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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Stan and Deb, youth leaders
Stan and Deb, along with Ester

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"Faithful Messengers"

"The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them through His messengers again and again, because He had pity on His people and on His dwelling place" (2 Chronicles 36:15).

During the six years that our daughter, Ester, has been attending the church youth group Stan and Deb have been her leaders.  Each week they, along with several other adult volunteers, seek to impact young people for Christ, countering the ungodly influences from the world that youth are barraged with.

Last night following the service Ester insisted that I take a picture of her along with Stan and Deb. Stan is a hardworking chicken farmer and his wife home schools the youngest of their three sons.  They are a family seeking to live for Jesus Christ.  Several years ago I had the privilege of conducting the marriage ceremony for their oldest son.

It seems almost daily we see news in which we react, "Wow, has our cultural slide really gotten this bad?"  On a parent's night in Ester's school here in Lancaster County I noted a poster essentially condoning immorality.  There's a danger to getting used to what shocked us in the past, and if we're not on our guard in maintaining high standards, we gradually become tolerant to the point of acceptance. After all, acceptance and tolerance are presented as the main virtues in our postmodern world, along with the new redefined meaning of "diversity."

Consider the final days of Judah to its fall and captivity into Babylon.  There are some outstanding parallels between this time and our own.  The daily verse is referring to this period.  "The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them through His messengers again and again."  We have been abundantly blessed with messengers who have faithfully declared God's Word.  Very few of these messengers have been famous or would be recognized by many readers.  In fact the vast majority who labor spiritually are much like Stan and Deb who are  virtually unknown outside their own church and community. 

These faithful messengers call people to believe, repent and serve God.  On several occasions I have caught the end of a youth service and heard Stan passionately challenge the teens to follow the Lord.

These messengers faithfully witness for Christ with their lives and words.  They're in virtually every neighborhood and workplace all around the world.  What kind of response to their message do many of them receive?  Often the same as the messengers of old, "But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words, and misused His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy" (2 Chronicles 36:16).

Faithful Christian witness, you're in good company as you continue to proclaim God's truth to a generation where few want to hear.  Continue to proclaim the eternal truths of God's Word with your life, your words, and your faithful acts of service even when you're mocked. 

Consider these words of our Lord: "No servant is greater than his master.  If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.  They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me" (John 15:20,21).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer:  Father, how grateful we are for those who lend support, provide godly instruction, and give direction to our children during a very critical time period in their lives. What a wonderful blessing they are to parents who are committed to raising their children in the ways of the Lord.  Help these godly servants never to give up in sowing seeds of right living, for as they are faithful to Your calling, they will reap a harvest of young people committed to following You and doing Your will.

Ester with Stan in chicken barnStan and Deb raise organic chickens. This photo shows the baby chicks the day they arrive from the hatchery.

Today's recommended song resource is a  song by Scott Wesley Brown titled, "This Little Child" which in my view is one of his greatest songs. (Here are two full length mp3 versions from his website available as a free download)
Original version
African version

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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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