The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011
The tulips in our front lawn are in full bloom and we marvel at the exquisite colors.
40 Day New Testament Reading/Listening Plan: We began a 40 day New Testament reading plan on 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.
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"Walking In Newness Of Life"
"Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4).
Last night we were visiting with our friends Ken and Nila on the back yard deck when I heard one of the great sounds of Spring in our rural area. The first harvest of the season! It was a John Deere wind-rower working a field behind our house. The machine cuts the grass and then places it in wind-rows. We ran out back to have a closer look and David was pleased to ride on his dad's shoulders. However the loud noise wasn't as pleasant as they worked the field across from our house through the night, until 2:30 A.M!
Early this morning as the sun comes up and reveals a pale blue sky I ponder new life. The greening fields, the young calves in their hutches, and even the unpleasant odor of manure as farmers begin spreading this ever abounding, renewable fertilizer resource! Spring is a season of new life and what a powerful reminder it is today of God's call for all who follow Christ.
I want to focus on a single phrase in the daily Scripture portion. The apostle Paul is writing and by now is well along in his life as a Christian. It had been many years since he was dramatically converted on the road to Damascus. He was touched that day and transformed, beginning a long journey of growth in his faith and in active service for His Lord.
The Father sent Jesus that we might have new life. One of the great teachings of Christ was when he declared prior to His death, "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly" (John 10:10).
Christ died for our sins and was indeed raised from the dead through the glory of the Father and He has ordained a new life for His redeemed children. The apostle Paul uses the 1st person plural indicating that this was a very personal experience for him, not merely an injunction to his readers. The sense of this "new life" is active and ongoing. The Amplified Bible expresses it "so that we too may habitually live and behave in newness of life."
Genuine conversion leads to a new life! The verb for live or walk is in the present tense. It seems we may have a tendency to see the "new life" as the time that immediately follows our conversion to Christ and it is indeed a real joy to experience this phase. But I accepted Christ nearly 40 years ago, some of you long before that and others more recently. We may feel this "newness of life" stage is long past. O, how we are mistaken!
Let us consider these words from the apostle Paul, who is surely very mature in his walk at this time. He speaks of living (present tense) in newness of life. So whether we are a new Christian or a seasoned veteran let us hear the word of the resurrected Lord and let us live this day in newness of life! My prayer for myself and for each reader: Lord, help us today to experience the new life you have given us!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, as we embrace the cross of Calvary and apply Christ's redemptive blood to our hearts we find newness of life. We are no longer bound by the chains that fettered us to sin. What great liberty and boundless joy to know that our names are written down in heaven. If we set our hearts on this world we will wear down and lose the joy that comes with newness of life. But as we set our hopes and joys on the hereafter the joy of our salvation is ongoing, uplifting, and a testimony to all who seek answers that this world cannot provide. Thank You for raising Christ from the dead so that we can be redeemed and walk in newness of life! In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
40 Day New Testament Reading/Listening 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.
The 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.
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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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