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Monday, June 11, 2007
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"Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven" (Matthew 10:32,33).
Many years ago we had a seven year old boy from New York City stay with us several weeks when we volunteered to host him as a fresh air child. The "Fresh Air" program brings children from the inner city out to suburban and rural areas during the summertime for several weeks at a time. He arrived on a Wednesday evening so Brooksyne picked him up and brought him directly to the church where I was leading the Bible Study. There were several other fresh air kids in the church staying with various families. On the following Sunday a church board member asked little Joseph, "Who are you staying with?" He pointed toward me and responded rather proudly, "'Da boss of 'da church!"
Another memorable experience we had with Joseph was our first visit to McDonalds. Like most Christians we offer thanks for our meals not only at home but also in public settings. After ordering our meal we sat down at the table, Brooksyne removed the food from the bags, and then we joined hands. Taking Brooksyne's hand was the clue to Joseph that we would offer a prayer of blessing for the food. We asked him to bow his head. Before he reluctantly obeyed he darted his eyes sharply to the right and then to the left and then exclaimed, "We ain't gonna do that in here are we?"
The little guy expressed disbelief that we would actually pray in a setting where there might be onlookers! Certainly, our motive to pray in a public gathering place was not for show like that of the Pharisees. Rather, we choose to acknowledge our thanks to God for our food whether prepared at home or in a restaurant.
Our daily Scripture portion ought to be seriously considered by all believers. I find in my life a tendency to memorize Scriptures that bring comfort much more so than those that bring conviction. "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven."
These are the very words of our Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing in the context in any way minimizes the gravity of His statement. Today let us take the words of our Lord seriously. Let us faithfully acknowledge Him before others, both believers and nonbelievers in every way possible. And let us recall the unequivocal warning He has given for the failure to do so.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily Prayer: Jesus, I contemplate Your cross of suffering and humiliation where You, though sinless and holy, died in my place. Though the onlookers scoffed You, the religious sect persecuted You, and the curious were indifferent to Your martyrdom, You willingly surrendered Your broken and tattered body on the cross as a substitute for my sins. As You shamelessly died for me, I want to unashamedly live for You. Amen.
The "Fresh Air" program
Yesterday we joined some friends for a house and garden tour in Lancaster. Old homes had been renovated and had beuatiful backyard gardens. Brooksyne is leaving a beautiful floral garden back to the city street.
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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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