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Monday, April 18, 2011

Reist Popcorn Company mural
Reist Popcorn Company Mural

40 Day New Testament Reading/Listening Plan: This suggested 40 day reading plan began Sunday (April 3). If you want to participate and have not been following the reading schedule up to this point we suggest starting with today's reading and reading previous portions after this reading period ends. Here's the entire 40 day schedule. More information concerning the Scripture reading plan is below the daily message.

The links below will open to the selection to be read along with a built-in listening device. 
  • Today's reading (April 18): John 10-14 beginning here.
  • Tomorrow's reading (April 19): John 15-19 beginning here.
ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"For This Very Reason I Came"
"The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified" (John 12:23). "Now My heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save Me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour" Father, glorify Your name!” (John 12:27,28).

Triumphal entryWe are now considering the most intense period in Christ's life on earth, beginning with the Triumphal Entry (Palm Sunday) through Resurrection Sunday. This is often called Holy Week or Passion Week. An astounding 30 of the 89 accumulative chapters in the four gospels cover this period beginning with Christ's Triumphal Entry through His resurrection and post-resurrection appearances.

Jesus knew His mission was to die for the sins of the people. The inspiring song, "If That Isn't Love" states, "He left the splendor of heaven, knowing His destiny, 'twas the lowly hill of Golgotha, there to lay down His life for me."

Let's consider the Scripture portions that highlight His human redemptive mission:

1) When He left heaven (the incarnation): "Therefore, when Christ came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You prepared for Me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings You were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about Me in the scroll—I have come to do Your will, O God’” (Hebrews 10:5-7).

2) During His childhood (when He was with the teachers of the Law): "Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49).

3) When He began His ministry: "Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God and saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the Gospel' He said" (Mark 1:14b,15).

4) Throughout His ministry He regularly informed and reinforced to His disciples His stated mission. However it seems they didn't really grasp it until after He was resurrected. This verse is so informative in this regard: "At first His disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about Him and that they had done these things to Him" (John 12:16).

Luke 9:51 records our Lord's resolve to complete His mission: "As the time approached for Him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem."

In the daily text He is teaching at the time of the Triumphal Entry and forthrightly states, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified."  His heart is troubled and He asks aloud whether he should appeal to His Father to save Him from the hour. "No", He emphatically states, and with resolute resolve He declares, "It was for this very reason I came to this hour."

Thank God that Jesus knew and fully completed His mission!  

Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Praying man Daily prayer:  Father, we are among the redeemed because Jesus accepted His mission on earth and wholly completed it.  He drank from the bitter cup fully giving His all to provide forgiveness for our sins. We who have sought forgiveness are the redeemed and now have a mission to freely share the life-changing message of salvation with those who so desperately need to hear it.  We do so in Jesus' name and through His power.  Amen.

For many years I have taught that it is important to have a very succinct life mission statement. My statement describes the very mission that I believe God has for me for the remainder of my life on this earth. I expect yours will be similar but you may very well choose to word it differently. I purposefully include it in the footers of each daily encouragement posting.

"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."
Our friend Chuck Shupp, a business leader here in the Lancaster area, sent me his mission statement: I am created by God to bring Him glory! God has uniquely designed me to use my relational and organizational abilities and His gift of discernment to help people understand truth and apply it to their lives. In being a blessing to others, I am truly and richly blessed. My primary focus area is to teach, mentor, provide support and encouragement for others especially those in leadership in the church and the marketplace. (Barnabas is my hero!)

Do have a brief personal mission statement you would like to share with us?  If so use this form and give us permission to post so we can encourage others in this regard.

Study Note from Friday's message:
I noted that there are seven times in Scripture when God addresses a person by repeating their name twice (this is known as "Epizeuxis"). They are as follows:
  • "Abraham, Abraham"  Genesis 22:11
  • "Jacob, Jacob"  Genesis 46:2
  • "Moses, Moses"  Exodus 3:4
  • "Samuel, Samuel"  1 Samuel 3:10
  • "Martha, Martha"  Luke 10:41
  • "Simon, Simon"  Luke 22:31
  • "Saul, Saul"  Acts 9:4
When Jesus addresses the name of a place twice: "Jerusalem, Jerusalem"  Matthew 23:37
When He addresses His Father twice:  "My God, My God"  Matthew 27:46

Several of our readers submitted answers and had several correct, but none had all. However one reader had all but "Jacob, Jacob"

BTW as I prepared the message last Friday that referenced "Simon, Simon" I recalled a teaching from some 25 years ago when RC Sproul made this point regarding the significance of the name being repeated, for Abraham as I recall. I did not have notes though and spent a considerable amount of time on research in finding the seven occasions. Even with the computer and internet search I found no easy shortcuts for finding this information!

Major Events of the Passion Week

Holy or Passion Week is so named because it chronicles the events leading up to the Lord's death and resurrection. Here's an interesting chart from a Study Bible that may be helpful as you study the Bible this week and consider these events. It sure helps me to have a sense of when the events took place and I am inspired as I read these Scriptures in the daily sequence leading up to Easter. Note: The precise days these events occurred cannot be determined with certainty. Earnest Christians have various views as to the day Christ died, some believing it would have been on Wednesday or Thursday rather than Friday. However we feel the basic outline is still helpful.

