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Tuesday, June 30, 2009
We often pass this refreshing creek and enjoying its winding view when we're on our way to church in Mastersonville. The large white rocks covering the banks makes this setting even more appealing.
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"With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him" (Daniel 11:32).
From the time of the successful corruption of Adam and Eve the enemy has sought to continue the corruption in each of their descendants. And from the very beginning flattery has been one of the effective tools in Satan's diabolical arsenal. In the Garden Satan appealed to their pride declaring that, "You will be like God."
Today the great spiritual war rages on and as I prepare this message I consider this cosmic struggle underlying all that we may read about or see with our eyes.
Daniel faithfully served God about 2,500 years ago. The latter portion of his book is a series of prophetic messages dealing with events that stretch from his time through the various historically verifiable world empires to the present and beyond. It can be a tough read requiring much concentration. Today's verse is power-packed.
The flattering "he" in the daily text is a king who "will corrupt those who have violated the covenant." Although the specific "he" in the text may not be Satan, surely it represents his ongoing attempt to corrupt God's kingdom. Any violation of a covenant results in further corruption if there is no repentance offered. But the focus of this daily encouragement is the latter part of the text, which has such an application for all times.
"But the people who know their God." In every generation God has called out a people who know Him. Oh, how I cry out today to know God! Not in a static sense, not through other's experiences, but through a deepening of my understanding and through a more fully surrendered heart.
The apostle Paul wrote many years after his conversion experience when he initially came to know Christ, "I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death" (Philippians 3:10). This surely speaks of an ongoing aspiration to know God in a greater and deeper way. When we walk in the resurrection power that comes from Christ we will overcome the sufferings that also come to the believer as we share in His sufferings. Too often we want the resurrection power, but resist the suffering that comes to those who identify with Christ in His death.
"Will firmly resist him." This growing knowledge of God will equip us as His people to unyieldingly resist the ploys of Satan. It is so easy to be deceived and led astray if we are not aware of Satan's tactics. We can learn about them since they are revealed all throughout the Scriptures. In my heart I have such a deep sense of the urgency of this warning and remind our readers to "be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings" (1 Peter 5:9).
Fellow follower of Christ, today let us pursue a growing knowledge of God as we surrender ourselves fully to His control, and let us firmly resist the enemy of our souls. Let us determine that we will keep our covenant with God.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, deep within our soul there is a yearning to know You more, to identify with You in Your power, and even in Your suffering, and also in Your victory over Satan. What a powerful example You give us when Jesus was tempted in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights. Satan had a plot, but You had a plan to refute every scheme he laid out when Jesus responded with Scripture. Scripture that was spoken and recorded long before the wilderness battle ensued. Help us to be like-minded, to learn and embrace the Scriptures, so that we will do battle with the enemy not by our might or strength that might actually be weakened in the midst of the battle, but in the powerful strength that comes through the inspiration of Your Holy Word meant for all time. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Yesterday we went berry picking. Along the back edge of our church property there is an abundance of black raspberries that I've been watching as they slowly ripened.
Some berries were easy to get to right along the edge and easy to pick, but the most plump and densely inhabited raspberries were deep into the patch, requiring considerable effort to pick.
Briars and thorn-covered branches taller than Brooksyne abounded, but as she picked she showed me a handful of the delectable juicy berries.
Roxie came along to warn us of any possible snakes that might make be hiding under the thick weed filled bedding of the berry plantings.
Here's a photo of Brooksyne working deep in the berry patch getting the best berries and below is a handfull of reward!
We had fresh berries on home-made ice cream last night. This morning all three of us enjoyed black raspberry jam on our buttered toast. Thanks to a generous friend who gave us 12 quarts in addition to our own picking Brooksyne canned over 22 cups of jams and jellies. It's more than we need for ourselves, but she enjoys making extra to give away.
jam (which includes the pulp of berries), Brooksyne also made a batch of jelly where the pulp is separated and only the juice is used, as seen above with the pulp in the cheesecloth and the juice extracted for the jelly in the large bowl. With jelly you don't have seeds getting caught in your teeth, but then you don't get the full berry either.
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.)
"Resist him" 1 Peter 5:8,9 from the Integrity Scripture Memory Series (Open this page and click "play") These songs are a great way to hide Scripture verses in your heart.
"Oh, I Want To Know You More" Video Steve Green
"Knowing You" Video This is a great song of aspiration that many of you have sung. In fact we did so in our church this last Lord's Day.
Regardless of what country you may live in we sure need a revival! On Sunday morning July 5 our church will join many others in participating in "Call2Fall", a nationwide prayer meeting. We encourage others to look into this, especially pastors here in America. Essentially this is a definite time during worship on Sunday, July 5th when we get on our knees before the Lord in repentant prayer, pleading with God to reshape our lives, renew our land, and send times of refreshing (See 2 Chronicles 7:14; Acts 3:19).
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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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