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Friday, October 31, 2008

Maple-lined lane in northern Lancaster County, PA
Maple-lined lane in northern Lancaster County Pennsylvania.

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"The Light Still Shines"

"In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). "Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you" (John 12:35).

Today hundreds of millions of believers all around the globe seek to live for God.   Yesterday a sister in Kenya wrote to us her confession of faith based on a recent message: "I will never turn back. 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.'" This morning an international reader from Singapore declares, "In this global financial chaos, in a world full of speculation, only God's Word is certain."

We tend to think of church as either a building where religious services are held or more properly the group of people who meet together to worship God. While I strongly believe in the institutional aspect of the church and the importance of meeting together regularly, the church is so much more than just this depiction. 

The church is the community of the redeemed who recognize their heavenly citizenship. The church is active today all over our world as the redeemed let the light of Christ shine through their lives.  The light shines all the brighter outside the walls of a church building due to the intense darkness of the world.

But I share a word of caution from Jesus: "Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you" (John 12:35). It seems darkness is overtaking many. Even among those who confess Jesus Christ as their Savior moral confusion abounds. Indeed we live in a world where wrong seems right and priorities can be easily misaligned. In this great cosmic battle between light and darkness we need to walk steadfastly in the light of Christ and in the knowledge of His Word.

I want to consider the power of the Word planted deep in the hearts of Christ's followers. It is planted in a variety of ways but I believe a key component is exposure.  Sure there are times of concerted memorization, intense study, and accelerated spiritual growth.  But I believe God's Word can also minister to us when we allow ourselves to be regularly and systematically exposed to it.  I have listened to thousands of sermons and spent thousands of hours reading the Bible.  Frankly, I specifically recall only a relatively few of those sermons.  Though I've memorized a good number of Scriptures I can also read the Word and later seem to forget much of what I read.  Ouch!  Is it thus a waste of time?  Of course not!

The point today: Keep your eyes, ears and hearts exposed to God's Word.  Exposure to godly music is another great means of exposure to godly instruction.  You never know how He may speak to you and rekindle the Light that this world so desperately needs to see through you.

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey. *

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Lord Jesus, as I commit myself to You this day, I ask that You make me a glowing ember of Your truth, Your wisdom, and Your compassionate mercy.  I want my light to shine for You so that all glory will be directed back to You, my source of light.  If I find myself in the midst of a circle of employees engaged in ungodly conversation help me not to blend in.  But rather help me to be the light of Your glory in my conversation, full of grace seasoned with salt, so that I will know how to respond to each person. I ask that You would reveal to me any false motivation for carrying out good deeds.  Remind me that it is for Your glory that I do these things.  It is neither for the praise of others nor for personal advancement, but the advancement of the Gospel.  Lord, help me to reach just one today with an unexpected act of kindness that will direct the recipient's thoughts toward my Father in heaven.  In Your name, Jesus, I pray.  Amen.

Today's Photos

Among our ministry venues is visiting several companies in the role of corporate chaplains and we enjoy a beautiful drive as we go from company to company.  All of today's photos are from yesterday's drive!

Route 322 in Lebanon County PA
Route 322 in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania
Driving this portion of the route is similar to the area we lived in northern Pennsylvania

Amish countryside in eastern Lancaster County, PA
This is the Amish countryside in eastern Lancaster County.
These beautifully maintained farms dot the countryside.

Amish farmhouse in eastern Lancaster County, PA
Amish farmhouse in eastern Lancaster County.
Often multiple generations live together, building a separate home for elderly parents.

For any interested today's photos are located here (googlemap).

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
(Click on the link to open and play)

"Trust And Obey"  Video

"He Leadeth Me"  Audio  

"He Hideth My Soul"
 Podcast  Audio  Lifespring! Hymnstory by Steve Webb.  Listen to the show for the rest of the story, and to hear the stirring rendition by Scott Wesley Brown

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, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 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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