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Monday, December 31, 2007

Farmhouse south of Mount Joy PA
Farmhouse south of Mount Joy Pennsylvania
We had a light snowfall through the night.  This is a rural farmouse several miles from our home.
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"He Leadeth Me"

"For He Himself knew what He would do" (John 6:6).

Last night we attended a music concert that featured Gordie and Marie Barlow. I first came across this musical couple when doing a search for online music that we often feature following our devotional.  Since I am using a search engine the music I find may be from musicians anywhere in the world.  Months ago I came across a song and really liked the sample music so I read about the musicians on their website. In reading the "Contact Us" page I found that they lived in a small village only about 3 miles from our home!  Last night Marie sang a classic old hymn, "He Leadeth Me" which in part prompted today's final encouragement message for 2007.  Though Marie has a "broadway" voice she sings this hymn with a country flare as her husband accompanies her on the banjo.

Early in my Christian life I benefited from a small daily devotional book titled "From Day To Day" by Frank Gaebelein, who is now with the Lord.  In fact this book has influenced the style in which I write each daily encouragement more than any single work. I still have the book, though now it's a rather frayed hardcover.  Essentially Dr. Gaebelein had a real knack for taking a portion of a verse that we may tend to overlook in our Bible reading and then he would further expound upon it.  I will use an example of his writing today that has blessed me and is so pertinent to our own experience in walking with the Lord by faith. He is commenting on the daily verse, "For He Himself knew what He would do."

"When the Lord Jesus asked Philip how bread might be secured for the hungry crowd, it was important for Him to test the faith of Philip-important not for Himself but for Philip's sake that he might have a lesson in the infinite resources of the Lord.  "For He Himself knew what He would do."  This is always true of our Lord.  There is comfort in the fact that He can never be taken by surprise.  Though the circumstances of our lives sometimes seem plan-less, when they are in Christ's control we may be sure that our Lord knows what He is doing. To really trust such a Master really means security from worry and concern.  Christ indeed knows His business; ours is the responsibility of obeying His commands."

As I seek to apply today's verse to my life what a joy and comfort to know the eternal Christ who does not change.  He knows exactly what He is doing and how He is going to do it.  We become the wiser as we learn to trust His plan instead of our own. "We may make our plans, but God has the last word" (Proverbs 16:1 TEV) is a proverb I memorized years ago. This truth instills peace in my heart when God seems rather silent as I am seeking His direction about a matter.  I'm comforted in knowing that He overrules my plans, even those with good intentions, for the greater good of my Christian walk when I submit all my plans to His management.

Today is both a time of reflection and a time of anticipation. We can testify that God has led us and are assured that he will continue to lead us.  But the phrase "He leadeth me" is in the present tense and that can be our declaration.  Brooksyne and I realize that the coming year will certainly bring challenges in various ways, as it always does. We find great assurance that indeed our Lord knows what He will do.  We cling to this complimentary promise from the Psalms, "The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me" (Psalm 138:8).  And that is true for each dear child of God, including you!

He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.

Be encouraged today and have a blessed New Year,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, we want to be your faithful follower as You fulfill Your purpose in our lives.  The Psalmist traced Your hand to the secret place where all Your ordained plans were written for his life even before he drew his first breath.    We too can trace Your hand in the origin of our birth right up to the present day in which we close out another year.  You have ordained the trials, the victories, the losses, the gains and all the paths laid out for us even before we were conceived in our mother's womb.   We trust You for the days ahead and new year that lies before us that You will supply needed wisdom and staying power for the challenges that are certain to come as they did for Moses, Daniel, Paul, for other believers throughout the centuries and for those in our present day.  We will not fear or dread the future as we look ahead through eyes of faith. The victory is on the horizon because of the conquering power of our soon coming King! Amen.

John 6:1-15 is the entire context of today's passage.

Today is my Mom's 87th birthday, although she is now with the Lord. We reflect on how young she is in her new eternal home!

Today's Suggested Music

"He Leadeth Me"
Marie Barlow (Audio sample)  This is not a full version but will give you a pretty good idea of their quality. Gordie played the happy sounding banjo live but the incredible strings were on a background track.
Vocal acapella (a full version with great harmony by the Drummond family!)  (Audio)
Instrumental by James M. Stevens  (Audio) This is also the background to today's podcast.

Here's another song Gordie and Marie Barlow sang last night that we really enjoy.  This arrangement we first heard by Selah.  
"You Are My Hiding Place"  (Audio sample)
Here's their website.

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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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