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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Geese across Donegal Creek
Geese along Donegal Creek

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"I Am Convinced!"

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38,39).  "I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day" (2 Timothy 1:12).

AthanasiusAthanasius, an early bishop of Alexandria, stoutly opposed the teachings of Arius, who declared that Christ was not the eternal Son of God, but merely a subordinate being. Hounded through five exiles, he was finally summoned before emperor Theodosius, who demanded he cease his opposition to Arius. The emperor reproved him and asked, “Do you not realize that all the world is against you?” Athanasius quickly answered, “Then I am against all the world.”

Today our world desperately needs followers of Christ like Athanasius who, with deep conviction, stand boldly for the Lord and His Word regardless of what is popular or what the world may say is right.  You've likely seen the slogan, "What's popular isn't always right, and what's right isn't always popular." 

The words in the daily text "I am convinced" are a great source of strength and assurance for the believer. Living in a state of being convinced is an essential part of living the God-ordained life of spiritual abundance. If we are really convinced of God's love and care we are blessed indeed! This conviction is an internal, personal appropriation of a constant, unchanging spiritual reality. You see, the reality is that God loves and cares for His own, whether we are convinced of it or not. The Amplified Version conveys a strong sense of the meaning when it translates: "I am persuaded beyond doubt."
In this section of the epistle to the Romans the apostle Paul is expressing his supreme confidence in God's master plan for his own life and for His Kingdom. He asks a very important question, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?" (Romans 8:35). He responds to his own question with this glorious verse of assurance: "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:37).
We are dealing with issues that would never have crossed our minds several years ago. These issues have tremendous impact on the personal, nationwide, and worldwide levels. Error is not creeping but charging into the church in such ways that our forefathers would never have imagined.  New sources of fear abound. Uncertainty permeates. We shake our heads in wonder as to what this world is coming to?  Today we sure need the same sense of being convinced that Paul experienced, don't we?

Bill and Gloria GaitherBill and Gloria Gaither, authors of over 700 inspirational songs, experienced fear and uncertainty surrounding the birth of their son Benjamin in 1970, which eventually became the seedling for the much loved classic, “Because He Lives.”  Today we have posted below a powerful video version of this song.

World conditions and personal trials can rob us of peace but let us instead seek the Peacespeaker.  He speaks not only to the winds and waves of the sea but He also calms our turbulent hearts today with that same directive message, “Peace, be still!”  Let's entrust to Jesus those burdens upon our hearts this day and gain the perspective that the Father wants for His children.   I am absolutely convinced that life is worth the living just because He lives!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Lord, I know that doubt and uncertainty impose fear while faith and assurance develops a calm, trusting spirit.  I do not look to the world for strength or encouragement but I look to Your Word where I am convinced that You will protect and guard that which You have entrusted to me until the day when Christ will come to judge all people and take us to live in heaven.  By the empowerment of Your indwelling Holy Spirit help me to boldly stand when the world and even those close to me assaults my faith. It is in Your strength and through Your power that I remain faithful though tested by fire.  May the purifying of my faith, worth more than gold, bring praise, glory and honor to Jesus my Lord and Saviour.  Amen.

Twins Chuck and Jesse with Ester
There was no school yesterday so Ester had some friends over from her class. They went for a walk together and joined us for lunch.  Chuck is on the left and Jesse is on the right. As you might have noticed they are identical twins!

Today's Suggested Musicand Supplemental Resources

"Because He Lives"
 Video  A tremendous version that will lift your spirit!

God sent His Son, they called Him Jesus.
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

Because He lives I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives all fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living, just because He lives.

"I Am Convinced" Audio 

"Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus"
  Video  I was looking for this song on the web and came across this video from the 1973 Billy Graham Crusade in St. Louis Missouri which I attended while a freshman student in Bible college. I had gone
up with a group of students from Springfield Missouri to Saint Louis for the weekend.

"Step By Step"

"I Know Whom I Have Believed"  Audio instrumental 

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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