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Thursday, July 29, 2010
Newport, Rhode Island
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"Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls" (1 Peter 1:8,9).
If ever there was a Scripture to bring our priorities into focus it is found in I Peter 1:8,9. It is a picture of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. So many things will come to pass when we cross over to the other side but in the meantime we are designed to thoroughly enjoy our relationship with Jesus here on earth. This passage also describes the temporal and eternal blessings of the "abundant life" promised by Jesus in John 10:10. Our ultimate goal and intentional focus is that of our own salvation and those whom we have opportunity to influence for Jesus.
When we view the breathtaking oceanic scenes along the cliffwalk and tour the mansions in Newport, Rhode Island Brooksyne has often said, "I wonder if Newport is a foretaste of the sights that will be commonly viewed in heaven." A great old hymn of the church majestically states in the 4th stanza:
In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I'll ever adore thee in heaven so bright,
I'll sing with the glittering crown on my brow,
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus 'tis now.
We consider heaven and perhaps visualize mansions, streets of gold, a crystal clear river and other incredible scenes as described in the Bible. But I believe the hymn correctly expresses that the main focus in heaven, as it should be on earth, is that we will be loving Jesus.
Peter had seen the Lord and walked with Him during His earthly ministry. In his final recorded personal encounter with the Lord three times he heard Christ ask him, "Do you love me?" Three times Peter responded, "Lord, You know that I love you."
Now Peter writes to early Christians with a certainty that they loved the Lord, "You love Him." Unlike Peter, but so like us, these early believers had never seen the Lord and were presently living in a state of faith not sight, "even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him."
This belief results in being, "filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls."
Today amidst all the stuff and distractions of life wherever you live I encourage you to consider this verse, which is such a key to living the abundant life. Read it, perhaps aloud, as if the great apostle were speaking directly to you and rejoice deep within your spirit! "Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls."
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: "Lord, it seems that the things we touch with our hands and the people we physically see with our eyes are the major focus of our day. Our daily plans can obscure the presence of the Mighty One who desires to be at the very heart of all that we do and say. This day we express our love for you. Would You, through the power of Your Holy Spirit, speak directly to our hearts and reveal Your spiritual presence in the midst of our activities this day. May we be filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy as we rely upon Your promises. And, Lord, may our major goal today and everyday, be the salvation of those we meet in our various spheres of influence. In Jesus' Name, Amen."
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Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
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"My Jesus I Love Thee" This is the hymn from which we quoted the last stanza in today's message. Written by 16 year old William Featherstone as a poem celebrating his conversion to Christ. (Also spelled "Featherston" in some documents).
Video An Acapella version by the Sharon Mennonite Singers
"I Love You Lord" Video Maranatha Singers
"The Greatest Thing" Video
Information about the Newport mansions
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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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