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Friday, July 30, 2010

Rural scene in Lancaster County PA 7/29/10
View from Kraybill Church Road, Lancaster County, PA
After some nice rains the crops are a vibrant green.

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"God's Still On The Throne!"

"Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: 'To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, forever and ever!'" (Revelation 5:13).

Today, our ministry will take us on a number of one-on-one encounters; from a businessman/friend who faces ongoing challenges in leading his company during these troubled economic times, to a hospital where a young girl has for several years faced a devastating illness.  We'll be sharing with a person who has sat under a false religious teaching but is now looking for answers that will help him sort truth from error.  And then, just like those reading our message today, there will be the possibility of unexpected divine encounters that God provides throughout the day.

When we're facing difficulties or sorting out perplexing matters often believers will attempt to bring comfort and reassurance by saying, "Remember, God's still on the throne." It's a way of stating that God is in control even though the trial we're encountering may appear as a thick cloud covering over the eternal truths stated repeatedly throughout the Bible.

In today's Scripture text the writer of Revelation gives us a wonderful view of our Father in heaven.  The throne represents absolute authority. It is not an earthly throne but a heavenly throne. There is only One who is supremely sovereign.

Jeremiah, who lived throughout one of the most challenging times in history, makes a great declaration of faith, acknowledging, "You, O LORD, reign forever; Your throne endures from generation to generation" (Lamentations 5:19)

What tremendous assurance it is to know that our Father is sitting on His throne with the Lamb, who was slain before the foundations of the world.  Of course the Lamb is Jesus Christ, whom John the Baptist identified as "The Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world" (John 1:29).  When Jesus Christ ascended to heaven He sat down at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 1:3).

In the very midst of Stephen's encounter with his stoning death by the angry mob, he saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God. I have wondered if the Father was also standing! Stephen's  revelation, invisible to others but visible to him, shows us that our Savior cares and is genuinely interested when we encounter warfare here on earth. He can rescue us from danger or He will use the conflict to bring glory to Himself.

The throne indicates His absolute authority and control.  The events that so distress us are not in any way worrying our Father.  He's not pacing back and forth wringing his hands, second guessing everything that He has brought to pass or will do in the future. 

Theologian A.W. Pink states, "Divine sovereignty means that God is God in fact, as well as in name, that He is on the Throne of the universe directing all things." Does this mean that I fully understand or am never distressed?  Of course not.  But as I've grown in my knowledge and trust in God through the years I have found great peace based on His sovereignty.

Remember and rejoice today, He is sitting on His throne!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, we don't have to worry that You are nowhere to be found.  We have Your Spirit abiding in our hearts and we know that You sit upon the throne in heaven.  Though we cannot see You we believe in You and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy even in the midst of difficulties here on earth. We eagerly await the second coming of Christ when we will be caught up with Him in the air or when You call us home through death.  Thank You for Jesus who makes intercession for us as He sits at Your right hand.  It is in His name that we pray.  Amen.

Pony cart ride 7/29/10
Yesterday we approached this pony and cart near Martindale, PA

Corn close to road 7/29/10We pased this on our walk last night. I am not sure how this farmer gets by with planting his corn right to the edge of the road (normally there's a four or five foot grass buffer) but I suppose it does increase his yield! We call a narrow lane or road between two rows of high corn a "corn canyon" (see 
photo) If there was corn on the other side of the road this close it would really be a corn canyon!

Hess barn & flowers
Brooksyne snapped this photo in front of our neighbor's barn.

Hess barn & flowers
Here's a bit closer-up. Frankly, although I like fresh paint jobs, I also like the character look of peeling paint on an old barn!

Rural scene in Lancaster County PA 7/29/10
I took this photo of farms along Donegal Springs Road.
I enjoy the variegated greens in crop colors; soybeans (foreground), tobacco (light green in middle) and corn (in the background).

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.)

"To Him Who Sits On The Throne"
(Today's verse set to music)

Worship service version  Video
Acapella version  

"Creation Sings The Father's Song"  Video  Keith & Kristyn Getty

I don't recall ever hearing or singing this song but I sure find the lyrics powerful. 

He's on the throne with His mighty power exalted.
And within His hand, great joy He holds.
Don't despair, be not afraid, intercession has been made.
And today, I'm glad to say, He's on the throne.

In the midst of pain and suffering,
Many friends had gathered 'round.
All were trying to bring comfort, but no comfort could be found.
Even some began to murmur, Job, You've suffered for so long.
Yet He said, "I'm gonna trust Him, He's sitting on the throne".

Are You captive to a prison of temptation and defeat?
You have never tasted victory, over your spirit sorrow sweeps.
Like Isaiah in the throne room, raise your head you're not alone.
For He's high and lifted up, and He's sitting on the throne.

• "He's On The Throne" Hill, Tim © 1983 Wind In Willow Publishing (BMI) (Admin. by Integrated Copyright Group, Inc.)

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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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