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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mural with John 8:32

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"The Book of Life"

"Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life"  (Philippians 4:3).

Smart phoneI recently purchased a "smart phone." I tend to be a late adopter when it comes to technology, likely due to the required expense and learning curves. But I am enjoying the new features and actually find it beneficial, especially for the business chaplaincy aspect of our ministry. But my fingers are just too klutzy with the tiny keyboard for doing any writing for daily encouragement net!

We certainly live in an information-loaded age.
One aspect of the phone's "smartness" is that it knows right where I am by using GPS. I'm not sure what else it knows about me, but I do know that technology is increasing the amount of information made available to others about you and me. Many are now expressing privacy concerns, and I can understand why.

There will be a certain limitation regarding how much this technology can know about you, however, that will not be overcome, regardless of how brilliant the Google engineers and other tech people are.  Any information retrieved from our phone or computer is limited to this side of eternity.

Conversely, there is a book invisible to mortal man nor the contents revealed.

Book of LifeThis book is referred to throughout the Bible and is of utmost importance, far surpassing any other book in human or angelic history. It has never been to a printing company. It would undoubtedly be classified as the best seller of all time. If sold, it would bring about a sale of the century media blitz! It will never be indexed by Google, though I suppose you could imagine that its contents are in the "cloud".

This book is referred to throughout the Bible beginning in Exodus 32:33 at the time of Moses and is also mentioned in the Psalms (Psalm 69:28) and the Prophets (Daniel 12:1) and today's Scripture verse from the epistles. But it is especially prominent in the final book of the Bible, "The Revelation".

This book is the "book of life".  It's a record of all who have lived by faith in God and trusted Jesus Christ as their Saviour. This book is not accessible for human observation; its vast data base is known only to God.

In the daily text the Apostle Paul expresses a simple truth that can be very encouraging to us. Referring to Clement and some other "fellow workers" he expresses confidence that their names are "in the book of life." These followers of Christ had contended at Paul's side for the cause of the gospel. 

Today we, as followers of Christ in our own generation, are also called to spiritually contend for the cause of the Gospel. Like Paul expressed, we are thankful for the many who contend at our side as our fellow workers. We contend for the Gospel as we unashamedly stand up for the claims of our Lord Jesus Christ, living our lives for Him.

Let us faithfully contend for this same Gospel today by the grace of God as we await that glorious day when the Book is opened. And let us rejoice that, all who come to Christ by faith, have their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily Prayer: Jesus, I am greatly humbled and deeply grateful that my name has gained entry in the Lamb's Book of Life! I sometimes find it very hard to believe that I am there alongside the great deliverer Moses, the former persecutor of the church, the Apostle Paul, and scores of other faithful believers throughout the generations. When the book is open and I personally see my name I know that I will experience unspeakable joy and eternal gratitude for the grace You've poured out on my life. It is only because of Your redemptive grace that my name has been added. And it is only because of Your sustaining grace that I will remain faithful until You call me to my heavenly home to hear my name read from the Lamb's book of life!

Brooksyne's Note:  On Sunday evening Ester and I went to Strasburg to see Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames.  For those unfamiliar with this ministry it's a ministry team who uses local Christians to dramatize about ten skits where the persons featured eventually meet with an untimely death. There's about an equal number of those who lived for God and those who did not.   All who passed from this life were first greeted by the angel who searched the book of life for the name of the person standing before them.  It was a vivid reminder of the setting we will all someday face.  What wonderful warmth and assurance filled my heart as I considered all that Jesus did for me so that my name is written in the Lamb's book of life.  I trust that yours is as well!

Today's Suggested Music and Sup
plemental Resources

"A New Name In Glory"  Video  Homecoming series

"Glorious Day"
 Video  Casting Crowns  This Friday evening Brooksyne and Ester will be working as volunteers at a Casting Crowns concert at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA so we will use some of their music the next couple of days. We have appreciated this group for many years now. This song is based on an older hymn best known as "One Day" and ret
ains the powerful chorus.

Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me;
Buried, He carried my sins far away;
Rising, He justified freely forever:
One day He's coming—O glorious day!

Yesterday Brooksyne and I were reminiscing about a fun little chorus we enjoyed singing as youthful Christians long ago. We sang it around the dinner table last night as Ester rolled her eyes!  She got a little perturbed at us since she got the tune in her head as well and couldn't stop singing it.

We learned it from Honeytree but apparently it goes back way farther than that, as you can hear from our video below!  How many of remember this simple and happy song expressing how grand it is to be a Christian?

"Ain't It Grand To Be A Christian!"  Video  Blind Willie McTell

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

O Lord, be gracious unto us,.... This is a prayer of the church under the persecutions of antichrist, imploring the grace and favour of God in their miserable and distressed circumstances; desiring his gracious help, assistance, and deliverance; pleading not any merits of their own, but casting themselves upon the mercy and kindness of God: