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Friday, July 4, 2008

Water Lily

Our first water lily of the season

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"Filled and Thriving"

"When I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, the land I promised on oath to their forefathers, and when they eat their fill and thrive, they will turn to other gods and worship them, rejecting me and breaking my covenant" (Deuteronomy 31:20).

I am so grateful that as this internet and email ministry has grown there are now many regular readers from all over the world. We hear from readers spanning the globe and just the other day I heard from a Ugandan reader; the first I recall from that country. 

I am thus sensitive when I write these encouragements regarding any emphasis upon my particular country. I want to convey a Biblical outlook of having a heavenly citizenship, which all true believers share regardless of where they live (Philippians 3:20).  However I also have American citizenship and this is a very special holiday here in America that we call Independence Day. I do believe today's message will apply virtually everywhere it may be read.

There are a number of interesting parallels between God's dealings with ancient Israel and the current state of affairs in America and in many other nations around the world for that matter.  In Moses' final sermon to the generation who were poised to move into the Promised Land he speaks for God and actually predicts their eventual apostasy (falling away). 

I am intrigued by the phrase in the daily text, "eat their fill and thrive."  We have been mightily blessed, we have been filled, and we have thrived.  In seeking to keep a perspective as a world Christian (not to be confused with worldly), I seek to identify with my brothers and sisters all around the world along with their various challenges.  A missionary to Zimbabwe recently wrote and, in reading his perspective regarding my fellow brethren in that country, I realize just how much we really are thriving.

Earlier in the message Moses warned them, "When you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery" (Deuteronomy 8:12-14).

Desperate attempts by the historical revisionists notwithstanding, those with any sense of discernment will recognize that many godly and Biblical influences are at the heart of America's founding and through much of her history.  Volumes of original works substantiate this.  One of my favorite examples is the McGuffy readers that were used extensively in public education through the 1800's.  They are loaded with Scriptures and Christian truths.  You certainly wouldn't find these types of books in public education today!

But recent events clearly reveal the increasing degree of apostasy. One Bible believing pastor in our area said, "I fear we've lost the culture war." But by God's grace I will continue to live as a child of the Light and continue to influence for Christ and eternity. However I sense a real need to underscore in my life that which should always be the case, "This world is not my home."

We have indeed been filled and we do thrive, but as a nation we have also turned to and are worshipping many other gods.  Immorality of every type floods our land.  Those of us holding to faith in God cry out as the Psalmist did, "When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Psalm 11:3). 

The answer to that question is in the verses that follow in Psalm 11 (inserted below).  Today, wherever we live and whatever conditions we live under, let us stay faithful to the one true God and remember, "Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Philippians 3:20).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer:  Father of all nations, we thank You that our citizenship is primarily in heaven and we share this glorious citizenship with our brother and sisters all over the world.  We pray for a massive worldwide revival where people will humble themselves, seek your face, pray and turn from their wicked ways.

Psalm 11
In the LORD I take refuge. How then can you say to me: "Flee like a bird to your mountain. For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart. When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?"  The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne. He observes the sons of men; his eyes examine them. The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates. On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot. For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face.

Bird in pond
Yesterday I went out to our small garden pond and saw a small bird floating in the water. This is not unusual, they apparently stumble in while drinking and I usually find them dead. This one was alive and floating, but couldn't get out. The Creator did not design this bird to float in water! I used the fish net to rescue him and placed him in the lawn.

Bird drying out
He still couldn't fly for awhile until his feathers dried out but I suppose he was thankful.
I went out later and he was gone!

Kansas City folks - I grew up in the Kansas City area and as a child our professional baseball team was the Kansas City Athletics.  I recall my dad loading up the car and driving the family in to the old Municipal Stadium. They were a very colorful team with a very eccentric owner. Yesterday I read an interesting article about them.  Although it has nothing to do with today's message I thought some of our readers might find it interesting and, if you're my age and from KC it might bring back some memories!

Delaware River
Today we plan to visit my brother Pat and his family in the Lehigh Valley.  Ester and I will join Pat's family for a float trip down the Delaware River. 

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

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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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