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Wednesday, May 16
, 2012

Tree growing on abandoned bridge pier on Susquehanna River
I took this photo several years ago from a boat on the Susquehanna River near Harrisburg, PA. I was intrigued by this lone tree that had managed to grow on a long abandoned bridge pier, an example of perseverance!

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"Remember Lot’s Wife"

"Remember Lot's wife!" (Luke 17:32). "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me" (Luke 9:23).

My generation (boomer) has been succinctly characterized by the phrase, "Keeping your options open". Such a sentiment may be commendable in many areas of life that require flexibility but what a tragic shame to see it extended to the spiritual and the moral standards as established by God in His Holy Word!

In our day far too many demonstrate only a passing interest or a short-lived commitment to Christ and His cause. The established moral standards by a holy God are made pliable to suit popular whims. This seems even more pronounced in the generation that follows mine, which has been described as the "What's in it for me?" generation.

Many years ago I shared the Gospel with a man whom I challenged to commit his life to Christ. His response was, "Well, I guess it wouldn't hurt to try it."  He said he would give it a few weeks and see if his life got any "better".  I don't recall what became of him but I know we don't just try Christ.  We trust Him daily for the long haul.
The Associates for Biblical Research is a ministry that seeks to "Demonstrate the historical reliability of the Bible through archaeological research and related investigation." Research concerning the location of Sodom and Gomorrah reveals the overwhelming archaeological evidence for a cataclysmic event just as the Bible describes.
Lot and his family were told to flee prior to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and specifically instructed not to look back (Genesis 19:17). But Lot's wife looked back and became a pillar of salt. Jesus validates the historicity of the event and used this as an illustration of discipleship. "Remember Lot's wife!" The words to a song many of us know comes to mind: "I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back!"
Christ calls us to a lifelong commitment that will, of course, extend into eternity.  Lot's wife, in direct disobedience to a nonnegotiable command, looked back upon burning Sodom. Jesus uses this historical story to illustrate His call that we not look back with longing for the sinful life we previously lived.

I desire to have a deep, abiding faith that bears much fruit.  In great part this will happen as I acknowledge that some choices are clearly not optional in this Christian marathon. I want to respond to the straightforward words Jesus expressed to His first disciples and, like millions before me, I too want to "deny myself, take up my cross daily and follow Him."

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:
Father, I separate myself from the distracting desires and destructive deeds that pull me into the world where Satan rules with his power of darkness. In denying myself of former earthbound pleasures I find lasting satisfaction that will guide me all the days of my life and usher me into the eternal kingdom of heaven. There is absolutely nothing of worth here on earth that equals the gift of salvation through the sacrifice of Your Son. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

Story behind "I Have Decided To Follow Jesus"  Video  Pastor Richard Kannwischer, of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, tells the story of a family in India who lost their lives because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Accompanied by music performed by Jadon Lavik, this compelling story of how a family's sacrifice to follow Jesus influenced their entire community.

This true story took place in a small village in India where a family came to saving faith in Jesus Christ. This agitated the village so much that an angry mob gathered and shoved them into the public square.

The village chief confronted them and said to the man, "If you and your family will not recant your faith, you will all surely die!"

The man didn't know what to say or do. The only thing that came to mind were the words of a song that he himself had composed when he first surrendered his life to God. And so he began to sing,

"I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back. No turning back."

"Take Up Your Cross"  Video  Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

"Follow Me"  Video
 Kelly Willard

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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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