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Monday, January 5, 2009

Photo of South Carolina pond with Scripture
Mountain lake in northwest corner of South Carolina.
(Click on photo to enlarge)

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"Living Responsibly"

"Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!"  (Matthew 25:21).

Last night I got a call from Ray, a friend who lives about 100 miles away. He and his wife Vicky are celebrating their 35th anniversary today. This weekend they're planning a trip to Lancaster County so they can go to our local dinner theater and they're also fitting us into their plans so we can visit.

I invited them to stay over for church on Sunday but they declined since they need to get back for a missions service in their own church in which Vicky has a role. Initially I suggested that they try to get out of it and then it struck me that this is the very type of commitment and responsibility that I value so highly and try to model myself!

This wonderful commendation in our daily Scripture text is part of a parable Jesus told late in His earthly ministry. 
"Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things."  This servant had used the talents that were given to him wisely and responsibly.

I believe responsibility is a character trait that is often under-rated in our modern world.  Actually I would have to say in my observation that irresponsibility is increasingly becoming far more common.

We express our faithfulness to God in a number of ways:
  • Steadfastness is faithfulness expressed over the long haul.
  • Loyalty is faithfulness expressed in our enduring relationships.
  • Responsibility is faithfulness expressed in the daily management of life.
All three are means in which we honor God as we follow His biblical instruction in these areas.  All three characteristics are demonstrated by God Himself and are part of the attribute we call His faithfulness.

We practice these responsibilities in a number of different ways:  when we nurture our relationships; when we handle our finances with care and integrity; when we properly care for our belongings; and when we practice healthful living as stewards of the body that God has given us. 

These matters may not be very "spiritual" sounding but I believe they are important ways we glorify God.  Through my years in ministry I've met quite a number of people who appear to have it altogether in personality, appearance, or giftings, but have made a fiasco of their relationships or finances. Or they've ignored repeated warnings about other important matters in their lives.

As we begin the first work week of another New Year let me urge you to closely examine your life as a follower of Christ.  Are you living in responsible obedience to God on a day by day basis?  May God help us this New Year to live our lives responsibly!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Daily Prayer: Father, we pray that You will empower us to live responsible lives so that we can be living examples of what it means to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.  Help us to resist temptations that weaken our resolve to live holy lives by memorizing and quoting Scripture that speaks to that sinful behavior, even while we're being tempted.  We desire to bring joy to Your heart as we live responsibly and cast off that which hinders our spiritual growth.  We want to seek first Your Kingdom and Your righteousness so that we will be kingdom servants pursuing righteous living.  In the name of Your Son, Jesus, we pray.  Amen.

Katie, Chris and Mike Muhlhammer
Friday evening we had wonderful fellowship with Chris Muhlhammer along with her daughter Katie and son Mike in Raleigh, North Carolina. They attended our church in northern Pennsylvania before moving to Raleigh 19 years ago, so it was an exciting joyful reunion.  As we joined in a time of prayer it was as though we were once again in church together and the time gap ceased to exist.  Much adversity has occured in those 19 years, so it was good to see these dear folks remaining vibrant and faithful in their Christian walk.  Mike has a wonderful testimony of overcoming his physical adversity.

Ester with Muhlhammer golden retrievers
The Muhlhammers have two very friendly and boisterous golden retrievers and Ester had quite a lively time with them!

Brooksyne with grizzly bear
During our trip last week we visited Stephen's favorite store in three different places (Charlotte NC, Richmond VA, and Baltimore MD). Can any readers tell us in what store Brooksyne would be able to hold hands with a grizzly bear, hang on to her purse, and keep a smile on her face? (It looks like the bear is smiling also.) Respond here.  

The photo posted in Friday's encouragement message of Stephen's sister and family was taken on the London Eye.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources
(Click on the link to open and play. In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

"Find Us Faithful"  Video  This is a video prepared by a pastor for his parent's 50th wedding anniversary.  His mother was in the hospital with leukemia at the time, and she passed away five days before the anniversary but she did get to see this video. Even though I don't know them I am blessed by the message the video conveys. What a wonderful way to honor a faithful mother!  I was looking for a song that came out about the same time that Steve Green sang called "The Mission" which has these words,

"There's a call going out, across the land in ev'ry nation,
A call to all who swear allegiance, to the cross of Christ,
A call to true humility, to live our lives responsibly,
To deepen our devotion, to the cross at any price.

To love the Lord our God, is the heartbeat of our mission,
The spring from which our service overflows.
Across the street or around the world,
The mission's still the same,
Proclaim and live the truth in Jesus' name.

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, 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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