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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Barn along Strasburg Pike in Lancaster County PA
We pass this stately stone barn along Strasburg Pike here in Lancaster County.

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"Eternally, The Great One!"

"Great is the Lord" (Psalm 48:1). "He will be great" (Luke 1:32). "Your Name, O LORD, endures forever, Your fame, O LORD, throughout all generations" (Psalm 135:13).

Some have a fame that lasts and others have their fifteen minutes. Some are famous for specific reasons or in a specific area but not much beyond that. Some are famous for their evil acts and others for doing good such as a woman who appeared in newscasts throughout the country today. Before yesterday she was known only by family members, co-workers, and the people of her community. But due to her heroic-like effort in seeking to protect her co-workers yesterday from the sudden danger they faced she is now famous all over the country. In addition to heroes there are actors, musicians, athletes and politicians who have worldwide fame with devoted followers everywhere. All of this is "fame" by human standards.

John LennonAbout 45 years ago John Lennon, of the "Beatles" fame, made an extremely boastful statement about the popularity of his band being greater than that of Jesus Christ. We know how that turned out and His final accounting will be given to the Lord Jesus. The "Beatles" and all others who are reckoned as "famous" by this world's standards will eventually be likened to a tiny grain of sand in recorded history, let alone throughout eternity.

At the close of the last century historian Paul Johnson wrote of the lasting and increasing impact of Jesus Christ. But he noted that as the year 1900 approached, many leading secular thinkers believed that the progress of science would cause a decline in religious faith and the dawning of the twentieth century would mark the close of history's religious phase. "But here we are" Johnson wrote, "at the threshold of a new millennium, and Christianity is alive and well in the minds and hearts of countless believers."  

By the way even today
many leading secularists believe that the progress of science will cause a decline in religious faith. And to some degree that is happening. We’re just about ready to launch into the second decade of the new millennium and this is still true, with an increasing barrage of unbelief being unbridled and applauded by our secular society. However I place my faith in the One who said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away" (Matthew 24:35).
Mary, who had not yet conceived, heard a startling message from the angel, Gabriel, concerning Christ: "He will be great." And here we are over 2000 years later affirming His greatness! As we prepare this message today our hearts are full of exaltation to the One exclusively worthy of all praise.

This Psalm was written several thousand years ago. The human writer, unlike many of the Psalms, is not identified. It is a song of praise for God's wonderful and enduring works. "Your Name, O LORD, endures forever, Your fame, O LORD, throughout all generations." It contrasts His eternal value with the vanity and brief span of man-made idols. 

The ancient people believed in gods whose power was limited to a particular region or locale. Their specialty was narrowed to being a particular cause such as a god for rain, a god for fertility, etc. Can you imagine what it would be like if God were only available in one location and could only intervene in one area of our life?

Thanks be to His wonderful Name this is not the case. Our Lord is omnipresent (all-present), omnipotent (all-powerful) and omniscient (all-knowing). He will be remembered forever, and He will be famous for all time. His wisdom is unsearchable, His kingdom has no bounds, and His reign has no end. He truly is the famous One who is known through all the ages, to believers of every generation and through eternity.

This day we unashamedly declare ourselves to be among two of Christ's followers today. Christianity is alive because Jesus Christ, its Founder is alive! Jesus Christ is the central figure. He is great and He is the famous One in a class that stands way, way above any human classification. Join us in praising and serving Him today!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Father, You are exalted over all the nations and Your glory fills the heavens. You are great and greatly to be praised.  There is no other One who sits enthroned in the heavens and yet whose Spirit hears the very sigh of my heart. You hear my prayer before it is even whispered on my lips. You know my need even before I am aware of it and yet Your greatness never keeps me at a distance. Instead You invite me to approach the throne of grace and have audience with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, both in seasons of rejoicing and in times of need. Thank You, Almighty One who exists from eternity to eternity. It is through Jesus that we approach You in prayer. Amen.

Here's John Lennon's quote referred to above: "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that; I'm right and I'll be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first—rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me."

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.)

"Famous One"  Video  Chris Tomlin

"Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne"  Video  

Resources for Christmas Celebrations
(We will leave these resources posted below our daily messages through Christmas)

Each year we share several online resources that we have used over the years and that may be a blessing to families and churches during this Christmas season. As we find additional material that we believe will be a blessing we will add it to this list as well.

"In Remembrance of Me" pdf  This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. Brooksyne and I have used this reading with great receptivity during Christmas Eve services many years.  We suggest, if possible, a musical background as the message is read. It is also a great lead-in to a Communion service. It should be thoroughly practiced and read with great feeling.

"When Christ Was Born" pdf This is an adaptation to the tune of "How Great Thou Art". It's a great song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with and love the tune.

Responsive Christmas Scripture readings for church or family:
John 1:1-18  pdf
"O Come Let Us Adore Him"  pdf

My First Christmas In Heaven  This is a blessed reminder for all who lost a loved one this year.  This is the poem that Brooksyne read and wrote about in this message.  

Christmas Knowledge Test

We have also posted two Christmas carol quizzes here (scroll down).

re you Christmas shopping online?

Christianbook.comDaily Encouragement Net is an affiliate of Christianbook.com. Any orders placed to Christian Book Distributers using this link or any specific product link to a recommended resource in a daily encouragement message will help our Daily Encouragement ministry through a small commission on the sale. Thank you for considering using these links when purchasing online through CBD! Tip: If you are regular CBD customer consider bookmarking this link and using it whenever you shop.

Looking for a very special Christmas gift for your parents?  
Here's an idea!  "The Best Gift You Can Ever Give Your Parents"

Looking for a very special Christmas gift for your children?
Here's an idea!  "The Blessing"

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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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