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Thursday, September 20, 2007

City view
New York City

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"He Reigns!"

"Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!"  (Revelation 19:6,7).

We shared in a footnote yesterday about our experience at the Tuesday evening prayer meeting at the Brooklyn Tabernacle. The service started at 7:00 PM but the doors opened at 5:00. By the time we arrived at 6:00 the huge sanctuary was already filling up. During this time worshipful instrumental music was playing in the background and many seemed to be in a spirit of prayer. Quite a number had gathered at the altar in the front of the sanctuary.  At 6:30 people in need of special prayer were welcomed to the front.

By 7:00 it appeared the sanctuary was practically filled and the service began quietly as people throughout the congregation began singing softly.  When the vocalists sitting on the platform took the microphones the singing built into a crescendo as the words of a song solemnly proclaimed "He reigns."  The music was as close as I imagine "heavenly singing" will be. Hands raised all through the sanctuary and one by one people stood up in worship to the King of kings.  What a glorious way to begin a mid-week service!

I searched all over for that song on the internet today but was unable to find it. Perhaps it's a new song unique to that church. If so I expect it will be on a future Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir CD. It was slow and worshipful but rose to a crescendo of powerful declaration, "He reigns!"

Brooksyne and I are reading a book together titled, "Facing Terror", the autobiography of Carrie McDonnall, who along with her husband and several missionary friends, experienced a deadly terror attack while serving the Lord. As we read the story we are again mystified by God's ways but rejoice in the assurance that God reigns even in the midst of the humanly unexplainable.

All over the world today Christ's people are making a proclamation of the reigning Lord and His Kingdom is being lovingly expanded around the globe. I am convinced that the vast amount of this extension is taking place in small ways and is barely noticeable. Cookies are being baked for a youth center, visits are being made to nursing homes, Christians are letting their light shine where they work, families are welcoming orphans into their Christian homes.

Deep in the Middle East a medical clinic provides care to the impoverished masses. In Africa the "Jesus" video is being shown in a small rural village because a faithful missionary trudged through the dense bush to reach it. And in the great cities churches like the Brooklyn Tabernacle and scores of others are faithfully proclaiming the redemption message.

God's redeemed children are about their Master's business. We are declaring in scores of different ways our foundational belief that "He reigns." Our daily text is a glimpse of the other side described as "a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouts: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns!"  Amen!

Allow this truth to minister to you in regard to your trials and troubles this day.  That health matter that is so uncertain.  He reigns!  The job or financial situation that looks like a long, dark tunnel and at this point you really can't see the light at the end.  He reigns!  The family troubles that seem to only get worse.  He reigns!  Today as we remember this glorious truth, "Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!"

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, help us to listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit that will reveal ways that we can be used to further Your kingdom and expand the gospel message at home and abroad.  As You reign in our hearts may our lives bear fruit that will bring glory to Your name.  Amen. 

Additional notes concerning our visit to the Brooklyn Tabernacle:
  • Apparently the "dress down" fad has not caught on at this church. The pastor still wore a suit and tie on Tuesday night and the congregation was dressed neatly in "church" clothes. We probably stood out as tourists since we were dressed very casually.  I find this interesting in light of the "seeker sensitive" emphasis that stresses, "Don't make outsiders uncomfortable so dress down to make them fit in."  Imagine the homeless and drug addicted and gang members that Brooklyn Tab has reached by the thousands.  The bottom line is that it isn't the dress that people from the outside are attracted to, but it's the warmth and interest an outsider feels when entering the doors of a strange church and being greeted by a church member.  When we dress for church, let's make sure it's more than just a particular selection of clothes we wear.  Let's also make certain our hearts are hospitable and friendly toward outsiders so they can feel the welcoming atmosphere of a caring church family.
  • Pastor Cymbala shared a heartfelt message and the attentiveness and quietness throughout the congregation during his message was outstanding.
  • They took an offering for the church and a Haitian ministry. We were sitting in the back of the first section and by the time the deep offering bucket got to us it was overflowing. The man next to me squashed it down so more would fit in. First time I ever saw that in church!
Here's the church website.

Here's information concerning the book we referred to in the message.

Facing Terror
By Carrie N. McDonnall with Kristin Billerbeck
/ Thomas Nelson
Facing TerrorMarch 15, 2004: Carrie and David McDonnall had just spent the day surveying refugee camps. They were in a hurry to reach the safety of their home before nightfall. Suddenly the crowded street they were on became eerily silent. And the, out of nowhere came an explosion of bullets and shrapnel...Within hours, their tragedy was all over the news. But who was this couple? And what motivated them to risk their lives working in a land torn apart by centuries of conflict? Here is Carrie and David's captivating story of falling in love with God, with each other-and with the Arab Muslims they were called to serve. Click here for ordering information.

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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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