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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Blue butterfly
This photo was not taken today!
It was taken last June when the butterflies were abundant among the flowers.
This photo was taken on a Sedum plant in our front yard.
 It not only illustrates today's message but heartens us as well o
n today's cold, wintry day!
(See photo below for today's scene.)

ListenClick here to listen to this message on your audio player.

"A New Identity"

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"  (2 Corinthians 5:17).

If you're like me you receive a barrage of offers. They come through snail mail, email, print media and their ads run on the radio and TV. They may even come knocking at your door.   I wonder if there are real people who fall for this stuff but since the offers continue and even increase I realize there are.  P.T. Barnum said, "A sucker is born every minute" and he’s sure right!

Here’s one that caught my attention.  It touted that for the introductory price of only $19.95 it could give you a brand new identity.  The deal promises that "The best thing about having a new you is that you have PERFECT credit, you can take a vacation on your newly found credit and never worry about the bills if you don't want to."  I wonder if they allow people to put the $19.95 introductory price on that same credit card?  Well, I suppose that enough suckers will respond to make this innovative thief a small fortune.

There are many who earnestly want a new identity. It may be in regard to their facial features, body size, age marks, their seedy past, or whatever else troubles them and doesn’t go away on its own.  The products that “promise” results line the store shelves, fill the air waves and cram my junk email folder. 

The Scripture offers the promise of a new identity that's been proven valid over and over for 2,000 years.  Millions can testify to the integrity of this promise, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 

John Newton, the former slave trader best known for writing "Amazing Grace" in 1774, said late in his life, "My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things – that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior."  I sure hope my memory is that sharp when I'm nearing death.  After all, everything one needs to know about what will take him into eternity are spoken in this simple yet profound statement.

When I committed my life to Christ I became a new creation.  The daily Scripture verse was one of the first that I ever memorized.  The change in my life was both immediate and progressive.  Men and women from "every nation, tribe, people and language" have accepted this new identity and many are doing so every day.  The promise is freely available to each of you reading this. Have you accepted Christ’s offer?  It is the real deal and the only one that has eternal value!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, there is no sin too great that Your mercy is not greater.  We were born with a sin problem, but You provided the solution for our sin sick souls through the wondrous sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus Christ.  We could never be good enough, rich enough, famous enough – nothing we offer is enough.  Anything we offer is sin-based because of our human condition and all that Christ offers is sin-less because He is the Lamb without blemish.  Only Jesus, the sinless Lamb of God, is enough to pay for our sins.  Thank You for Your gift of eternal life.

Brooksyne's note: In the classic hymn, Amazing Grace, John Newton wrote another verse that is rarely published in hymnals.  Try singing this less familiar verse to the tune of Amazing Grace. It's pictoral wording is even more special for those of us looking out our windows to landscapes of snow today.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, Who called me here below,
Shall be forever mine.

We would also like to share audio files of two songs  today.
"Amazing Grace"  Audio   Video
"Your Grace Still Amazes Me"  Audio

2007 snow storm
The front view of our house from across the street.
I took this with a howling wind to my back!
Notice that someone ran into our mailbox cracking the post and destroying our original mailbox.

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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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