The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Thursday, April 22, 2010
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"When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments" (2 Timothy 4:13).
Several years ago I met Melchizedek. Actually, I met a man who played the part of Melchizedek in one of the Christian drama presentations here in Lancaster County. I spoke at his church and he shared with me his passion to see people read and study the Word of God. He had developed a series of puzzle type learning aids that encourage really digging into the Bible in an interesting way.
Several weeks ago I attended a funeral service for a godly woman who had taught her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and many others Bible verses using the alphabet as a guide. In fact Focus on the Family used this guide as developed by her son, Robert Wolgemuth.
The daily text is easy to overlook in our Bible reading. It's personal and may even seem inconsequential to the modern reader. In fact the entire fourth chapter of 2 Timothy is among the most personal portions of any of Paul's letters.
In this chapter Paul acknowledges that "the time has come for my departure" (v.6). Most take this "time of departure" to mean his impending death. We serve as chaplains to an Assisted Living Center and many are nearing their "time of departure". What a blessing to relate to those who can do so with a confident resolve and inward assurance.
Paul implores his trusted friend Timothy, "Come to me quickly" (v.9). Since winter is coming (v.21) he asks Timothy to bring his "cloak", which was an outer-garment similar to a coat for us. Paul was being practical and even though he recognized his departure was near he also knew this was in God's hands and he wanted to be prepared for winter's chills.
We've become good friends with an older couple in their mid-eighties. They have a strong faith in God and assurance of their heavenly destination at their time of departure. However they still live with vigor and enthusiasm on this side of eternity. The other day he told me how excited he was to plant some peach trees so he could have fresh, homegrown peaches in a few years!
However the part of the text that particular grips my heart, is the latter portion where Paul implores Timothy to "bring … my scrolls, especially the parchments". Here's Paul, toward the end of his life, asking for study materials! He was likely appealing for texts from the Old Testament, the Gospels, copies of his own letters and other needed documents. He had a heart to keep studying and growing in his faith.
D. Edmond Hiebert writes, "Even as an old man facing certain death, the apostle has not lost his interest for study and mental pursuits. It presents a standing challenge to the minister to be an indefatigable [untiring] student, especially of the Word of God."
What grips our hearts today? Do we have an ongoing hunger to know God through His Holy Word?
Holy words long preserved
For our walk in this world,
They resound with God's own heart
Oh, let the Ancient words impart.
Ancient words ever true
Changing me, and changing you.
We have come with open hearts
Oh let the ancient words impart.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we who have tasted the goodness of the Word of God and the power it brings to our lives are hungry to know more and more of that which You desire to reveal to our hearts. We build upon the elementary truths of the gospel and move on to spiritual maturity partaking of solid food which teaches us about Your righteousness. As we regularly partake of solid food we are training ourselves to distinguish right from wrong, good from bad, light from darkness. We want to be zealous in our faith and untiring in our study of Your Holy Word. Amen.
We passed these stunning tulips and this photo does not do the scene justice. I thought they were fake but Brooksyne, knowing her stuff, declared them to be real. To prove it, she jumped out of the van (I, of course, stopped first) and she got a close-up photo!
Yesterday's message on Zacchaeus prompted one reader to share a photo he took during a tour to Israel. He saw it at the base of the tree purported to be the one in which Zacchaeus sat to watch Jesus. We had a few laughs at their attempts to hype tourist dollars, but who knows?
Stephen's note: According to this article trees can live many thousands of years. My favorite tree in the Bible in this regard is an oak tree first referenced in Genesis 12:6. Several years ago I wrote a daily message about this tree.
We made a visit to Longwood Manor, an assisted living center, and Ester took our photo sitting in the white rockers out front.
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.)
"Ancient Words" Video Michael W. Smith We periodically sing this song just before the message is preached. It is a wonderful way to prepare our hearts for receiving the Word of God.
"More About Jesus" Video Here's another version.
Children reciting Bible verses memorized by alphabet. Video This is really cute!
Bible verses by alphabet poster. Webpage These are the same verses I heard at the funeral I attended several weeks ago in the Chicago area. The service was for Grace Wolgemuth and this poster was developed by her son, Robert Wolgemuth.
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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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