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Friday, January 9, 2009

Deep Creek off the coast of South Africa (photo by Michelle Stillman)
Deep Creek off the coast of South Africa
(photo by Michelle Stillman)

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"One Thing I Do Know!"

"One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!" (John 9:25).

What do you know today? Well, surely that varies. Some of you know a little about a lot of different subjects; others know a whole lot about a limited subject. Some know a lot about the personally inconsequential info such as the latest Hollywood gossip; others have attained knowledge of real value in helping people such as the skilled brain surgeon. I just hope we all have an experiential knowledge about the most important subject in life: our heart's condition with God and His remedy for that condition.

John 9 records the miraculous healing of the man blind from birth. Although the account clearly deals with a literal physical healing it is very instructive in regard to the spiritual healing of salvation as well. Jesus had wondrously healed the man who then became the subject for various attacks against Christ.

My, did the religious leaders pick this healing apart! What's the man's background? What was the cause of his blindness? Did he know the background of the one who healed him? Well, the formerly blind man knew the answers to some of these questions but to others he did not.

Yet his response to the critical, negative religious leaders is so powerful: "One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!" This is experiential knowledge. He lived with the impaired physical condition of his life before the healing and he certainly knew its radically changed condition afterwards.

Today attacks against our faith in Christ abound. This is especially true  as we're seeing more and more intellectual attacks through the media outlets and academia: increasingly people of faith in Christ are portrayed as ignorant, old-fashioned, and downright naive.  I'm reminded that "our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12,13).

The attacks will also come to you personally as you live out your Christian experience. How vital it is to have a bedrock knowledge of the spiritual reality and assurance of our salvation. Much like a machine gun the devil barrages us with his bullets of fear, doubt, jealousy, strife and a host of other godless attitudes seeking to diminish our hope and lead our soul astray. In response to the enemy's attacks let us declare along with the healed blind man, "One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!"

John Newton, best known for writing "Amazing Grace", capsulized his salvation story just before he died with this declaration: "My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things – that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Saviour".

Amazing grace! how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
If we remember nothing more at the end of our lives than the redemptive spiritual truth that, "we are great sinners and that Christ is our great Saviour" we have remembered the most important truth of our human existence. It loosens the chains of sin in this life and is our key to life everlasting with our Great Savior in heaven.

Be encouraged today

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, I thank You for the marvelous transaction that took place when You delivered me from the domain of darkness and transferred me into the kingdom of Your Son in whom I have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. There is no earthly transaction that will ever bring about such a major change in my life or affect my future such as Your mighty deliverance. I was lost without hope, but now, because of Your transfer I am gloriously found and kept by Your grace. Praise be to Your name! Amen.

Adapted from Colossians 1:13

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.)

"Amazing Grace"
Chris Tomlin version used in the movie "Amazing Grace"

"Amazing Grace"  Video  Wintley Phipps version with an interesting testimony.  It ends with an absolutely astounding rendition of the familiar hymn!

"Arms Of The Lord"  Video
 We devote this song today to all who are facing uncertainties. Brooksyne recently heard it on our local Christian radio station and it really ministered to her spirit.

Deep Creek off the coast of South Africa (photo by Michelle Stillman)
Today's photos were taken by our friends Mike and Michelle Stillman while on a trip to South Africa several years ago.

Yesterday we shared a photo of a large boot in front of the L.L. Bean store in Freeport Maine. Ken Wish, a chaplain friend from Maine comments, "The boot has been there since the major remodeling of L.L. Bean in Freeport. It stands about 25-feet high and "graces" the front entrance to the store. In addition to the large boot outside the store, there is one that is pulled on a trailer. This mobile boot makes its appearance in most of the parades in the area. It is not quite as tall, but still makes quite the impression in the middle of a parade."  (In our area Turkey Hill Dairy pulls a large cow on a trailer and parks it at places where there is a request due to special activity or celebration!)

Now for some rather meaningless trivia that I find interesting: What does the L.L. stand for in L.L. Bean?  Answer here and I will post with Monday's message.

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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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