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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Grace truck - Bringing Salvation!

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"Living To Please God"

"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good" (Titus 2:11-14).

Many years ago I committed the daily Scripture portion to memory. It is a solemn reminder of the very essence of living a life that pleases God. In fact I find it helpful to slightly reword it to make it personal.

"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to me. God's grace teaches me to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live a self-controlled, upright and godly life in this present age, while I wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of my great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for me to redeem me from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a person that is His very own, eager to do what is good."

I find in my life a regular, ongoing need to renew and sharpen my focus. It seems I so easily lapse into making perishable things and prevailing troubles of this earth my focal point. One of the first choruses I recall singing shortly after I turned to Christ was "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus." It has a line that states "Look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace." That's sure what I need, for it is a glorious perspective by which to guide my thought process.

Interestingly, Helen Lemmel, who wrote that hymn grew blind in her latter years and so she knew from personal experience the process by which one loses physical sight.  She also found sufficient grace to take hold of that which is seen only in the Spirit realm by refocusing her heart and mind on the imperishable, immortal God.

The barrage of ungodliness that abounds in this world can easily pull me down in my emotions and spirit when the sordid details of evil fill the pages of the newspaper or airwaves and when I see the consequences first hand.  It's hard to look upon evil after we have been redeemed from such wickedness.  We must choose to keep a heavenly focus by living a self-controlled, godly life so that the things of this world will be overpowered by the bright light of God's glory and grace!

As recipients of God's grace we allow it to teach us. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, which abound in this fallen world of which we are inhabitants. As those who seek to please the Lord we are called "to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age."

Regardless of our present circumstances the immutable character of God stands firm.  Let us rest in this wonderful truth today.  Paul encourages us with this outlook, "Wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ."  The Greek word for "wait" conveys waiting with confidence and patience.

This blessed hope is not a mere wishful thought, but an absolute and expectant certainty.  Similarly, our mother eagerly awaited our visible arrival following the nine month period in which we were being formed in her womb. She may have wished that the time would be quicker, but God's appointed date for our arrival was already set.  One glorious day God has scheduled on His heavenly calendar, "the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus".

Today as you likely deal with issues of this life, both great and small, be sure to process and respond to them with the heavenly focus. Remember that this world is really not our home; we're just passing through.  As the old songs says, "My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.  The angels beckon me at heaven's open door and I can't feel at home in this world anymore." 

O soul are you weary and troubled,
No light in the darkness you see
There's light for a look at the Savior
And life more abundant and free.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth
Will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Daily prayer: Father, at this moment we turn our hearts to You and thank You for Your grace that meets our most pressing needs.  It also helps us to say "no" to those temptations that are common to all and purifies us so that we are eager to do that which is good.  Your grace helps us to rise above the struggles of this world and most especially as we focus on the perfect, everlasting life to come when the glorious appearing of Jesus is seen by those He redeemed.  Fill us with anticipation and expectancy while we wait, Father.  In Jesus' name we pray.  Amen.

Brooksyne's Note: We had a couple appointments this morning and wrote today's message before we left but were unable to take the time to record and publish the text.  In the car we were discussing some of the current troubles we're experiencing here in our country as well as some local news where two innocent people were killed this last weekend due to other's carelessness (texting while driving).  Stephen was really getting worked up and then God suddenly brought to my mind the message we were preparing to send out upon our return home.  I asked him, "What did we just write about before we left home?  Are we practicing what we preached?"  He and I were filled with conviction, we repented of our attitude, and refocused on the imminent return of Jesus.  Circumstances didn't change, but a smile and amazing peace filled our hearts.  We prayerfully turned those troubles over to Jesus and uplifting conversation followed.

John Deere 1942 LI
John Deere 1942LI
Marlin is a friend who has restored over 30 tractors. I stopped by to visit him the other day as he was preparing several tractors to take to a farm show in Manheim, PA.  This bright yellow tractor was used by state road departments for mowing along highways using a side sickle bar mower (see here for photo)

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
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(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

"Grace By Which I Stand"  Video  A Keith Green classic

"Only By Grace Can We Enter"  Video

"Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus"  Video  Michael W. Smith (mostly instrumental)

"One Day"  Video  This is a wonderful old hymn by J. Wibur Chapman. But the tune and arrangement is a contemporized rendition by Jeff Johnson and is different than we normally sing, but thankfully the powerful lyrics are not altered.  This song goes through the life of Christ from His birth to His second coming. I see for this version it's been renamed "Glorious Day".  The last verse of the song is most related to today's message.

One day the trumpet will sound for sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my beloved ones bringing
Glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine!

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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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