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   Listen
Listen to these messages
Print Text only for printing
  Bookmark and Share 

 See here for more info.

<Previous Message                                                    Next Message

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rockefeller Center Christmas tree
Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center, NYC

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.


"Now here is the king you have chosen, the one you asked for; see, the LORD has set a king over you. If you fear the Lord and serve and obey Him and do not rebel against His commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the LORD your God--good!" But if you do not obey the LORD, and if you rebel against His commands, His hand will be against you, as it was against your fathers" (1 Samuel 12:13-15).

Flight 1548 Hudson River
I appreciate good leadership in whatever form it may be expressed, whether it’s in the church, the corporate world, or at times even in politics! A singular example of taking charge and providing good leadership took place on a January afternoon nearly three years ago, when Captain Chesley Sullenberger (also known as Sully) safely "ditched" a plane in the Hudson River saving all 155 passengers on board, Sully being the last one to safely exit the aircraft. (Photo of plane in water. Note: I did not take this photo!)

Manhattan skyline at night

Last night, as we were riding a tour bus exiting New York City, our driver took us through the Lincoln Tunnel under the Hudson River and then pulled over to show us this spectacular view of the city at night. As we looked at the dark still waters with the magnificent skyline we considered the grim outcome had the Captain’s strategy and heroic efforts not taken place in 2009.

God has raised up good, solid leaders since the beginning of time; their portfolios differing greatly depending on their giftings, skills, and interests. Our Scripture text gives us a glimpse of Samuel’s leadership skills as he formally speaks to the Israelites about the choice they had to make in following after God and His commands. He also informs them that the hand of God will be against those who rebel against God’s commands, just as their fathers experienced.

Following Joshua's death, Israel went into a long cycle of apostasy and revival in the period of the Judges. Samuel was a godly leader who served as the final Judge and transitioned the nation into a monarchial kingdom. He was very reluctant to do this, but the people clamored for a king so they could be like the nations around them. Reluctantly Samuel oversaw the selection of Saul as king and provided the powerful words of counsel in the daily verse.

These words have great meaning for us today. Samuel gave the people a promise and a warning at the introduction of Saul as their king. It's a call to personal responsibility to each listener, but notice the phrase that indicates the importance of leadership also obeying these commands: "If both you and the king who reigns over you follow the LORD your God--good!"

The remainder of Israel's history recorded in the Old Testament until the Exile essentially is a biography of these kings, most of whom did not follow the Lord. I am sure that during the reign of even the most wicked kings there was a godly remnant who feared the Lord, serving and obeying Him, choosing not to rebel against His commands. They nevertheless lived under the consequences of the king's wickedness. An example of this is the great prophet Jeremiah who faithfully served during the destruction of the land, but endured cruel treatment due to his godly convictions. Of course desolation covered the entire land which was a consequence even for those who chose to follow after the Lord.

The apostle Paul instructed, "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone--for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness" (1 Timothy 2:1,2). So today, we are all called to faithfully follow God and pray that our leadership will reflect that major decision.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily Prayer: Father, we pray for our leaders that they will look to You for guidance and follow Your commands as recorded by the prophets long ago. We want to be a blessed nation and will be so if men and women in positions of authority live godly lives as commanded in Scripture, and those who follow respond in like manner. Help us to be faithful in doing our part. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Yesterday we had the opportunity to travel into New York City along with the employees of a company we serve as chaplains. Today we will provide some variety to our normal rural selection of photos with several from the big city!

Mac-It Group NYC 12/12/11
The Mac-It Company is celebrating 100 years of being in business this year and provided the trip as a special Christmas gift to their employees. This photo was taken at Central Park.

Christmas Spectaular at the Radio City Music Hall NYC
A highlight of our trip was the Christmas Spectacular at the Radio City Music Hall. We were very pleased that the show included the Christmas story along with Scripture readings and traditional Christmas hymns. This is a photo I took of the Living Nativity.

Stephen & Brooksyne in front of Rockefeller Center 12/12/11
We did a lot of walking all through the city. Here we are in front of the Rockefeller Center  in the morning. In the background is the same tree we walked by early last night and featured it all lit up at the top of our message.

Ice skating at the Rockefeller Center rink 12/12/11
We didn't go skating but enjoyed watching from above!

World Trade Center Memorial
A stunning experience was our visit to the World Trade Center Memorial. Two large fountain pools representing the two towers are ringed with the names of those who died. It is very moving.

NBC entrance
Look up and you will see some interesting sights rarely considered by most passersby. This is over the main entrance to NBC which most would not realize is also a Scripture text.
See here.

Gene riding on the bus home late last night.
Gene is among the many interesting people we meet in the course of our chaplaincy. He is 87 years old but still works 4 hours a day, five days a week, because he wants to keep moving! Yesterday he kept up with the group and I think by the end of the day we were more tired than he was! At one point he ran and looked as nimble as a twenty year old!

We were all pleased and thankful to return to Lancaster County around 11:00 last night, safe, sound, and tired!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Silent Night"  Video  Sung by and dedicated to our friend Herb Basso, who went to be with the Lord several weeks ago. Herb was a part of the church we served in New England. Violin by Elizabeth Silvia, the daugther of a pastor friend of ours, who now serves in Wyoming.

Are 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. This Christmas many of our readers will be shopping for gifts that have spiritual and lasting value as well as a means of witness and encouraging others.

Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne

Please help us continue this free encouragement ministry

Sign up here for the free daily email encouragement.

Ministry Update  (Revised 12/11)

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 2011 Stephen C. Weber - All Rights Reserved

Daily Encouragement Net - 495 Kraybill Church Road - Mount Joy, PA 17552  USA

This device counts unique visitors by nation and state. I installed the international version in mid April 2010 and the state version later. They thus register unique visitors to since then.
free counters

Free counters!

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