The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Monday, March 22, 2010
Silver Maple behind our house
Here's a photo of the same tree without leaves covered with snow,
which better reveals why it's such a great climbing tree!
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"He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed" (1 Peter 2:24).
I've made a number of visits to a lumber processing mill in Lebanon County. It surely is among the most interesting places I have served as a corporate chaplain. A steady stream of raw material is converted to finished lumber products as immense piles of logs await their turn to go through the extensive finishing process. Surely this lumber mill must process hundreds of thousands of trees every year and yet the resource is renewable. Most of the raw material is harvested from trees here in south central Pennsylvania and a steady supply is available due to nature and foresters who regularly plant new trees.
"The tree" in our daily text is undoubtedly the most significant single tree that ever grew, that was ever cut down, and that was ever processed into a finished product. Normally in Scripture this tree is known as the cross (describing its finished appearance), but the apostle Peter speaks of the raw material the cross was made of.
Peter was surely aware of a statement made in the Law of Moses written some 1,500 years earlier, "Anyone who is hung on a tree is under God's curse" (Deuteronomy 21:22). The apostle Paul is clearly referring to this statement when he wrote, "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: 'Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree'" (Galatians 3:13).
Today most all of our readers are surrounded by trees. In our area they're just beginning to bud and in several weeks will burst forth into a lush green. The ornamental varieties will show off huge clusters of flowers. Let these living trees be a reminder of that one single tree that Christ died on once for all to pay for our salvation.
The cursed tree of death became the blessed tree of life. Only God can turn curses into blessings. As a result we mercifully receive forgiveness, healing, and eternal life. Today let us rejoice in God's great act of mercy as we "die to sins and live for righteousness."
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we thank You for Jesus who redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. The nails bore His body to the tree, and yet our sin condition bore His Spirit to the cross of Calvary. He who knew no sin became sin for us – what an unsurpassed substitutionary death our Savior sacrificed for us so that sin's curse could be removed and the blessings might follow; the blessings of forgiveness for sins, eternal life, a home established in heaven, healing of body, mind and spirit, and the freedom from condemnation for those who are in Christ. What unspeakable joy fills our hearts today as we rejoice in God's goodness to us through Christ Jesus. Amen.
As Spring arrived Saturday we enjoyed both a long walk and a bike ride taking in the sights of the season.
It's nice to see members of the animal kingdom getting along in spite of differences. For many years we have watched a family of three Pekin ducks (the white ones) swimming together. There was also a couple of mallards just getting their colors who were always together. But this season it appears that one Pekin and one Mallard is missing so the two groups combined to make a multi-racial grouping.
Here's a sight we don't often see across Donegal Creek. A nesting Canada goose laying on her eggs who kept a wary eye on us as we walked by. The father goose was floating in the water nearby also with a wary eye on us. We'll be watching for the goslings in the next several weeks.
We passed this interesting church sign on the way home from our church yesterday. I know what the message intends, which is a sermon by Dan Houck on repentance. But if I didn't know better I might very reasonably assume it was a public message telling Dan Houck to repent! We'll just add this one to our many humorous bulletin messages and church signs that bring a smile!
The Cross At The Crossroads
We passed this large cross on the way back from a family reunion last year at the junction of I-70 and I-57 near Effingham, Illinois. It is is intended to serve as a beacon of hope to the 50,000 travelers estimated to pass by each day. It is reported to be the world's largest cross. See here for details.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link (usually a Youtube video) to open and play.
(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)
"It's Still The Cross" Video A reminder of what really matters!
"Still The Cross" Video
Today's message brings to mind "The Tale Of The Three Trees" 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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