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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day lily
Day Lily
Brooksyne took this photo on an early morning walk!

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"Paying More Careful Attention"

"We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?" (Hebrews 2:1-3).

Warning labelsSunday afternoon we returned home from our church service as a storm was approaching. Ester had a friend over and when we walked into the house they reported that there was a tornado warning. Having grown up in the Midwest with a lot of tornado warnings you would have thought we would heed the warning seriously but I really didn't listen, let alone take any precautionary action since we were in a hurry to get to a nursing home service.

When we arrived at the nursing home the nurse told us that only a few minutes earlier they had all the residents lined up and down the hallways in response to the tornado warning.

That evening we had some friends over and they told of going down into their basement during the warning, which of course is the recommended course of action. It was at this point that it occurred to me how we had carelessly ignored the tornado warning. The next morning we heard of the severe storms that had passed through our area and damage including a tragic death as a result of a downed tree which also brought down an electrical wire.

Warning labelsIn America, especially due to the threat of lawsuits, we are getting warned to death. In fact there is a website chronicling these dumb product warnings. Manufacturers are increasingly wary of being sued when their products are misused (even in the most ridiculous ways). Thus they attach lengthy warning labels to practically everything, covering even the most unimaginable contingencies which can make for some very interesting reading. This morning I am trying to remove and replace the carburetor on my old push lawnmower. Craftsman mowers attach this label, "Do not attempt to remove blade while lawnmower is running."

But we also get a lot of legitimate warnings in our lives.  There are warnings in our cars.  There are warning signs for cancer.  Our computers flash warning signs. Our homes have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.  Really, if you think about it, life is full of warnings from every direction regarding any subject. We can ignore or disable warnings and so many do, but we do so to our own peril.

Since the consequence of ignoring warnings is often not immediate the tendency is to feel the warnings have no value.  Consider the millions of people today who will ignore the prominent health warnings on cigarette packs.

But sadder still is the widespread disregard of the warnings of Scripture, the greatest of which involves the most definite future judgment.  That's a warning that is not only massively ignored, but ridiculed as well, much to Satan's pleasure.

Today I want you to consider the question that concludes the daily Scripture text: "How shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?"  That's a good verse to memorize and hide deep in your heart. One day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. 

We have been duly warned.  Have you accepted God's great salvation?  Today are you actively submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in every area of your life?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Jesus, You spoke through the angels, the prophets, the disciples, the apostles and You speak through the Scriptures and godly messengers today.  Even as the apostle Paul declared, "Today is the day of salvation" and we also apply that same message today to our generation.  May Your Spirit speak to our hearts about not ignoring or delaying life's most important decision.  You've not told us that we have to clean up our act before we can come to You.  That's because You know it's impossible for us to do so.  It is only by knowing You personally through salvation that we can be free of the sins that so easily entangle our lives.  It is after we receive Your forgiveness that the joyful journey of our salvation begins.  For those of us who have received this wonderful gift we rejoice in the God of our salvation, for God the Lord is our strength.

Persecution warning labelHere's a warning label
presently applicable to many of our brethren.  This morning I read this on the Mission Network news blog: Christians in Pakistan continue to be in shock, following last week's murder of two brothers. Rashid and Sajid Emmanuel were falsely accused of blaspheming Mohammad. Todd Nettleton with Voice of the Martyrs says Christians began protesting blasphemy laws used to falsely imprison Christians. "They're saying as long as these blasphemy laws are on the books, we are at risk because any Muslim can point to us and say, 'Hey I heard him say something about Mohammad.' [Those accused of blasphemy] are locked up in jail while they wait for the trial to go on; they lose literally years of their lives." While persecution is strengthening the church, Nettleton's asking Christians to pray. "There's a natural tendency to sort of silence yourself. We need to pray against that. And we need to pray for Christians there to continue to be bold witnesses for Christ in spite of the fact that they could be in the cross-hairs of a blasphemy charge."

See this article
for what I feel (thus far anyway) is an under-reported story here in America.

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.)

"Today I Choose"
 Video  Brian Doerksen

"Just As I Am"  Video  Brian Doerksen

For fun:
Dumb warnings website

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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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