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Thursday, September 17, 2009
This beautiful Amish farm is near Paradise, Pennsylvania
Jesse and Anna Ruth, our Amish friends we often mention in this series have a farm just beyond the upper left side of the photo and the Strasburg Railroad runs just across that area.
(Click on photo to enlarge)
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"Holding All Things Together"
"He (Christ) is before all things, and in Him all things hold together" (Colossians 1:17). "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word" (Hebrews 1:3).
I am technically challenged. I value technology and with persistence have learned to use it in ministry but I sure appreciate all the help I can get when it comes to technical issues. Brad is a Canadian friend and IT professional whom I periodically turn to when I get stumped and he quickly fixes the problem in no time. He has been a real blessing to this ministry.
Our technical ineptitude can periodically bring about funny results. Several years ago Brooksyne bought me a little wall hung thermometer that also had a built in clock. At midnight an alarm went off and for some time we took turns getting up to turn the alarm off. The complicated instructions were in tiny print and written in several languages. Trying to read and understand them became a source of irritation rather than instruction so we finally got rid of the thermometer.
I could go on and on and I admit it's rather embarrassing as I know for you mostly younger technical types this is all so easy. Don't text us. We shut that off on our cell phones. If you want to talk just call us. People tell me I need to get into Twitter and stuff like that but I already have enough stuff in life I can't figure out or keep up with. I don't need more!
Contemplating the bigger technology picture it all works because of the amazing consistency in the Creator's design. Precise time is measured by the cesium atom's natural frequency of exactly 9,192,631,770 oscillations or cycles of resonant frequency per second. Airplanes fly because gravity is consistent. My computer works because of this consistency in creation design.
The daily Scripture is a powerful extolling of the supremacy of Christ. Colossians 1:16,17 states "For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." Note the four times in these two verses we read the words "all things" (Greek "panta").
But I want to focus on the latter portion that grips my heart today. "In Him all things hold together." Similarly Hebrews 1:3 declares that He is "sustaining all things by His powerful Word." From the sub-atomic level upward God is indeed upholding and sustaining all things. From the micro to macro.
The word "sustaining" is translated "upholding" in the KJV. The Amplified Bible seeks to bring out the richness of the Greek by stating "upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power." The Greek word (pheron) is in the present active indicating a concept that is dynamic, not static. The Son's work of sustaining involves not only support, but also movement. He is the One who carries all things through on their appointed course.
There are many things today we can focus on that bring anxiety and distress. It may be a personal health issue or a family matter. It may be our finances or the condition of our nation or the world with all the turmoil and uncertainty.
We just don't know how these and many other issues will all work out. But we can experience great comfort in this eternal truth: God is sustaining all things by His powerful word! God is sustaining every single microchip and every single cell in my body and everyone else's. "Oh that men would praise the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!" (Psalm 107:15).
The God who is sustaining all things is also sustaining each of us. He speaks through the prophet Isaiah to the ancient people of God and thus through the Scriptures to all of us: "Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth" (Isaiah 46:3).
Rest in the wonderful assurance that we don't have to be self-sustaining. Instead we raise our eyes heavenward and declare "You are sustaining all things by Your powerful Word and You will accomplish what concerns me for You are my Sustainer; Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting" (Hebrews 1:3, Psalm 138:8).
So here's the word of encouragement today fellow believer. He who sustains all things will surely sustain you. He is ever dependable. Troubles that weigh you down today are under His absolute authority and as they run their course Jesus calls us to trust Him – yes, even in the midst of them. Let's do that!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily Prayer: Father, we are assured that You will guide us each day as we keep in step with Your Spirit. You satisfy our needs and give strength to the weary. Thank You for hearing our cries and saving us from our troubles. Thank You for being close to the brokenhearted and comforting those whose spirits have been crushed. Though we choose to live according to Your ways we know that we're not exempt from problems, but we are greatly encouraged to know that You, Father, solve them all and sustain us in the midst of them. Thank You faithful, holy and righteous One. Amen.
Stephen's Note: Whenever I consider the need for trusting God here's one of the most helpful books I have ever read on this topic!
Trusting God By Jerry Bridges / NAV Press
Does trusting God come easily to you---until adversity strikes? Amid troubles and tribulation, do you sometimes doubt whether he really cares? Exploring three essential truths about God---his complete sovereignty, his infinite wisdom, and his perfect love---Bridges shows you how to rely on God implicitly in every circumstance. 240 pages, softcover from NavPress.
You can read an excerpt of the book online. Ordering information
Yesterday I attended a CBMC luncheon meeting in Lancaster and heard a tremendous message from Jim O'Brian who had been in the Pentagon on 9/11. He shared an interesting illustration to demonstrate God's care.
In changing his children's diapers, like many parents, he recalls this as a time of expressing affection (especially after the job was done). He shared how he would set the baby up on the table and hold his arms out indicating the child was to fall into his arms for a hug. Many of us recall doing this. Of course a loving parent always dependably catches the baby. He said, "What if, as my baby began to lean forward toward my arms, I quickly stepped aside and then laughed as he fell to the floor crying?"
Of course this is a great illustration of falling into the ever-dependable, ever-loving arms of the Lord! "He ever loves and cares for His own."
The above photo shows Jim O'Brian (right) along with David Balinski, our regional CBMC director. CBMC is an association of Christian Businessmen seeking to live for Christ. Here's David's blog. For those who may be curious there is a similar organization for women called CBWF.
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.)
"My Redeemer Lives" Video Nicole Nordeman. This is a great song set to a video of the Hoyt Team, a dedicated father and disabled son, who run in marathons and triathlons. It is really touching! We recall seeing the Hoyt team on Heartbreak Hill at the Boston Marathon many years ago. That for me was one of the most memorable times of all the sporting events I have witnessed in my entire life.
"Trust His Heart" Video A powerful song with thoughtful lyrics. This choir, which I assume is from a local church, does a great job on the song. This song was written by Eddie Carswell and Babbie Mason. I note that many placing videos on Youtube do not properly attribute the author and more than a few times we've seen wrong attributions. In fact we've seen songs written hundreds of years ago attributed to modern artists like Michael W. Smith and Chris Tomlin!
God is too wise to be mistaken.
God is too good to be unkind.
So when you don't understand,
When you don't see His plan,
When you can't trace His hand,
Trust His heart.
All things work for our good,
Though sometimes we can't see how they could.
Struggles that break our hearts in two
Sometimes blind us to the truth,
Our Father knows what's best for us;
His ways are not our own.
So when your pathway grows dim,
And you just can't see Him,
Remember, you're never alone,
He sees the master plan.
He holds the future in His hands.
So don't live as those who have no hope;
All our hope is found in Him.
We see the present clearly,
But He sees the first and the last.
And like a tapestry, He's weaving you and me
To someday be just like Him.
* "Trust His Heart" Carswell, Eddie / Mason, Babbie © 1989 Dayspring Music, Inc. (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.) / May Sun Music (Admin. by Word Music Group, Inc.) / Word Music, Inc. (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.) / Causing Change Music (Admin. by Word Music Group, Inc.) CCLI License No. 2508542
"Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus" Video Casting Crowns
"I Know That My Redeemer Lives" Video This is an outstanding version of a grand old hymn with scenes from "The Passion Of The Christ". This hymn was written by Samuel Medley in the 1700's.
Information about the Atomic Clock referred to in today's illustration.
I also mentioned in the caption under today's photo the Strasburg Railroad.
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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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