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Friday, May 29, 2009
More beautiful pansies
Yesterday I shared a photo of Yellow Pansies.
After seeing it Florence, a long-time friend, shared this:
"Some have lost their faith in the human race, but who can doubt there is a God, when they look on a pansy's face."
Listen to us share this message on your audio player.
"Seeking The Lord"
"Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, you who do what He commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord's anger" (Zephaniah 2:3).
We had a busy day yesterday that took us through the eastern part of Lancaster County through the heart of Amish country where we passed lush, well-groomed farms. We came to a junction at the end of the country lane and then we saw them: two young Amish boys standing at the edge of their pasture land. They were holding onto the edges of a wide rectangular hand written sign that read: ASPARAGUS. We rolled down the window and asked the price: $1.00 a bunch for this fresh delicacy. Brooksyne pulled two dollars out of her purse and gave it to the young boys in exchange for two bunches of asparagus. You can imagine what I had for dinner last night! (Neither Brooksyne nor Ester enjoy Asparagus so I had it all to myself!)
Life remains good from our corner of the world today as we look out over God's green creation. We've had lots of rain (1 1/2" overnight) and the plant life is thriving. However it may not always be this way, for judgment toward unrighteousness is coming. It's happened repeatedly throughout history and it's happening now in some regions of our world. To some that's distressing news but for others it's an acknowledgment of the ultimate justice of God.
Zephaniah is one of those rather obscure "minor" prophets* whose messages are often overlooked by modern man. He ministered in the same time period as Jeremiah and Habakkuk. Although the people had experienced a great revival during Josiah's reign, judgment was still imminent. Zephaniah and Josiah were distant relatives (both descendants of Hezekiah) and it's possible that Zephaniah was among the prophetic voices that God chose to stir Josiah's heart during this awakening.
The daily verse expresses several timeless truths in regard to God's will for our lives. God is calling on the humble to "do what He commands, to seek righteousness and to seek humility." 2,600 years has not changed these fundamental aspects of God's will for His children. Zephaniah consoles his readers that they may be spared the coming wrath of God's judgment if they seek after His ways.
Can you say with David: "One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple" (Psalm 27:4)?
Can you hear God's solemn statement: "He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble" (Proverbs 3:34).
Jesus said, "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness" (Matthew 6:33a). Most are seeking fortune, fame, notoriety, beauty, strategies against aging, the latest fashion, and the list goes on and on. But above all, we must seek the Kingdom of God which includes, "righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."
Can you honestly accept Paul's commendation to the Romans as if it were written directly about you: "Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil" (Romans 16:19).
Today let us hear and apply the ancient words of the prophet Zephaniah in the Scriptures and determine that we will "Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, you who do what He commands."
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, may we desire to do Your will, to hide Your Word deep in our hearts so that we will not walk in the ways of sin but instead the paths of righteousness. Help us to seek first Your Kingdom and Your righteousness above all so that we will do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with You, our Lord and God. Amen.
* They are "minor" in the sense of being generally shorter, not in the sense of their value or inspiration.
Cultural note: Like many of us non-Amish, many of the Amish also like to travel. They often rent vans or busses and hire someone to take them. Our Amish friends have told us someday (when the children are old enough) they want us to take them on a long trip out west. Of course as long as their family keeps growing (they now have four children) this will keep getting delayed. However they are very excited about a trip to the beach so the kids can see the ocean, which we are working on for this summer.
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.
"Seek Ye First" Video This was one of the early Scripture choruses set to music when we were in our early years of ministry. We know that many of you, regardless of where you live and how old you are, have learned this Scripture verse by memory based on this tune!
"Call On The Lord" Video
"Lead Me, O Lord" Selections from Psalm 5 from the Integrity Scripture memory series. Open this page and click on "play".
"Direct My Footsteps" Selections from Psalm 119 from the Integrity Scripture memory series. Open this page and click on "play".
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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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