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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sturgeon Point Lighthouse (photo by Howard J. Blichfeldt)
Sturgeon Point Lighthouse along Lake Huron near Harrisville, Michigan
Photo by Howard J. Blichfeldt
For a larger desktop size click here.

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"So Is My Word"

"As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my Word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:10,11).

Farm on Mount Pleasant Road, Lebanon County, PA

We've had some beautiful snowfalls already this season here in or region.  Yesterday our pleasurable drive took us through neighboring Lebanon County along aptly named Mount Pleasant Road where snow lightly covered the fields.  Many enjoy the wintery snow although it causes inevitable closings, delays, inconveniences and safety issues.

We need a lot of moisture and I understand that 10 inches of snow is equivalent to only 1 inch of rain.  Farmers like a lot of snow cover on their fields, as it tends to slowly saturate the soil as it melts.  That results in a good harvest.

That's what the first part of the daily Scripture teaches: "As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater..."

Scripture makes few references to snow since it was not very common in that region of the world. In today's Scripture portion the prophet Isaiah uses rain and snow to illustrate a wonderful spiritual truth that has encouraged devoted readers through the ages.

In a great passage, using a powerful spiritual parallel, the prophet Isaiah makes an analogy.  He is speaking prophetically for God.  God's Word has been going out from His mouth from the very beginning; His initial instruction to Adam and Eve, His redemptive call to them after the Fall, "Where are you", down through the ages, through His prophets and through His written Word.  Today His Word is still going out in so many different ways.  He wants to use each of us today to spread His message of love and forgiveness.

One of the earliest spiritual concepts I learned was the power of God's Word.  One of the first verses I memorized was the daily text and especially the part that says, "so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."

Note a great promise in the passage. "It will not return to me empty."  The specific way in which God's Word works is not always visible to us.  At times the impact of God's Word is immediate and visible.  That's wonderful isn't it?

But at other times the impact is not visible or may not be apparently immediate.  It may seem fruitless and that can be a source of discouragement.  However, when faithfully delivered, it will always have its impact.  It most certainly will "accomplish what God desires and achieve the purpose for which He sent it."

Our responsibility is to faithfully proclaim God's Word and leave the results to God.  I want to encourage rescue mission workers, chaplains, crisis pregnancy counselors, pastors, teachers and many, many others who in many different ways, faithfully proclaim God's Word.  That should include all who claim to follow Christ. Keep it up. Don't give up.  We just won't have the whole picture of our impact on this side.  Remember this wonderful promise today in whatever way you minister in sharing God's Word!  Stay faithful!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer: Father, as we consider the fertile fields and lush vegetation that are a result of Your faithfully sending moisture to the earth, we're also reminded of the power of Your Word that does not return void.  The Word also accomplishes great things as it breathes life and hope into those who apply its salvation message to their lives. It turns our losses into gains, our weakness into strength, our fear into courage and our wanderings into purpose-filled direction.  Thank You for Your Holy Word that has completely changed my life. Amen.

Stephen's note: My earliest spiritual training was through Campus Crusade for Christ, a long-standing ministry that is still actively impacting the world for Christ.  A group met at my high school in Independence, Missouri (Truman High School) and we had other activities off campus as well.  I still remember meeting each morning in the wood shop to pray before beginning the day.  The teacher was a Christian and opened up his classroom for any who chose to come. We would then seek to share truths from the "Four Spiritual Laws" as we witnessed for Christ to our fellow students.  I've stayed in contact with a friend from that group and rejoice that nearly 40 years later Ken is still serving the Lord. He's now a veteran teacher himself, and still actively witnessing for Christ.  What a blessing to talk to him several years ago when I was in the Kansas City area.

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.)

"Somewhere It's Snowing"  Video  A song Brooksyne recalled as we prepared today's message.

"Somewhere It's Snowing"  Video  A beautiful story in song and video.  This will touch your heart if you have a wayward child.  It illustrates genuine Christianity.

"Isaiah 55:10,11"  Video   This is merely today's Scripture text with background music.

"Give Me Jesus"  Video  Fernando Ortega

Today's photo of the Sturgeon Point Lighthouse on Lake Huron was taken by our friend, Howard J. Blichfeldt and is used with his permission. His website is here. Howard desires to honor the Lord through his photography. Here's information about the lighthouse.

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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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