The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Friday, April 13, 2012
The dogwood tree in our backyard is near peak stage when I took this photo this morning. We sort of wish it would stay this way!
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"The Living One"
"Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father—to Him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. 'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.' 'Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades'" (Revelation 1:5,6,8,17,18).
I talked with a friend recently who is dealing with the fear of growing older. Besides the mounting health concerns, she's troubled by her seeming inability to grasp the technological skills needed to operate modern appliances, telephones, computers, etc. It seems that, as wonderful as it is to live in our information age, the understanding of how to navigate her way through it has alienated her from settings where she once felt very much at home.
How about you? What might be stirring up the cauldron of fear in your heart today; world conditions, the state of our country and its rapid spiritual and moral decline, a personal matter affecting you or a loved one? We all have experienced the emotion of fear in one way or another.
I find great assurance in the tiny phrase found often in Scripture translated, "fear not" (or generally "do not be afraid" in the NIV). This phrase is found from Genesis to Revelation. Fear itself is first expressed in the Bible shortly after the transgression in the garden when Adam said to God, "I was afraid" (Genesis 3:10). The remainder of the Bible is full of many expressions of human fear for a wide variety of reasons. But the child of God may find such divine relief in God's command to "fear not" which is again found in our daily text.
Revelation is a very complex book; thus there are many various interpretations by equally earnest and faithful followers of Christ. Some parts are certainly easier to understand than others. In the first chapter we have the abbreviated characteristics of Christ listed in the passage we selected today as our daily text.
As I contemplated today's message a chorus we sang many years ago came to mind:
Alive, alive, alive forevermore
My Jesus is alive, alive forevermore!
Jesus is truly the perpetual Living One. As we read of His characteristics in Revelation, first revealed to John and recorded, late in the first century over 1900 years ago, we can be assured that they are equally true today and will be throughout eternity! Certainly technology is ever-changing as well as the "norms" of society, but our Living One changes not.
I am strengthened and encouraged through the vision the Apostle John received while imprisoned on the isle of Patmos. When he saw the Son of man he fell at his feet as though he were dead. Jesus’ words of assurance to John and to each of us nearly two thousand years later helps to still my fears and reminds me that I serve a living, risen Christ. “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever.” Because Jesus lives we live also and as Bill and Gloria Gaither wrote some 40 years ago:
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, there are so many experiences or circumstances in life that instill fear in our hearts. But we don't have to cringe in fear because You are with us. Your protection assures us that things will turn out for good in the end, whether in this life or the life to come. Though Jesus' followers were devastated when He hung limp on the cross You had a powerful plan all along and it turned out for the good of all, even those responsible for His death. Not only did Jesus rise from the dead, but He is alive forevermore, preparing a place for each of us who remain faithful. Father, we seek You because we know that You hear us and will deliver us from our unhealthy fears. We thank You for it in advance, through the precious name of Jesus. Amen.
All this week our daily encouragement messages will be on the resurrection of Jesus Christ as taught in each of the major sections of the New Testament.
Monday's message was from the Gospel accounts. We tend to be most familiar with the resurrection accounts that each of the four gospels have and these are the passages that most preachers use on Easter Sunday. Obviously we could develop more than one message from these accounts but thought it would be beneficial to study the resurrection in the rest of the NT.
Yesterday's message examined how the resurrection was a core element in apostolic preaching in Acts.
Wednesday and Thursday we studied the resurrection teaching in the epistles and finally today's study from the Book of Revelation!
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
This week have placed the same songs up through the week on the resurrection but add a new one today!
"My Faith Has Found A Resting Place" Video Haven Of Rest Quartet
In this grand hymn we have this expression concerning the Ever living One.
My faith has found a resting place,
Not in device nor creed;
I trust the Ever-living One,
His wounds for me shall plead.
"Alive, Alive, Alive, Forevermore" Video Maranatha Kids - Does anybody else remember this one! This is the chorus referred to in the message.
"Because He Lives" Video Gaither Vocal Band
"Resurrection Song" Video Second Chapter of Acts
"See What A Morning" Video Kristyn Getty
"I'll Rise Again" Video Dallas Holm
"Christ The Lord Is Risen Today" Video
"Christ Arose" Video Daniel Thornton
"He Arose" Video
"He's Alive" Video Don Francisco
"He Gave His Life" Video Vocal Union
"There Never Was A Pulpit Like The Cross" Video Vocal Union
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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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