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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Moraine Lake (photo by Howard J. Blichfeldt)
Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks
Banff National Park, Alberta Canada
Photo by Howard J. Blichfeldt (used by permission)
Click on the photo for a larger image, suitable for a desktop background.

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"He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us" (2 Corinthians 1:10).

We periodically enjoy drawing from past memories to illustrate a spiritual truth and some of the memories we have are somewhat humorous.  In the church we served in New England we had a guest musical family from Canada.  Early in the service we sang a song that spoke of God's delivering power. If memory serves me correctly it was the time honored hymn, “He Is Able to Deliver Thee.” Before launching into the song our guest song leader instructed the pianist to pause between verses and allow the people to share in a single word about God’s deliverance power in their lives.

Throughout the congregation one by one folks spoke out with responses such as "alcohol", "self-centeredness", "fear", "pride", etc.  In many cases, as pastor, I knew their testimony and was blessed to hear them express it before others.

Then little four-year-old Kyle boldly raised his hand.  I couldn’t imagine what he had been delivered from, but when he was called upon he spoke out in a very matter of fact way; "drugs."  Well, of course he had never had a drug problem, but he had probably heard of drugs as something people were delivered from. Our church was located in a small city and we had our share of troubled people and those who had been delivered from drugs.  You can imagine the shocked look on his mother's face!  (That would have been a Kodak moment!)

But Kyle had the right idea for God's delivering power and there are many thousands who can testify to deliverance from drugs and many other sinful, destructive lifestyles.  I have a friend on my heart as I prepare this message who really needs deliverance. He has a crippling addiction that is negatively impacting every area of his life.

God is still delivering people today. I have met many and have seen genuinely changed lives. The greatest demonstration of God's deliverance is His deliverance from sin.  All true believers in Christ can testify to this miraculous deliverance. Paul wrote of the powerful work of the Father: "For He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of His Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins" (Colossians 1:13,14).  What a great contrast – deliverance from hopeless eternal darkness to hope-filled eternal light. No promotion on this earth is equal to such a spiritual promotion!

In our daily verse Paul spoke of the reality of past deliverance and the assurance that God will continue to deliver. In this case it was his deliverance from the persecutions, hardships and even threats of death that were his common experience in ministry. "He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us."

Let's rejoice with His glorious provision today, fellow believer.  Consider the "deadly peril" that God has delivered you from and praise Him!  Call out to Him and trust Him for any deliverance You need in your life today.  May we, in the midst of our present circumstances, "set our hope that He will continue to deliver us."

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer:  Father, Your kingdom of light stands in great contrast to Satan’s dominion of darkness.  As Your children we want our lives to be characterized by light, the light of Your Holy Spirit, who dwells within our hearts.  Thank You for taking us out of the dominion of evil and placing us under the benevolent rule of Your Son, Jesus Christ.  This brought about a great deliverance from our powerless life where we had no control over the evil one to a life where Your indwelling power can conquer any foe.   You have not only delivered us in the past but You will continue to deliver us from the venomous attacks of Satan as we set our hope in You.  In the precious name of our Lord Jesus, we pray.  Amen.

Brooksyne's Note: As we write concerning today's topic we also consider the lifelong consequences of so many addictions that aren't necessarily removed when we turn to Christ. We both recall a troubled man named James who attended the church rather sporadically over many years. James did profess a faith in Christ and had a testimony of deliverance.  He had gone through a Christian rehab program but the years of heavy drug use had taken a toll on his brain and he was unable to function normally or interact properly with others.  Some fall under grace and the consequences of their sin-filled life are seemingly erased while others wear life-long scars.    Better to heed the cautions of the Bible and stay away from that which brings momentary pleasure but a potential lifetime of heartache.  As we've said before, "Sin will take you farther than you want to go and hold onto you longer than you want."

Here's an online video of a sermon portion I have been blessed by for many years titled "Jesus Christ Is My King!"  I have heard the audio many times but this version places the audio message up along with the words and photo backgrounds. S.M. Lockridge powerfully describes Jesus Christ!

Today's Suggested Music and
Supplemental Resources

"He Is Able To Deliver Thee"  Instrumental Audio (organ)  It occurs to us that not many recent songs have been written (that we are aware of anyway) on the topic of deliverance.

"All Hail The Power"  Audio  We have written a message about the wonderful story of deliverance from martyrdom associated with this great hymn here.

"By His Wounds"  Audio

Today's stunning mountain photo is by Howard J. Blichfeldt and is used with his permission. His website is here.  Howard has also given me permission to place a Scripture verse, hymn portion or part of a quote on his work (as I did today). These work great as desktop background photos to reinforce your faith and encourage others. Although I expect to continue to use my own photography and periodically photos from others who have given me permission, Howard's nature photography is very well suited as I develop pictorial themes such as today's photo.  

To make this (or any photo) a desktop background merely right click and select "set as background"

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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