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Wednesday, December 5, 2012
"Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee"
This photo was taken by our friend Doris High who writes, "I love to begin each day by spending some time with the Lord - searching for a verse for this blog - praying for our family and friends - and requesting His insight and strength as I prepare for another day."
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"Getting A New Heart"
"Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit" (Ezekiel 18:31). "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh" (Ezekiel 36:26).
His living presence we have felt,
The Word made flesh among us:
And hearts of stone before Him melt,
His peace is brooding o’er us.
In yesterday's message we wrote about attending an old-fashioned hymn sing at a very plain meetinghouse in Berks County PA. During the service we sat next to Don and Ginny Good, a colorful older couple who advertise their local business on WDAC, our local Christian radio station. Many of the advertisers seek to connect to the listeners, who are for the most part Christians, and several of them include a spiritual message in the ad as well.
Good's Disposal Service, a trash hauling company in our area, has one of our favorite ads with this memorable advertising slogan, "Let God recycle your heart and let Good's recycle your trash." I smile and my spirit is edified when I hear this ad. Indeed, wherever you live and regardless of who handles your trash, you should let God recycle your heart!
In chatting with the Goods I learned that Don came up with the slogan. With a twinkle in her eye Ginny, who has a witty sense of humor, quipped, "I suggested, 'Your trash is our cash'". Irvin Martin who knows the Goods told us that Ginny presents an interesting program in sharing items they have salvaged from the trash since they began their business in 1970. In fact one item they salvaged was a genuine mink coat!
A "new" mink coat is an amazing treasure to find, but let's go beyond temporal material possessions to consider lasting eternal treasures that come from a "new" spiritual heart. Ezekiel writes, "Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit." God promised the ancient Israelites through the prophet Ezekiel, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." That was about 2,550 years ago and remains God's redemptive work; that of giving us a new heart.
Consider these words from Paul in Colossians 1:13,14: "For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." No contrast can compare to that of God rescuing us from the darkness of sin and transferring us into His Kingdom of light!
Thousands will trust Christ today for salvation through the witness of so many all around the world. Have you trusted Christ for salvation? Do you have a new heart? I know most of you have and in this we greatly rejoice as we thank God for what He did. Unlike the physical heart that weakens with age and is prone to disease, our spiritual heart is strengthened over time and never weakens due to aging factors. After all it's regenerated to last for all eternity!
Thank God for what He did in your life when He gave you a new heart. But if you haven't made that commitment you can do so right. You can say a prayer right now and invite Jesus into your heart and then choose to follow Him and grow in your relationship with Him the rest of your days.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, to walk on this earth and show us the way to You. Through His death and resurrection we have forgiveness and hope of eternal life. You replace our heart of stone with a heart of flesh born of the Spirit. We confess our sins and ask You to cleanse us of all unrighteousness. Show us through Scripture and godly teaching how to turn away from the ever-changing values and principles of this world where the prince of darkness reigns. Endear our hearts instead to building an eternal spiritual foundation while we look upward to that great City whose Maker and Builder is the Lord Jesus Christ. Our minds cannot conceive what is in store for us but it will far surpass anything we might possibly hope to find in this life. Keep us faithful until that eventful transfer. In Jesus' name, Amen.
A thoughtful word from John, our pastor friend, responding to yesterday's message: The old fashion hymn sing took me back to my roots as we were a very plain church that had no organ. We always sang as you experienced there. As a boy the Sunday School Superintendent used a tuning fork to start the singing. Later they used a pitch pipe which was round. Our church had a wooden ceiling, which I have always said, gave sound to the most beautiful music ever heard.
I am never sorry or embarrassed with my heritage as I appreciate the solid foundation on which I have built my life from. My father was a deacon for almost 35 years and church was the most important part of our lives. It still grieves me when people take church so lightly and come only if it suits them or they feel good. We went and did not miss unless we were very sick. My how different in this day and age. I know there are still good saints we serve alongside of and pray that more of our youth and young couples would take up the mantel left by those going on before.
This morning Chris Bert, a friend of ours is coming over to service our riding mower, so I moved the mower out to get it in the open and make sure it started. Brooksyne looked out our office window and spotted Dottie sitting on the seat, looking like she's ready to mow (though I don't think she could reach the steering wheel). Dottie is our nearly 12 year old barn cat born shortly after we moved here in 2001. Since she's a heavy shedder and has a "scratching the furniture problem" we keep her out in our utility barn where she seems to be happy as long as you go out and pet her a few minutes each day. She has a penchant for wanting to lay down on anything different and that probably explains her interest in the mower seat!
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Create In Me A Clean Heart" Video Keith Green
"Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne" Video Acapella version by Studio Musicians
Note: I have shared this before but need to do so again as there is some confusion on this matter. Almost all YouTube videos now have an ad placed in automatically by YouTube. These ads are not selected by the musicians, the person posting the video and certainly not by us. One religious group apparently buys a lot of these ads and it may appear the group is being endorsed. This is certainly not the case.
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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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