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Friday, July 27, 2012
We enjoy this peaceful scene of a windmill and barn with the backdrop of a nearly cloudless blue sky
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"Taking A Faithful Stand"
"If I perish, I perish" (Esther 4:16).
Many of you know our daughter is named Ester, spelled a bit differently than the Bible reference and pronounced Astaire (or as we like to explain, "Astaire as in the dancer/actor Fred Astaire"). We were at Boston Children's Hospital six years ago where Ester had an operation for a heart pacemaker. We met a Jewish rabbi's wife who was serving as a volunteer. She inquired about Ester and when she heard us call her by name she informed us that we pronounce her name the way it would be pronounced in Hebrew, which is the language of the Old Testament. (In reality we pronounce her name like the Spanish since she came originally to us at 3 months of age from Guatemala and that is the way they pronounced it.)
Esther is one of two Bible books with a woman's name, the other being Ruth. Esther lived at the time of the Persians and was providentially given a role in which she could make a significant impact.
The Biblical Esther demonstrates extraordinary faith during a time of great despair and today's brief text is one of the great expressions of faith in the Bible. Esther was taking a risky stand on a matter and knew that she faced the possibility of dire consequences. We are assuming some familiarity with Esther's predicament which can be read in Esther 4. With resolution she took a faithful stand and concluded with, "If I perish, I perish."
All over the world since people began to take a stand for God's truth they have been paying a price. Sometimes they "perish" in the sense of giving up their life. This happened in the Bible with people like Stephen, James and many others. It certainly has happened all through church history, including our own day, though it is under reported in the record books.
In other cases "perish" may be paying a price such as the confiscation of property, imprisonment, separation from loved ones or the loss of a job.
But we can be confident of ultimate deliverance. Sometimes deliverance results in more time on this earth; other times it's being ushered into the presence of Almighty God. Because of the work of Christ on our behalf we are assured that though we may perish in this life we will not face the ultimate and dreaded penalty of those who perish for all eternity.
Be encouraged today and take a faithful stand no matter the outcome!
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, help us to keep the eternal perspective ever before us when weighing choices in this temporal life here below. It seems the gap is widening between those who accept the truths of the Bible taught since the beginning of time and those who are increasingly accepting of a secular society that trumps human wisdom over divine wisdom. But You call us to account for our allegiance and our actions. If taking a stand for You on this side of eternity causes us to perish, we are assured that on the other side we will inherit eternal life. Keep us faithful and trusting no matter what comes our way. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Yesterday I passed a church with a changeable message sign that announced the message for the coming Sunday titled "Living In Philadelphia". I was intrigued by the title and since we live relatively near the US city in Pennsylvania I wonder if it might be a report by someone who lived there, perhaps doing mission work. But it got me thinking concerning the original Philadelphia, a city in Asia Minor and one of the seven churches in Revelation. Perhaps the pastor will draw an analogy between this city and our current living conditions. It sure does make me consider that approach with several of the cities and the similarities to our own time.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"We Will Stand" Video Russ Taff and others
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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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