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Friday, January 26, 2007
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"I, the LORD, speak the truth; I declare what is right" (Isaiah 45:19).
When I pastored in Massachusetts we had a large changeable message sign on the busy highway (US 44) in front of our church. For many years Bill and Veda, a dedicated senior couple, faithfully changed the message each week to provide a sentence sermon for drivers and pedestrians passing by. We normally used a Scripture portion or short spiritual saying as a witness for the Lord.
One week we used a saying simply stating, "Abortion Stops A Beating Heart." A day or two later I received a call from a lady identifying herself as a neighbor who was very upset about the message. She didn't feel that she and her children needed to be exposed to this "hate speech" and told me how much better the world would be if there weren't people like me.* She ended the call by saying, "I wish someone would stop your heart from beating" and hung up. Wow, that was sure a loving statement!
Now the statement "Abortion Stops A Beating Heart" is incontrovertibly true. The tiny baby's heart is indeed beating by the time the vast majority of elective abortions are performed. In fact the heart is beating three weeks after conception.
The angry caller typifies the world's response to truth. In our postmodern world the vast majority of learning institutions are proponents of making truth relative rather than absolute. But the ultimate giver of truth is Jesus and the world tried to silence Him. The church is to be the "the pillar and foundation of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:15). The world also wants to silence the true church yet we must unapologetically, unashamedly, and unfearfully speak out the truth even if it's not popular. We must do it even though we will be increasingly hated and ridiculed for taking such a stand.
God has revealed Himself so powerfully in the daily Scripture portion: "I, the LORD, speak the truth; I declare what is right" (Isaiah 45:19). Indeed He does and so must we!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen C. Weber
Daily Prayer: Father, You established the very essence of what truth is, by its definition as well as its character quality. Truth is not subject to our moods, circumstances or desires, but it is absolutely established by Your Holy Scriptures. Though deception is a way of life for many people help us to be people of truth. Help us to restrain from telling half-truths, twisting facts in our favor, or practicing any form of deception. We desire to be people of truth who are not harsh or proud. We want to be Your representives, Father, who are humble and obedient as we speak the truth in love. Amen.
Note from Brooksyne: My oldest sister, Margie, passed away last evening. I enlist your prayers on behalf of my family during our time of bereavement. She was 57 years old and experienced poor health for many years. She had colon surgery Dec. 26 and was recovering at home when she went into cardiac arrest on January 11. The attempt to revive her left her in a comatose state for the past two weeks. It has been an extremely difficult time for her husband and her two sons who remain. I will be flying to Tulsa, OK to be with the family tomorrow. We thank you for your thoughtful prayers at this time. Several members of my family need Jesus in their lives and I pray that this will be a time of spiritual harvest. Margie is with the Lord now – she was a believer.
* One day the true church will be removed and the world will indeed have the opportunity to see how much "better" things will be!
Another interesting recollection of the conversation with the neighbor mentioned in today's message was that she begrudgingly acknowledged, due to free speech, our church's right to expression. But it was almost as if in her mind such an expression should be out of the bounds of free speech. We enjoyed our 7½ years of pastoral service in Massachusetts and many readers in this series are from that portion of the country. May God bless and strengthen you as you stand for the Lord in a region increasingly hostile to the Christian faith. Of course this hostility is spreading and we here in the Bible belt of the Northeast (south-central Pennsylvania) also experience it, but having lived in both regions there is still a major difference.
I just read of a site directed to young people that encourages blasphemy and mocking God. Here's information about this and a site that provides an opportunity to counter with a testimony.
I also recommend this site this is on as a source of perspective.
Today's song is one of my favorites by "Casting Crowns." Many of you have heard it. Here's a rather low audio quality online version.
"The Voice of Truth" (audio)
"But the voice of truth tells me a different story.
The voice of truth says 'do not be afraid'.
And the voice of truth says 'This is for my glory'.
Out of all the voices calling out to me.
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth."
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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.
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