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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cloud with 1 John 4:16 (photo by Nancy Martin)
Our friend Nancy Martin took this photo of a massive cloud
over their farm in Lancaster County, PA

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"God's Reliable Love"

"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us" (1 John 4:16).

We have two older vehicles: a '98 Toyota Camry and a '99 Chrysler Town & Country mini-van. We purchased both used; the Camry in 2001 and the Town and Country in 2004.  They are both getting up there in age and miles which causes me to chuckle when I consider that many later model vehicles are now being reckoned as "clunkers"!  But we have tried to keep them well maintained and they have blessed us with safe transportation and reliability.

The dictionary defines reliability as "dependability or trustworthiness". The reliable object consistently functions as designed. The reliable person can be counted on because he is trustworthy.

Both people and machines can be reliable or unreliable. I have a friend who's dealing with an unreliable contractor which is causing him and his wife a great deal of frustration. Years ago we had a car that had some type of engine problem. It would stall out when climbing a hill. Since we lived in the mountains in northern Pennsylvania at the time, our unreliable engine became a great source of aggravation to us.

Being a reliable person includes dependability, consistency and faithfulness. When something or someone is reliable we generally take that quality for granted but when dealing with unreliability that faulty trait quickly rises to the surface. In our interface with both people and machines reliability is necessary and is a genuine blessing.

Today's Scripture text is a wonderful verse to memorize and hide deep in our hearts:
"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us."

What a tremendous blessing that we can know and rely on God's love. God's love is absolutely reliable. Sometimes it is very evident to me and at other times it is an invisible expression. Sometimes I would like to see Him do things differently and there are times I even give Him ideas on how to do it. But there is a deep abiding assurance as we come to regularly
rely upon His steadfast, unconditional love.

IcebergPerhaps you have seen the photo (or computer designed graphic) of a huge iceberg. Only the tip is showing above the water. That's a good illustration of the love of God.  Those of us in Christ know God's love and realize it is so immense that it is beyond measure.  As our faith grows we draw even closer to Him and we have an even greater sense of God's love.    However I suspect we really still just see the tip of His love!  Even though there is so much about God's love I see and may even think I understand; I really suspect that there is a whole, whole lot I fail to see or comprehend.

Do you know God's love today?  Are you relying (trusting, believing) on that love?  A.W. Tozer wrote: "God's love is measureless. It is more: it is boundless. It has no bounds because it is not a thing but a facet of the essential nature of God. His love is something He is, and because He is infinite, that love can enfold the whole created world in itself and have room for ten thousand times ten thousand worlds beside."

Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, we know Your love because You first loved us. You gave Your one and only Son to die for our sins so that we would not perish but spend eternity in heaven with You. As our roots grow down into Your love we gain strength, understanding, and maturity. Though we cannot grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, we can respond in love to You. Just as we rely on the love You have for us, may You find our love consistent and reliable. In the name of Jesus we pray.  Amen.

Personal note: The next two weeks we will be on vacation. We still plan to prepare daily encouragement messages, but will not necessarily publish daily.

2009 VBS team
A group of young people from other area churches are providing a VBS to the country church in Mastersonville PA where I am now serving a part-time, interim role as pastor.  What a joy to see their vibrancy and interest in the children.

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.)

"How Deep The Father's Love For Us"  Video  

"The Love Of God"  Video

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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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