't wait for Mephibosheth to cross his path, but actually made the necessary effort to locate him and then chose to personally bless him. How can you demonstrate that grace today?
Others reading this really identify with Mephibosheth. Life's always been hard and you wonder when and if things will ever work out. It's been one hard blow after another and you sometimes feel like a "dead dog". You wonder if anyone loves you, if anyone really cares. And here you are reading this message. God wants you to understand and receive His love and care. He wants you to hold onto this unchanging truth:
God loves you and He cares about you.
The fact is, apart from the love and mercy of God every one of us are "dead dogs". "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!"
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Jesus, I pray that from Your glorious, unlimited resources You will give your mighty inner strength through the power and presence of Your Holy Spirit. May our readers who trust in You have the power to understand how wide, how long, how high, and how deep Your love really is. May they experience Your love, Jesus, though it is so great they will never fully comprehend it. As we release Your mighty power that is at work within, we are able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope for. May we not be limited by our own power, but be ulimited by Your power that is within.
The Daily Prayer is adapted from Ephesians 3:16-20.
Context of today's passage: 2 Samuel 9
Brooksyne' note: *Bill is a fictional name used for privacy reasons. An interesting coincidence is that He's the first person I've ever met who was born on the very same day and year as I. He is thought to be the oldest person living with this disorder, as most born with Sturge-Weber's Syndrome has a shortened life span. Info about Sturge-Weber's Syndrome.
Here are some helpful materials for those who may identify with Mephibosheth
"When Life is Unfair"
"Why Would a Good God Allow Suffering?"
I received the following testimony yesterday. It comes as a result of a message I wrote several weeks ago. The brother who wrote it asked that I share it with readers of the Daily Encouragement as a public witness of one who chose to listen to God's voice in the midst of lustful temptation:
"The very day you published this topic ''FLEE FROM SEXUAL IMMORALITY'', I was to meet a girl in a hotel to commit adultery with her, I am married and she is not, but we had both agreed to do it. Instantly, I remembered your message and I meditated upon it over and over again and I was ministered to by the SPIRIT OF GOD. I overcame that day by the blood of the LAMB and by the WORD of my testimony."
Today's suggested music resource is a powerful worship song titled "How Deep The Father's Love For Us" that expresses our Father's love for each one of us. We have sure enjoyed singing this song in several churches we have been a part of and it is an example of rich, sound theology in a contemporary song. This version is by a musician named Jason Denison. Here's a version by a female singer named Sarah Sadler.
Sign up for the free daily email encouragement at www.dailyencouragement.net
New subscribers receive a link to free computer desktop background photos with Scriptures!
Permissions: Please feel free to pass on, reproduce and distribute any material on Daily Encouragement Net, in part or in whole, in any format, provided that you do not alter the wording in any way or charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. It is our desire to spread this material, not protect or restrict it. I do request that you keep the contact, copyright and subscription information intact.
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."
Daily Encouragement Net is an affiliate of Christianbook.com
Daily Encouragement Net - 495 Kraybill Church Road - Mount Joy, PA 17552
"Living securely today anchored in God's solid foundation"