Daily Encouragement Net Header
The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Home   About Us  Archives   Free email subscription   ListenListen to these messages
Print Text only for printing
  Bookmark and Share  

 See here for more info.

<Previous Message                                                    Next Message

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tree in Michigan (photo by Howard Blichsfeldt)
Lone Sentinel
(Photo by Howard J. Blichfeldt)
So far this season we have had very little snow and that's one of the features we both enjoy living in a four season area. The big storm this last weekend that hit the eastern seaboard missed our area and today it is clear, cold but no snow on the ground.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"Life's Dominant Question"

"A Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11b). "What shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?" (Matthew 27:22).

Paper or plastic?Today we all deal with a lot of questions. Many are minor and routine. Some questions are verbalized by other.  Some we are working through on our own. "Do you want sugar and cream?" "Paper or plastic?" "Do you want fries with that?" And the list goes on and on.

But there are huge questions that can easily be overlooked amidst the hustle and bustle of life. But today let us consider life's dominant question. The biggest one of all.

Angelic message to shepherdsThe first daily text is the announcement made to the shepherds by the angel. We dealt with this powerful statement in last Friday's message and the significance of the three titles used for Jesus; Savior, Christ, Lord.

The second text is a question that Pilate asked the crowd at the time of the Lord's trial some 33 years later. Pilate had seen the flimsy evidence. He had heard the cautions of his wife. In examining the text one can detect a wavering in Pilate's own personal convictions. But rather than act on principle he polled the crowd (politicians haven't changed much have they?) and the majority cried out, "Crucify Him!"

Christ with Pilate at trialI consider Pilate's question and see it as a fitting expression of a question every single individual must deal with. It’s life's dominant question. It's already worded in the first person singular so everyone merely needs to personalize it and make it their own question: "What shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?"

Pilate was confronted face to face with the divine Son of God. In one way or another all reading this are being confronted and probably have been many times. We will simply be unable to use the excuse, "But I didn't know."

Responses to this question, "What shall I do?" vary from outright rejection to ignoring, to procrastinating, to compartmentalized religious lip service. Do you relate to any of these responses?

The only acceptable answer that pleases God is to express the essence of Peter's great confession of faith concerning who Jesus is, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God." This genuine heartfelt confession will lead to a daily submission to the Lordship of Jesus.

Jesus came into the world "to seek and to save that which was lost" but was violently rejected by many and He continues to be rejected today, often violently. This is also true of His followers including some who are reading this today. The apostle John wrote, "He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him" (John 1:11). And for the last 2,000 years men and women continue to be confronted with the choice whether to receive or reject.

Pilate's question, "What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?" is also the most important question each of us will answer. In one sense this question is dealt with when we receive Christ as our Savior, but there's another sense that it's an ongoing daily question. Today we have a choice whether or not to submit to the Lordship and Kingdom of Jesus Christ. We pray that each reader will choose to do so. We proclaim again today, "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord!"

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Father, unlike typical birth announcements that announce to others the birth of a child to its mother and father, the glorious pronouncement heralded by the angels was that the Christ Child was born to all   people for all generations. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given.” We have been given the gift of salvation through the birth, death and resurrection of our Savior. Thank You for the free will given to us that allows us to reject or receive this "Jesus, who is called Christ." When given the choice we like Peter respond, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." We go to the Rock of our salvation, our hope for all eternity. Amen.

Note for further study: The way people responded to Christ at the time of His birth and the way they respond concerning His birth and life in our own day are instructive regarding this question.

Negative responses to Christ which are fundamentally unbelief:

1st) Disinterest and Ambivalence – Demonstrated at the birth of Christ and all through history by many who are uncaring toward Jesus, only interested in their own life and unconcerned with the miraculous story of Jesus’ birth and life.
2nd) Offense and Hatred – Demonstrated by King Herod in Matthew 2:16
3rd) A sentimental compartmentalization – This has developed through the centuries and is now demonstrated by many who get a syrupy type of spiritual interest during Christmas but otherwise show no interest in spiritual things or living for the Lord.

Positive responses to Christ which are fundamentally belief:

1st) Worship – Demonstrated by the Magi, “the wise men” of the Bible. Matthew 2:11
2nd) Treasure and Ponder – Demonstrated by Mary in Luke 2:19
3rd) Obedience And Service - Demonstrated by Joseph in Matthew 1:24, 2:13,14
4th) Witness to others – Demonstrated by Shepherds in Luke 2:17
5th) Waiting and Perseverance - Demonstrated by all who at that time waited in faith for some 30 years before Christ began His ministry. Demonstrated through the ages and in our day by those who by faith wait and persevere in the things of Christ.

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.)

"Still My Soul"  Video  Keith and Kristyn Getty

"What Grace Is Mine"  Video  
Keith and Kristyn Getty

Today's photo of the solitary tree and winter scene was taken in Michigan by our friend Howard Blichfeldt and is used with his permission. Howard is a professional photographer who seeks to incorporate a witness for Christ into his work.

Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne.

Sign up here for the free daily email encouragement.

Permissions: Please feel free to pass on, reproduce and distribute any material on Daily Encouragement Net, in part or in whole, in any format, provided that you do not alter the wording in any way or charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. It is our desire to spread this material, not protect or restrict it. I do request that you keep the contact, copyright and subscription information intact.

Text only version for printing: To make a text only version for printing (without photos or any of the supplemental materials)
1) Open the basic text editor that comes with all computers (known as wordpad, textpad, etc.)  You can also use a program like Word and select paste text only.
2) Select and copy the text from the portion of the message you want to print.
3) Paste into the text pad. (The photos won't show up but you will have a brief text description of the photo which you can delete or just ignore.)
4) Format if you desire (change font, increase or decrease size, etc.)
5) Print!

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."

Daily Encouragement Net is an affiliate of Christianbook.com 
© Copyright 2010 Stephen C. Weber - All Rights Reserved
Daily Encouragement Net - 495 Kraybill Church Road - Mount Joy, PA 17552  USA

Contact us

Chaplaincy MinistriesNew feature: I am not much for publishing website statistics but sure enjoy geography. When I saw this widget that counts visitors by nation and state I thought it would be interesting to some of our readers. I installed the international widget 4/16/10 and the state widget 4/19/10 (thus the disparity in US state totals).  This widget only counts visits to the main page and daily archive.
free counters

Free counters!

"Living securely today anchored in God's solid foundation"