The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009
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"The Everlasting Arms"
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16). "The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms" (Deuteronomy 33:27).
Depending on our perspective we may consider the world to be massive or we may see it as very small. Andy Larrimore, a friend from New England, sent me an interesting webpage I will link to below. It shows the solar system on a single webpage (which claims to be the largest webpage in the world!). The page is quite interesting as it shows the sun and each planet in relation to relative size and distance from each other. From this perspective the earth seems tiny even in the Solar System, which of course is but a practically minuscule part of the Universe!
But it was on planet earth that God created the living being that would be uniquely in His likeness. Of course our very first ancestors, Adam and Eve, failed the obedience test in the Garden and sin entered the world. Certainly we have experienced sin's awful spiraling impact to this day.
It was to this fallen world that God sent forth His only begotten Son. The Scriptures are the record of God's dealings with this world and the human race. The Bible acknowledges the rest of the universe but its overall focus is on planet earth: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
I enjoy an old spiritual that many of us learned in Sunday School or Vacation Bible School titled "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands".
Today's second Scripture portion is among the final words of Moses that he gave to the new generation just prior to his death, and prior to their move into the Promised Land. "The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms" (Deuteronomy 33:27). He wanted the Israelites to have a deep assurance of God's protection and care at this major point of transition in their lives. Joshua would soon assume leadership and they would be crossing the Jordan River to their new home.
There likely was great comfort in Moses' steady leadership and at the same time the future was full of uncertainty and uncharted territory. After all, the preceding generation had spied out the land and seen giants! But God had not led them out of Egypt to drift indefinitely through the wilderness. There was a long-standing promise to be fulfilled which went all the way back to Abraham.
Although this wonderful truth in today's second verse was initially given to the Israelites about 3,400 years ago, it has timeless application for all of God's children in every generation. This December 15, 2009 (or whenever you happen to be reading this) we have an assurance of refuge in an eternal God and security in His everlasting arms!
Today we all need this same assurance. But some do especially. Hardly a day goes by that we do not receive a call or email or personally see someone in distress. Some of you are facing very difficult circumstances. Perhaps you're waiting for a call that may very well change the direction of your life. Others have lost a loved one and this Christmas will be especially difficult. Some of you are dealing with discouragement concerning hardships in life.
Many of you know this song. Sing or hum its melody today (even silently if you are unable to sing the words aloud) and be reminded of God's steadfast care!
What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms!
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms!
Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we identify with the Israelites who surely had concerns and fears regarding their future as they journeyed into uncharted territory. We are comfortable with the familiar and can easily worry about the unknown. But we find peace and refuge in You, our eternal God, when we experience the unfamiliar as we learn to trust You for all that concerns us. It is in Your everlasting arms that we find a place of reassurance. Your arms never grow weary nor do they turn us away as we come to You for strength, support, and rest. Amen.
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.)
This just in! Mike Martin, a friend in our church, just sent me this video from our choir musical Sunday evening. I smiled ear to ear as I watched and listened to my friends in Christ singing to the glory of God. Mike is in the choir and a friend of his made the video using a home style video recorder he held in his hand. This was a production by two small country churches cooperating together!
"The Solar System in Perspective" Webpage
This is the site I referred to in today's message that demonstrates the tininess of planet earth in relation to the Solar System. (Be prepared to slowly horizontally scroll as the planets are tiny and actually easy to miss.) The earth is a tiny dot.
"He's Got The Whole World In His Hands" Video Classic version by Mahalia Jackson.
"He's Got The World In His Hands" Video This is a different vesion with some beautiful video.
"Leaning On The Everlasting Arms" Video
Resources for Christmas Celebrations
It is our desire to share online resources that may be a blessing to families and churches during this Christmas season. We will continue to post these resources through Christmas Day. As we find additional material that we believe will be a blessing we will add it to this list as well.
Christmas Memories Here's a collection of Christmas memories sent in by daily encouragement readers several years ago, along with an opportunity to share your own story.
"In Remembrance of Me" pdf This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. Brooksyne and I have used this reading with great receptivity during Christmas Eve services many years. We suggest, if possible, a musical background as the message is read. It is also a great lead-in to a Communion service. It should be thoroughly practiced and read with great feeling.
"When Christ Was Born" pdf This is an adaptation to the tune of "How Great Thou Art". It's a great song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with the tune.
Responsive Christmas Scripture readings for church or family:
John 1:1-18 pdf
"O Come Let Us Adore Him" pdf
My First Christmas In Heaven This is a blessed reminder for all who lost a loved one this year. This is the poem that Brooksyne read and wrote about in this message.
Christmas Knowledge Test
We have also posted two Christmas carol quizzes here (scroll down).
Are you Christmas shopping online?
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"The Best Gift You Can Ever Give Your Parents"
Looking for a very special Christmas gift for your children?
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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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