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Monday, June 9, 2008

Victoria strainer demonstration

Victoria Strainer

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"The Ultimate Demonstration Of Supreme Love"
"But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

The other day I was in a Costco Warehouse Club in Lancaster when a man, looking a bit confused, approached me carrying two large bunches of roses. (I had forgotten to remove my chaplaincy badge and he apparently thought I worked for the store.)  He told me he wanted 49 roses.  I told him I didn't work for the store but would try to help him so I counted out the roses in the arrangement and came up with only 24 in each.  Apparently he was hopeful that at least one bunch would have 25 roses making a total of 49 roses.

Then he shared the reason for his persistence: the next day was his 49th wedding anniversary. He wanted to demonstrate his love for his wife by giving her a rose for every year of their marriage!  By then Brooksyne had joined us and together we tried to persuade the man that his wife would most likely understand his loving intentions even if he was one rose shy of the actual count.  He was still undecided when we parted company.

Jesus used both illustrations and demonstrations in His teaching ministry, but the supreme demonstration of His love involved His very own death on the cross. The daily verse should cause us to stand in awe of what God has done. In all the events of life that concern us today from our unique personal problems to the international, let us see with spiritual eyes the supreme demonstration of God's own love for us.

Yesterday I spoke at Faith Community in the Lehigh Valley (which is about 100 miles northeast of where we live.)  I spoke on the supreme demonstration of God's love and we had Communion Service as we remembered the death of Jesus Christ.

I preached from Romans 5:8 and used an old kitchen tool we purchased shortly after we got married called a "Victoria Strainer", in which I crushed the fresh grapes right before the congregation teaching on Christ's death as I did so.  Of course, the demonstration was a visual reminder that, like the fruit of the vine,  Jesus was crushed for our iniquities.    We then partook of the freshly squeezed grape juice for the communion service.

The underlying Greek word that is translated "demonstrate" in Romans 5:8 is "sunistasin" which is in the present indicative active. This connotes a sense that God's demonstration of love is ever a present event, although Christ's literal death on the cross was a "once for all" atoning sacrifice, "Christ died for us." The demonstration of His love is present, but the sacrificial death of Christ is final and complete!

The atoning death of Christ on the cross is the supreme demonstration of God's love resulting in:
•  Our redemption from sin
•  Our reconciliation to God
•  Our restoration to wholeness
Today let us rejoice in the ultimate demonstration of His supreme love.
Be encouraged today!
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, how marvelous is Your love.  So many things in life are unobtainable, just beyond our grasp, but You make Your love available to everyone who calls on the name of the Lord. Your love and tender care mends the broken heart; it cleanses the sin-filled heart, and it encompasses the empty heart. How utterly amazing that Christ would pour out His sinless, extravagant love on the vilest of sinners who truly believe.  Your demonstration of love is witnessed foremost in Your death on the cross which redeems us from sin, reconciles us to the Father, and restores us to wholeness through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Some of our weekend activities

Larry and Tina Kester
Saturday evening we joined Larry and Tina Kester for a meal and time of fellowship at their home near Bethlehem Pennsylvania.  We have been friends with the Kester's for about 15 years and Larry taught Stephen to play quoits, a popular yard game in that area.  (Larry was the champ!)

Darrel and Kelly Martin
Yesterday afternoon we attended Darrel and Kelly Martin's wedding. We've seen this couple grow in their relationship ever since we moved to this area. The ceremony was a powerful call to commitment in holy marriage. Darrel is a colorful, adventuresome type and I have an interesting photo of him taken several years ago on a men's retreat. and with him last year when I rode in the combine with him then later that day he had an interesting date with Kelly.

Darrel and Kelly Martin
The wedding and reception were held on Lauxmont Farms, a beautiful setting, on a bluff looking over the Susquehenna River.

Darrel Martin with Brooksyne
The bridal couple greeted each attendee and dismissed us from the wedding ceremony row by row.  Brooksyne, unable to leave her chair, expected to just wave at Darrel and Kelly, but they kindly sought her out and extended warm hugs.

Lauxmont farm horses
The live scenery that we viewed and thoroughly enjoyed as we sat in the outdoor wedding ceremony; horses and carriages, tree covered rolling mountains, the winding river, colorful flowers - the wonder of God's creation!

Today's Suggested Music  and Supplemental Resources

"The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power"  Selah  Video

"How Deep The Father's Love For Us"  Audio

"At The Cross"  Audio

"Be Thou My Vision"  Audio  This hymn was sung at the wedding service yesterday and is a beautiful expression of commitment as a couple begins their married life together.

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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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