I enjoy math although I'm not very good at it beyond the basics needed to get by in life (such as preparing my taxes!) Consider this: The four gospels cover the life of Christ, a period of about 33 years. But almost all of this material deals with just the 3½ year period of His earthly ministry. However, an astounding 30 of the 89 accumulative chapters in the gospels cover the period beginning with Christ's triumphal entry through His resurrection and post-resurrection appearances.  Mathematically this means that approximately 33% of the written material in the Gospels deals with a mere .05% period of His life!  In the providence of God we have a much greater proportion of Scriptural revelation dealing with God's greatest act of love and mercy in providing our redemption.

  • Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem: Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-40; John 12:12-19
  • Jesus Clears the Temple: Matthew 21:12,13; Mark 11:15-17; Luke 19:45,46
  • Jesus' authority challenged in the temple: Matthew 21:23-27; Mark 11:27-33; Luke 20:1-8
  • Jesus teaches stories and confronts the Jewish leaders: Matthew 21:28-23:36; Mark 12:1-40; Luke 20:9-47   
  • Greeks ask to see Jesus: John 12:20-26
  • The Olivet Discourse: Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21:5-38
  •  Judas agrees to betray Jesus: Matthew 26:14-16; Mark 14:10,11; Luke 22:3-6
  • The Last Supper: Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20
  • Jesus speaks to the disciples in the upper room:  John 13-17
  • Jesus struggles in Garden of Gethsemane: Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46; John 18:1
  • Jesus is betrayed and arrested: Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:2-12
  • Jesus is tried by Jewish and Roman authorities and disowned by Peter: Matthew 26:57-27:2, 11-31; Mark 14:53-15:20; Luke 22:54-23:25; John 18:13-19:16
  • Jesus is crucified and buried: Matthew 27:31-56; Mark 15:20-41; Luke 23:26-49; John 19:17-30
  • The glorious resurrection: Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-11; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-18
(This material is developed from an outline in the Life Application Bible)

40 Day New Testament Reading/Listening Plan

"You've Got The Time" Bible reading planOn Sunday April 3 we began a forty day program of reading through the New Testament and we encourage Daily Encouragement Net readers to consider joining in as we read/listen through the entire New Testament in 40 days. (At this point we suggest starting at the reading for the current day and then reading the portions you hadn't read when the 40 day period is over.)

These readings take about 30 minutes per day. Prior to each message we will provide a direct link to the Scripture portion to be read and listened to each day and for the next 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 (or, on Mondays this may also be from a Scripture portion read over the weekend.)

Here is a page where you can download the entire Bible to your computer in a variety of versions.

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

Here's a schedule for the entire 40 day reading period along with discussion questions. This is especially suitable to bookmark during this period as it contains links that will open directly to the passage to be read for the day.

"Proclaimer" Bible listening deviceThe reading links open to Bible.is, an online Bible with audio player and additional apps that you may find useful. For those who may prefer the KJV it is available. For international readers there may even be a version available in your native language. Just click the small tab directly below the Bible.is logo on the top left to see available versions. 

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.

Daily Encouragement on Facebook Join our Daily Encouragement Bible reading group on Facebook. You can read and listen to the material directly on Facebook.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"If That Isn't Love"  Video   Whitewell Youth Band   Video  Piano instrumental

"Gethsemane Hymn"  Video  Keith & Kristin Getty  This is a beautiful, heartrending song regarding Christ's agonizing prayer in the garden of Gethsemane, not only for Himself, but for His followers as well.  We introduced it in our church yesterday.

"Hallelujah! What a Savior!"  Video  Begins with an outstanding scene from Martin Luther.

"Hallelujah! What a Savior!"  Video   A nice version, earnestly sung.

"Hallelujah! What a Savior!"  Video   Sovereign Grace  This is set to a bit more contemporary arrangement and maintains the rich doctrinal content.  

Tortured For His FaithFree "Tortured For His Faith" We would highly recommend this book which is available to Daily Encouragement readers for the month of April free of chargeIt is tremendously inspiring and will stir you to faithfulness in the face of persecution.  It will also create a greater hunger for the Bible as a result of reading it.  Merely go to this page and fill out the form on the lower part of the page. Indicate that you are a daily encouragement reader and request the book in the comment box. (Don't forget to include your mailing address.)

The photo featured today is a large mural painted on a brick building when we enter Mount Joy. Yesterday on the way home from church we had to stop at a traffic light and we enjoyed this scene notice in particular how the boy appears to be squinting as if he is looking into the bright sun. The mural is an example of barnart painted by Wayne Fettro, a local artist who specializes in large painting projects on barns and other buildings. You can get an idea of the size by noting the double doors below the mural.

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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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© Copyright 2011 Stephen C. Weber - All Rights Reserved
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