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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Snowy plant
Michelle Stillman, a friend of ours sent us this interesting photo taken by her friend Lindsay. The finely crystallized snow looks like cotton!

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"Our Redeemer Is Strong!"

"This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'The people of Israel are oppressed, and the people of Judah as well. All their captors hold them fast, refusing to let them go.  Yet their Redeemer is strong; the LORD Almighty is His name. He will vigorously defend their cause so that He may bring rest to their land, but unrest to those who live in Babylon'" (Jeremiah 50:33,34).

One of the great attributes of God expressed in theological language is His omnipotence.  That is, He is all powerful. 

Theologian A.W. Pink comments regarding this, "Well may the saint trust such a God! He is worthy of implicit confidence. Nothing is too hard for Him. If God were stinted in might and had a limit to His strength we might well despair. But seeing that He is clothed with omnipotence, no prayer is too hard for Him to answer, no need too great for Him to supply, no passion too strong for Him to subdue; no temptation too powerful for Him to deliver from, no misery too deep for Him to relieve. "The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" (Ps. 27:1).

Our Redeemer is strong!  What encouragement these verses bring to the devout believer.  The message here is to the Babylonians, who conquered God's people and took them into exile. In fact Jeremiah lived at the time just prior to and during the destruction of Jerusalem in the midst of Judah's darkest days.  The book of Lamentations was written during this time.

But in this chapter Jeremiah looks beyond that temporary period to God's judgment on the proud Babylonians and the return of the faithful remnant.  History demonstrates again and again the powerful way that God works on behalf of His people.  Yes, there were "bumps in the road" and evidenced in these "bumps" was God's judgment upon sin.  Yet for the remnant that holds to their Bible-based faith, God has always been faithful. That's still true.

2,600 years ago when the people of God were being taken into Babylonian captivity the prophet Jeremiah was used to convey these wonderful truths found in our daily verses.  God's long promised judgment was taking place because of the sin and idolatry of the nation. Yet some had kept their faith and commitment to God and Jeremiah was called to minister to this faithful remnant.  They were oppressed and their captors held them fast refusing to let them go.  Their situation surely seemed hopeless.  "Yet their Redeemer is strong" and "He will vigorously defend their cause."

Today I speak to those who, like the ancient Israelites, are seeking to hold steady their true faith in God.  Some are oppressed in various ways (I particularly think of our brethren in Sudan and other places of great persecution).  But some of you undoubtedly are oppressed in other ways and your situation today may seem hopeless and the problems unending. You awaken with a sense of dread instead of anticipation.

Hear again this word from God our Redeemer who changes not, who is the same yesterday, today and forever.  Believing friend, God is working on your behalf today in ways you cannot see with your naked eye.  Our Redeemer is strong.  He is our eternal Advocate and vigorously defends our cause before our Father in heaven.  Praise the Lord!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, we trust You for You are worthy of implicit confidence.  No problem is too difficult for You since Your power is supernatural and unlimited in strength.  There is no prayer request that we bring to You that is too perplexing or hard for You to answer, no need too great for You to supply, no misdirected passion too strong for You to restrain; no temptation too powerful for You to deliver us from, and no misery too deep for You to relieve us from, for You are the Strength of our lives.  And when we rest on these truths we are confident and trusting and there is no enemy force of which we should be afraid.  We come boldly before Your throne of grace with Jesus as our Advocate.  Amen.

(Prayer adapted from A.W. Pink's comment in the beginning of the message)

Thank You: We are very pleased and grateful to God that total 2008 contributions to the Daily Encouragement Net ministry were
$21,791.00. Brooksyne and I want to express thanks to all who supported this aspect of our ministry for Christ. Offerings came from over 80 separate sources from all over the world. Here's information about supporting our ministry and here's a current ministry update revised to 1/20/09We have always been very open with disclosing our monetary resources in our pastoral ministry with the finances of our churches.  We also practice this in our online ministry. Current 2009 YTD total offerings are placed in the footers in each of these posts.

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.)

"Be Unto Your Name"
Brooksyne's note: This is a wonderful praise song contrasting the eternal God worthy of eternal praise with the temporariness of our existence on this earth.  "Highest praises, glory and honor, be unto Your name, be unto Your name."  Each time I sing this in church or play it on the piano I envision saints around the throne with their hands directed toward Jesus as they worship Him at the center of the heavenly throne.

"He's Got The Whole World In His Hands"  Audio  This is not the version we sang as children!

"You Walk Among The Stars"  Audio

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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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