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Thursday, July 26, 2012
Amish hay harvest
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"There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death" (Proverbs 14:12). "Jesus answered, 'I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me'" (John 14:6).
I find it encouraging when people try to get in a witness for the Lord using creative means. Yesterday I passed a business named Thru It All Body Shop along West Main Street in Mount Joy. Intrigued by the name years ago, I stopped by to speak to the owner and learned that it was named after a popular gospel song from the seventies. Years ago I heard the testimony of the owner of a trucking company in Pittsburgh who named his company "Wonder Transport" from a line in a Fannie Crosby hymn.*
Early this week I spoke to a York County businessman associated with CBMC, a Christian Businessman's organization I belong to. Tonight Ester and I are going to a baseball game in York and he was the contact person for an event sponsored by CBMC. When I ordered our tickets I noticed his email address was @onewayjanitorial.com.
Intrigued by the domain name I asked him what the business name meant. Perhaps suspicious as to why I would ask he told me it could have several meanings, one being in the sense of there being one right way to do the job. But he also acknowledged it was a witness attempt and the company website states, "Our goal is to conduct business in a manner that might bring glory to God." May the Lord bless that company!!!
I recall the popularity of the one way expression in my early days as a Christian in the seventies, as well as the upraised index finger in proclaiming that Jesus is the one and only way to heaven. I had a paperback NT with a large fluorescent orange One Way decal on the back. In the halls of Truman High School in Independence Missouri it was a gesture we used to proclaim our faith to our fellow Christians. Brooksyne says it was the same in her Tulsa high school. In most circles presently that gesture would indicate "My team is #1"
Years ago I met some college students on a leadership retreat in Oklahoma. One young lady had a t-shirt that displayed these Greek characters:
ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ὁδὸς
καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια
I looked at the shirt, recognized it was Greek and pronounced the words and then translated the phrase to English.
We visited for a few minutes and her campus ministry leader came along and shared with us as well. The shirt was an expression of her faith in Christ. She told me that I was the first one who had ever come up and read the verse to her and then translated it, but the intent was for others to approach her and ask, "What does that mean?" This would then give her an opportunity to express her faith. Now that's an interesting witnessing approach!
The Greek phrase printed on the student's T-shirt were the very words of our Lord Jesus Christ taken from John 14:6. Translated into English they read,
"I am the Way,
and the Truth
and the Life."
(The entire verse states, "Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.")
That is the essential message we must present to our world. Those of us who boldly and unashamedly assert the Biblical exclusivity of Jesus Christ as the only way to the Father are increasingly maligned as ignorant and intolerant. Well, label me. So be it. That is what our Lord Jesus taught! Today, and even when the Son of Man walked on the earth, His statement might be considered the very essence of intolerance.
The early apostles were also very "intolerant" in this regard. They proclaimed, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). And later the apostle Paul wrote, "There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5).
May God help us today to contend for the truth and the faith once for all entrusted to the saints!" (See Jude 3.)
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, there are so many paths that one might take thinking they're headed the right way only to find the long roads lead to a dead end. As believers, we know that there is only one way to the Father in heaven and that is through Christ Jesus His Son who declares, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life". We also cannot earn our salvation because You give it freely though it came at great cost. We choose to receive Your gift of salvation through our faith in Jesus Christ our Lord. We are immensely grateful for Your love and generosity toward us. Amen.
Here's all of John 14:6 in the Greek: λέγει αὐτῷ [ὁ] Ἰησοῦς· ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ὁδὸς καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια καὶ ἡζωή· οὐδεὶς ἔρχεται πρὸς τὸν πατέρα εἰ μὴ δι' ἐμοῦ.
We hear a lot today about tolerance. It seems to me that tolerance is reckoned as among the greatest virtues of the modern age and being labeled as intolerant is anathema. But the people who tend to cry intolerant are themselves very intolerant of those not holding their view. It's one of the great issues in the continued "no absolutes" mindset that our culture is bombarded with. This is particularly damaging to impressionable young people and is infecting the church as well.
Although the concept of absolute or relative truth may seem merely philosophical to some, it is at the very heart of our battle against the forces of evil. It's deadly. The Scriptures declare, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death" (Proverbs 14:12). But today scores of people contend that there are many valid views about what constitutes right or wrong. Even asserting that there is a single right way is unloving and intolerant to many.
Front Yard Fun
Ester's dog Mollie enjoys playing Frisbee catch immensely. We're practically unable to throw anything she can't catch. However thus far we have also been unable to find a Frisbee that she doesn't destroy, including Kong and all those other "indestructible" Frisbees made for tough dogs!
She takes pleasure in chewing holes in the Frisbee so that she can more easily carry it that way (Although I am not a dog psychologist I suppose this is why she does it).
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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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