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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Jude's doxology

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"Jude's Benediction"

"Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen" (Jude 1:24,25).

A benediction is a short prayer for divine help, blessing and guidance, usually at the end of a worship service. The word comes from the latin "bene", well and "dicere", to speak.  I use a variety of Biblical benedictions when I conclude a worship service. In fact I have them adhered to the back flyleaf on my pulpit Bible. (I also have invocations at the beginning of a worship service on the front flyleaf.)

Jim & Wendy GambiniFor several years Jim Gambini was our pastor when we first moved back to Pennsylvania after our nearly eight year pastorate in New England. Pastor Jim, almost without exception, ended each service by slowly, meaningfully quoting Jude's benediction (our daily text). I especially remember when he paused very deliberately and quoted the portion concerning "great joy". Jim and his wife Wendy remain close friends and we periodically see them.

The first part of Jude's benediction expresses what God will do for us using the glorious phrase, "He is able".

1)  He is able to keep us from stumbling.
2)  He is able to present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.

He is able and faithful to take us through this life, to "
keep us from stumbling" and prepare us for the life to come, "To present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy". In this regard the phrase from a hymn comes to mind "Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow."

In the epistles there are several rich expressions of what God is able to do for us:
* He is able to establish us according to the gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ (Romans 16:25).
* He is able to make all grace abound to us, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, we may have an abundance for every good deed (2 Corinthians 9:8).
* Since He Himself was tempted in that which He suffered, He is able to come to our aid when we are tempted (Hebrews 2:18).
* He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He ever lives to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25).

The second part of the benediction is a powerful declaration of praise to God.

"To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever."

Today we pray this benediction for each reader that you will experience rich assurance and great joy as you recognize your position in Christ.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, only You are able to keep us from falling, to receive us, Your redeemed, before Your glorious presence without fault and with great joy. You are the only wise God our Savior in whom we can truly ascribe glory, majesty, power and authority through Jesus Christ our Lord in all generations both now and forevermore.  Give us the rich assurance of sufficient strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. In Jesus' mighty Name. Amen.

Mark 8:36 Kember print
In yesterday's message I shared the story about Kember prints.
This Kember print has hung in my office practically since I began my ministry in the seventies.
What a solemn reminder from our Lord!

Within an hour of our email delivery I received this note with more info about Walter Kember's ministry:

"I read with great interest the article about Walter Kember. I used to be friends with his daughter, Karen! We attended the Plymouth Brethren for a period of five years, while I was age 13-18, and helped make the plaques he was making at that time for the people attending. They were made of plaster of paris and he needed help painting the letters of the verse white so they would show up on the colored background. That's what I did. He was also making the simple framed plaques that you spoke of, but mailed those out to people outside the Sarnia group because they were much cheaper to mail out that way. Wow! Small world huh!"

Do you have a Kember print?  If so I would appreciate your sending me a photo of it similar to the photos above. I would like to develop a photo montage in honor of Walter Kember.

Please send an email to this address with the photo as a jpg attachment. In subject line put "Kember print" and specify where you are from and if you want to tell the story behind it or how it has been meaningful to you.

40 Day New Testament Reading/Listening Plan

"You've Got The Time" Bible reading plan Beginning Sunday, April 3, 2011 we are encouraging Daily Encouragement Net readers to read/listen through the entire New Testament in 40 days. This will take about 30 minutes per day. We will provide a direct link to the Scripture portion to be read and listened to each day (and several links for the weekend daily readings).

The daily encouragement message for each weekday during the forty day period will be based on a portion of the text in the Bible reading for that day.

See Bible.is for an online Bible with audio player and additional apps that you may find useful.
For international readers there may be a version available in your native language. Just click on the ESV tab to access all languages available.

"You've Got The Time" Bible reading planDaily Encouragement on Facebook Join our Daily Encouragement Bible reading group on Facebook. You can read and listen to the material directly on Facebook.

A schedule for the entire reading period along with discussion questions is here.

Here is what the daily reading reminder will look like from daily encouragement beginning this Friday:
For Sunday, April 3 read Matthew 1-7 beginning

This Bible reading plan is a partnership of Daily Encouragement Net and Faith Comes By Hearing, a ministry which provides Bible listening resources all over the world. We will share more about this ministry in future messages.

Here's an overview of the plan I have prepared with practical tips (pdf)

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Jude's Benediction"  Video  I made this video using the verse as sung on the Scripture memory series.

"Jude's Benediction"  Video  Billy Sprague

"Jude's Doxology"  Video   Vineyard Music team

"Great Is Thy Faithfulness"  Video  CeCe Winans  (This is the hymn that has the phrase:
"Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.")

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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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