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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Quarterback (but not Joe Montana!)

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"Always Watching Over Us"
"For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him" (2 Chronicles 16:9).
At this time of year many are interested in the Super Bowl; the NFL championship football game here in America.  In the weeks leading up to the game, scheduled for February 3, there's plenty of hype and promotion. Marketers see it as a great time to sell lots of stuff for super bowl parties. Big screen HD TV's are flying off the shelves like hotcakes.

The need for original advertising that captures your interest enough to sell products increases with each new year.  One of my all-time favorites was a full-sized cardboard cutout of Joe Montana, a former quarterback for the San Fransisco Forty-Niners. He was trying to get consumers to buy a snack food as I recall.

He had a sheepish grin and was holding a football as though he was ready to pass it to you.  Somehow his eyes appeared to be looking right at you with this message, "Are you ready to catch it?"  They seemed to follow you as you moved back and forth, which made the scene all the more realistic.
The daily Scripture text is a wonderful Old Testament verse that gives great assurance to true believers of all generations. "For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him."  Amazingly God is watching over us right now. His omnipresence is most reassuring when we feel as though we're all alone in this world.  The fact is that we are not!

The NASV states, "For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His." 
Psalm 34:15 has a similar thought which the apostle Peter quotes, "For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer" (1 Peter 3:12). 
There is purposefulness in God's watching over us.  He does so to "strengthen us." I sure do need strengthened today, don't you?  I am thankful that God's strength is absolutely adequate for any need I have. 
There is a responsibility we have however.  He is looking for "those whose hearts are fully committed to Him."  Once again I want to reaffirm my commitment to live for Jesus and stand for His righteous cause.  I want my heart to be fully surrendered to His plan for my life. 

Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, and whatever you're going through, I ask you to join me in making this commitment.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Heavenly Father, though we cannot see You in the heavenly kingdom, You do see us as we walk the pilgrim pathway.  You guide us through this earthly maze of sudden turns, strange territory, and even the disappointing dead ends.  Though we may be jostled from time to time in the midst of finding our way we are assured that You watch over us; our going in and our coming out.  You know our heart's cry and You strengthen us as we choose to walk the path of righteousness. Our hearts are fully committed to You and we look to You, our Father, for all our spiritual, physical, emotional and financial needs.  Your continuous spritual presence brings sweet fellowship to our soul.  Amen.

Recent Feedback
I received this note from a reader and it empowers us in this ministry of writing messages over the internet for a worldwide audience. 
"I have subscribed to your website for daily encouragement messages... I am in India and also secret Christian."
Another reader thoughtfully responded to Monday's message on "soaring like eagles."  So many of you, our readers, give us much further food for thought after you read one of our devotionals.  We've included a portion of this reader's thoughts:
"Thank you so much for the message today.  Just in the past week or so, God has been encouraging me through this very verse and the idea of soaring like an eagle.  Reading today's message encouraged me to know that God really is wanting to speak this to me. 
I've gone through a very hard season this past year and a half, with something that happened to turn my world upside down.  I have struggled with depression at times, and although I know all the right things to do, have not felt like I have the strength or willingness to believe His truths and walk in victory.  But just in the past week or so, He has been breaking through in my life once again, and has been giving me strength to believe those truths.  Last week, I was encouraged through Isaiah 40:31 in that He promises that if I hope in Him, I will soar like an eagle.....
Along with that, God has been speaking to me about hoping in Him/waiting for Him.  Another verse that has been an encouragement to me in this area is the verse that says, "Those who hope in Me will not be disappointed."  I forget the reference, but I think it's in Isaiah.
In reading the message on eagles, I was amazed at how much eagles soar effortlessly instead of striving to flap their wings--that they wait for wind to lift them up and keep them up.  And, I was also impressed that "Wind gales and storms actually stimulate soaring..." and how the eagle "locks its wings in such a position as to allow the force of the buffeting of the wind to lift it."  I was especially challenged by this:  "Rather than defeat the bird, and drain it of all its strength in an effort to stay aloft, the eagle uses the force of the storm to its own advantage, harnessing the very power sent to destroy it."  
So, I need God to show me how that will work for me--how I can lock my "wings" in a position so as to allow the force of the storms of life to lift me, and how I can use the force of the storm to my own advantage, harnessing the very power sent to destroy me.  That sounds like being on the offense against satan.  If you have any ideas of ways I can position my "wings," I would welcome any feedback. 
Finally, I looked up "soar" in the dictionary, and it says, "to rise high into the air...to float high in the air while moving forward...to fly gaining height using rising air currents..."  Could not those air currents that cause us to rise also be the wind of the Holy Spirit?  Oh, to have my wings positioned so as to soar because of the wind of the Holy Spirit lifting me.  Oh, to soar like an eagle--but He has been helping me to do that this week, and I have a taste of it.  And He promises just that as I hope in Him.
Well, I just had my quiet time with God this evening in front of the computer, and wow, did God speak to me!

Another local reader, knowing of my frustration at not being able to get a photo of the eagles along the Susquehanna, sent me some local photos.  I really like this one!

Soaring eagle along the Susquehanna
Soaring eagle along the Susquehanna
As we looked at this photo we are intriqued by the object on the front of the eagle's left wind and can't figure out what it is, perhaps another eagle in the background?

Today's Suggested Music and
Supplemental Resources

"The Eyes Of God Are Upon Me"  (Audio)

"I Lift My Eyes Up"

"Lord Reign In Me"  (Audio)

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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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