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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Relay race
Relay race

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"Guarding the Trust"

"Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care."  (1 Timothy 6:20).  "Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you--guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us"   (2 Timothy 1:14). "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others" (2 Timothy 2:2). "Contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints" (Jude 3).

Baton passWhen I was in High School I participated in track and ran on a relay team.  Our coach stressed the importance of passing the baton (the metal cylinder used in the relay).  A critical part of an effective relay race was the passing of the baton and we would actually practice this maneuver over and over.  In a relay race there is a small designated relay zone where the pass can take place, not before and not after.  It was critically important that we didn't drop the baton during the pass.  And I certainly recall an emphasis on the obvious – during my leg of the relay I was to carefully hold on to the baton and not let it slip from my grip!

In the two Biblical epistles to Timothy the apostle Paul was passing the torch (or baton if you will) of the faith to the succeeding generation.  Although the direct recipient of these letters was Timothy, each believer in every generation does well to heed the charge in the daily Scripture portions.  Today I place my name into this charge that Paul so solemnly gave to Timothy.  Perhaps you will do so as well.  It's interesting that in the Greek Paul adds further solemnity to this charge by placing the exclamation "O" before it (seen in the King James Version). Thus in my case the passage would read "O Stephen, guard what has been entrusted to your care."

Each generation has a responsibility in guarding the deposit of faith passed on by the preceding generation and in turn passing it unchanged to the succeeding one.  That's at the very heart of what Biblical Christian faith and ministry is all about.  In fact Paul set forth the pattern to Timothy, "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others" (2 Timothy 2:2).  In a sense I am both receiving the baton and passing it on simultaneously. 

As I study the Bible I'm still reaching back and receiving.  I also benefit from many believers in past generations who have guarded the good deposit.  And I'm passing it on as well. Brooksyne and I view this online writing ministry as a part of our passing on truth.

However I am considering the baton pass of truth during the pass zone which is my present generation and specifically my life. I consider this both individually and for the church at large.  In my heart I sense that there are significant ways the modern, visible church is slipping in this regard and it brings grief to my spirit.


owever I am convinced that there will always be a remnant church, faithfully holding to the truths of Holy Scripture till our Lord returns.  Christ has stated that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church (Matthew 16:18). This true church may very well be hated by the world, for as it contends for the truth and the faith once for all entrusted to the saints, it will be labeled intolerant, mean-spirited, hateful and even dangerous. In fact it already is.

May the Lord help us to be faithful in holding onto the Living Word and not compromising its message through our speech and life.  As we pass it on to the next generation in our present passing zone, may we do so without watering down the commands God sets forth in His Word.  Let us not customize or interpret God's timeless truths to comfortably adjust our viewpoints to the trends of our society.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, the commandments that You give are to be impressed upon our hearts.  When our acts of obedience come from the heart Your love motivates us to obey Your commands and Your holiness teaches us to align our desires with Your own.  Help us to be extremely cautious about new teachings that are pleasing to the ear and popular with our present generation, but do not bear witness with our spirit.  As we study Your Holy Word, from cover to cover, and meditate upon Your principles we will hold on to that which is of most importance and pass on to those who come behind the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints of all generations.  Amen.    

Selected portions of verses implemented into our daily prayer: Deuteronomy 6:6, Colossians 1:13,14

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

(Click on the link to play)

"Step By Step"

"My Life Is An Offering"

Podcast background song I have received requests to place an instrumental version of the podcast backgound on the web for any who may care to listen.  This song is an original piece sent to us by Marvin, a young man from Guatemala, who lived in our home when he was a little boy.  We lost touch for many years but last year he found us on the web and we have resumed contact. He is faithfully serving the Lord and is married with a child.

Marvin with Shawna and SharonWe hosted Marvin about 20 years ago when he was about 5. He came to the states for surgery in Erie, PA for a severe throat condition that restricted his ability to breathe. We were his host family during his two visits to America and we also visited him and his family in Guatemala City in 1991. He is shown here in his Sunday best with two young sisters in our church in northern Pennsylvania. We still stay in touch with Shawna and Sharon, who of course are both now grown and have children of their own. Here's a current photo of them when we met them for lunch at the Shady Maple here in Lancaster County.

Marvin with familyMarvin found us on the internet and we are now in contact although we do have a language barrier. When he calls he tries very hard to communicate in his limited English. He is now married and has a young son and works for the forestry department in Guatemala. Marvin testifies to a faithful walk with the Lord and his desire to lead his family as a Christian husband and father.

Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne.
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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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