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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lancaster County PA windmill
Windmill on Amish farm in eastern Lancaster County, PA

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"Saved And Sound"

"Your brother has come, "he replied, "and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound" (Luke 15:27).

I believe most familiar with the English language understand the meaning of the phrase, "safe and sound." It's likely that this common phrase originated from its use here in the daily text in the King James Bible, which was translated nearly 400 years ago. Of course the phrase refers to the return of the prodigal son in this instance. It's interesting that all the standard Bible translations I typically study from use this exact phrase.

One night I returned from an out of town trip very late and quietly went to bed where Brooksyne was sleeping soundly.  As I snuggled up beside her around 3:00AM she mumbled in her half awake voice, "Safe and sound?" I wasn't quite ready to nod off so I thought on the expression for awhile and, with a little tweaking, came up with a slightly different expression.  I began to rejoice in my spirit that I am truly "saved and sound."  It was a nice peace-filled thought that flooded my heart before finally falling asleep.

I'm saved. What indescribable peace comes deep to the soul when a believer has the assurance of salvation. Many years ago I memorized this selection from Scripture: "But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:3-7). The words of the hymn, "Saved", come to mind:  "I'm saved by His power divine, I'm saved to new life sublime, life now is sweet and my joy is complete for I'm saved, saved, saved!" Praise God I'm saved!

I'm sound. OK, I admit some of you reading this may think, "Well, that's not for you to say." Others, based upon their world outlook might not see me sound at all! My greatest aspiration though is to be sound in God's reckoning, not man's and that is altogether different! The apostle Paul wrote, "Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away" (1 Corinthians 2:6).

I'm committed to:

"Having a sound mind" - "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7).

"Holding fast to sound teaching" - "What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 1:13).

"Enduring sound doctrine" - "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine" (2 Timothy 4:3).

"Being sound in the faith" - "Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith" (Titus 1:13).

The word translated "sound" means to "to have sound health, to be well in body; to be uncorrupt (true in doctrine): -- be in health, be safe and sound, be whole(-some).

It's interesting to me that this word is used only twelve times in the Scriptures and nine of them are in the Pastoral Epistles. It's interesting also that the expression "safe and sound" in our daily text translates the same identical word in the Greek.

Let us thank God that we are saved and sound!

How marvelous, how wonderful and my song shall ever be,
How marvelous, how wonderful is my Savior's love for me!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, nothing brings abiding peace more than knowing that we are saved from the penalty of sin and that we are firmly grounded in Your holy precepts. It makes us feel safe in a struggling world that continues to search for knowledge from all the wrong sources. We are sound in our outlook when we align our understanding and convictions with the teachings of Christ, His disciples and the prophets of old. We speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor from the authority of this world that changes from year to year.  Our wisdom is based upon our knowledge and understanding of You, our eternal Father, the One who changes not. In You we are saved and we are sound. Praise Your matchless, holy name.  Amen.

Uses of "sound" concept in the Pastoral Epistles where the above points were drawn from. In regard to today's topic I have an interest in a separate blog called "Clear Minded" based on the need to have a sound, clear mind in these confusing, often delusional times. I based the title on this verse, "The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray" (1 Timothy 4:7).

Last fall I started the blog and posted an article I had written back in the nineties for ministers but really hope to get some more material on the site.  I have it stored up in my heart but just need to get it written out!

Dedication of Adoree Gardner
Ester and I witnessed the dedication of little Adoree' in our church this last Sunday.  Her mom and dad, Mike and Joanna, help lead our small group. Three years ago I had the privilege of officiating at their wedding service.  Here's the ceremony, most distinguished by their request to wash each other's feet as a part of the ceremony which was indeed very meaningful.  They are committed to living for Jesus Christ and building a family based on Biblical truth and godly values.  Pastor Bob is performing the dedication.

Today's Suggested Music  and Supplemental Resources

"I Stand Amazed In the Presence"  Audio  A hymn I always enjoy singing with my fellow redeemed!  If it's been awhile since you've been amazed by the salvation Christ provided for you try singing along with this hymn.  It will bless and refresh you as you consider the work of Christ in your life.

"Creation Calls"  Video  Outstanding video images accompanied by a powerful Brian Doerkson song!  The words will inspire you and the photography will leave you in awe as you consider God's creation.

"Draw Me Close To You"  Audio

"Power Of Your Love"  Video

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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