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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Purple pansies in Greensboro NC 4/7/10
Purple pansies

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(Note: Yesterday's podcast mistakenly linked to the previous day.
The correct link for Tuesday's audio message is here.

"The Climate Of Heaven"

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:1-3).

Park in Greensboro NCWe are visiting my sister Genelle and her husband Cesar here in the Greensboro, NC area. Yesterday Genelle and I took a long walk with temperatures near 90. It was unseasonably warm even for this area and of course I had a further adjustment coming down from Pennsylvania. I need to climatize myself, that is adjust to a warmer climate. The Redbud trees are in full blossom and visible everywhere. We took several walks yesterday and saw so many beautiful blooming trees and flowers.

Many years ago I heard a pastor use a phrase in his pastoral prayer that especially caught my attention. He prayed on behalf of himself and the congregation that God would "climatize us to the climate of heaven."  To climatize means to acclimate or become acclimated.

One of the great ongoing issues believers deal with in one way or another is keeping a heavenly perspective in the midst of the stuff of life. Essentially we are naturally very acclimated to the climate of this physical life, or as the text states, "on earthly things."

But today's Scripture portion is a strong call to what we'll refer to as "heavenly climatization".  Spiritually we who have accepted Jesus as our personal Savior have been "raised with Christ." This speaks of our present position. I take it to mean that we are to live with an ongoing awareness of the reality and power of the resurrection of Christ.

Since we have been raised with Christ we are to set our hearts and minds on things above. This is an act of the will and must be an ongoing attitude in the life of the believer. The experiences of yesterday, however wonderful, need to be regularly refreshed.

We must seek to live with a heavenly perspective as we daily sort through any setbacks or losses that line our earthly path. Many years ago I committed the daily Scripture portion to memory.  Today I want to keep this heavenly perspective and do so by personalizing the verse. "Since, then, I have been raised with Christ, I set my heart on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  I set my mind on things above, not on earthly things.  For I died, and my life is now hidden with Christ in God."  Will you join me today?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, I have been delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of Your Son where I find redemption, the forgiveness for my sins.  It is in Your holy kingdom that my heart is transformed from an earthly nature to that of a heavenly nature.  As I clothe myself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience my affections for the temporary pleasures of this world diminish in light of the eternal joys to come.  Remind me of this when I am tempted to give up that which is lasting for that which is but momentary. In the name of Jesus I pray.  Amen.

A reader commented on yesterday's message "Because He Lives" with these thoughts:

Many years ago, I was at a very low place in my life.  I was not interested in the next day at all and was considering how to avoid it. Some of the considerations would not have allowed me to be here today.  I don't remember who gave me the tape or where it came from but I put it in my player and heard the words:  "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow."  I took that literally.  And have on a number of occasions since.  In fact, in my Easter facebook status, I wrote"  Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.  Alleluia, Happy Easter"

Smoky Bones  waitressLast night we had dinner at the Smokey Bones BBQ and got acquainted with a friendly waitress. As our evening progressed she shared of the overcoming in her life following the death of her 16 year old son who was killed in a car accident.  Through a lifelong painful ordeal, it is so helpful to have a heavenly perspective, in such monumental trials of life.  She was an inspiration to us as we shared together and we hope we were also an encouragement to her. I'm sure God uses her regularly to be a comfort to others who've endured similar loss.  

We sure enjoy the friendly, outgoing southern hospitality we experience every time we come to this area which reminds us of our Oklahoma and Missouri upbringing!

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.)

"I Am Crucified With Christ And Yet I Live"  Video

"I Live To Worship You"

"To Worship You I Live"

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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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