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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cardinal (photo by Doris High)
"What are you staring at?"
I found this beautiful close-up of a cardinal on Doris High's photo blog
(used by permission)

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"Be Prepared"

"Prepare to meet thy God" (Amos 4:12). "For we will all stand before God's judgment seat" (Romans 14:10).

I was in the Boy Scouts for many years and to this day value the training and discipline I received. The Boy Scout motto is a simple two word phrase, "Be Prepared".  Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting was once asked, "Be prepared for what?"  He didn't think hard and long for a profound response, but simply replied, "Why, for any old thing".

His response was based on good old fashioned common sense that seems in short supply these days.  But I'd like to take his reply a step further as it applies to the Christian faith.  What should every person be prepared for?  As you might expect, I believe the most important preparation we must give serious thought to is the coming judgment.

"Prepare to meet thy God" road signThe notion of this coming judgment is scoffed at by most in our "enlightened" world.  I wonder what the typical person who is inundated by a worldly perspective thinks when he sees a large sign on a barn or on a sign along the road proclaiming, "Prepare to meet thy God."  We see these types of signs all the time here in rural Pennsylvania.

Ridicule they may, but God's Word clearly teaches a future judgment that will involve every person who has ever lived.  It will not matter whether one believed in God or the final judgment during their lifetime.  All will stand before God's judgment seat and give an account.

Even in the church there is a tendency to downplay the coming Judgment as we primarily focus on God's love, mercy and forgiveness.  Of course these wonderful truths need to be emphasized, however, God's Holy Word plainly tells us there will be a final accounting, a great judgment.  Millions confess this regularly when they say the Apostle's Creed; "He shall judge the living and the dead."

But I direct my word of encouragement today to the faithful people of God; to those redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, to those who have accepted Jesus as their personal Savior and now seek daily to please Him; to those who are "sinners saved by grace".   Because Christ died in our place we can face this Judgment with peace and confidence; with deep abiding assurance.  Our standing is not based upon what we have done, for that would lead to vanity and pride, a works based righteousness.  Rather it is based on what Christ has done on our behalf: "For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God" (1 Peter 3:18). "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

Our preparation for the Judgment fundamentally involves turning to God in faith.  Here is a prayer that expresses that faith. If you have not done so already, I urge you to pray this prayer from your heart today.  If you have done so already I encourage you to again pray to God this basic expression in reaffirming your faith.

"Lord Jesus, I confess that I am a sinner.  I believe that You came to this earth and died on the cross as a substitute for me.  I place my faith in You and what You have done for me.  I receive You into my life today and ask You to forgive me of my sins.  I choose this day to follow You and walk in Your ways according to the Bible. Thank You for seeing my need and hearing my prayer of salvation."

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, as we see the day approaching help us to be fully prepared for the day when we will stand and give account for the choices we make in this life.  We know that preparation begins the day we commit our lives to You, but many other choices will confront our faith along life's pathway.  May our faith stand the test of time and our devotion to You be evident in this life so that we will be able to rejoice in Christ's words of personal commendation, "Well done good and faithful servant."

Green grass on May 4, 2010
Green grass (and weeds)
My brother Pat is coming over for a visit today and I mowed my lawn after the rain yesterday. It is a vibrant green, which is one of my pleasures in life. However in just a matter of hours it seems the dandelions sprout up!  When I see green grass like this I recall a specific detail in Scripture. Can you recall the portion I am referring to?  See here. Green is the Greek word "chloro"

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.)

"Come To Jesus"  Video  

"Come Just As You Are"  Video

"Cry Out To Jesus"  Video  

"Just As I Am"  Video  

Cardinal (photo by Doris High)I periodically refer to Doris High, a local friend and photographer. Here's a larger version of today's photo of the staring cardinal. Here's the photo collection it came from.

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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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