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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Oregon shoreline (photo by Howard J. Blichfeldt)
Oregon shoreline
Photo by Howard J. Blichfeldt (used by permission)

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"Purchased by God!"

"And they sang a new song: 'You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation'" (Revelation 5:9).

Pastor Floyd Miles
I first met Floyd Miles about fifteen years ago when I lived in New England. At that time he was on the staff at a local Teen Challenge Center and had been saved for several years. We established a friendship and I've kept up with him through the years. He went on to establish the Teen Challenge in New Haven, Connecticut and is presently serving as a pastor in Indianapolis, Indiana.  He sent me a book that has his testimony in it.

The title of the chapter dealing with his life's story is "No Chance on Earth" and indeed his testimony is another evidence of the "wonderful grace of Jesus, reaching the most defiled."  Floyd is my age but what vastly different backgrounds we have:  he growing up in a rough inner city area in Harlem, New York City and me being raised in the small suburb of Belton, Missouri.

But now we are related through the blood of Christ! What a wonderful thing to be purchased by God!  We become a part of God's family comprised of every tribe and language and people and nation. The divine blood of Christ is the medium of exchange and it is absolutely, altogether adequate for the purchase.

Today's text is a portion of a worship song sung by the twenty-four elders as they knelt before Jesus.  It expresses the foundational act of redemption: "You were slain." It also covers redemption's glorious scope: "with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation."

Today, members of my family are everywhere. The following song stirs my heart every time I hear the words: 

It's the song of the redeemed
Rising from the African plain
It's the song of the forgiven
Drowning out the Amazon rain
The song of Asian believers
Filled with God's holy fire
It's every tribe, every tongue, every nation
A love song born of a grateful choir*

We enjoy hearing from our readers, whether local or from around the world. No experience in this life will compare to the day we meet face to face in our future dwelling place, since the vast majority of our readers we interface with only through the internet.  You are representative of the redeemed who are summoned from "every tribe and language and people and nation."  We do know that people from many tribes and languages and nations receive it. Each of our readers, cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, are equally purchased by God!  Just ask Floyd Miles when you see him in heaven.

Let every kindred, every tribe, on this terrestrial ball,
To Him all majesty ascribe, and crown Him Lord of all;
To Him all majesty ascribe, and crown Him Lord of all!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, we thank You for this medium of internet communication that makes it possible for us to join our brothers and sisters all around the world in honoring You as we grow together in Your grace and knowledge.  We are all grateful recipients of Your mercy and grace.  On a future date we will join together with the angels around the throne and our redeemed brothers and sisters and proclaim in word and song, "Praise and honor and glory and power forever and ever."  Amen.

*"He Reigns" by The Newsboys

Mirror image
Our current home
(satellite photo from Google maps)

In today's message I mentioned growing up in Belton Missouri, a small suburb south of Kansas City (BTW, most of Kansas City is in Missouri)

For as long as I can remember I have liked maps and geography. My favorite subject in school was social studies, that at that time included a lot about geography (no telling what they teach in "Social Studies" now)

The last several years I and I am sure many of you have enjoyed puttering around with Google earth and Google maps, examining where you live and other interesting places as seen from a satellite. Well, for my personal amusement I located each place where I have lived and compiled it on a web page called
my life story as seen through google maps.

Today's Suggested Music and
Supplemental Resources

"He Reigns" (audio)

"Holy, Holy, Holy"  (audio)

"How Great Thou Art"  (audio)

Today's photo is by Howard J. Blichfeldt. His website is here.

Info about multi-media files used on daily encouragement.

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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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