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Thursday, January 17, 2013
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"What God Wants"
"Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts" (Hebrews 4:7). "Behold, now is 'the acceptable time,' behold, now is 'the day of salvation'" (2 Corinthians 6:2).
Note: Read a bit into this message for the kicker, the first part is background.
We share many of our ministry experiences but today's experience is mine (Stephen's). Yesterday I attended a luncheon meeting for CBMC, a Christian men's group I regularly associate with. Our meeting normally consists of a time of networking followed by lunch and a guest speaker. There were about fifty in attendance yesterday at the Eden Resort in Lancaster.
Our special speaker was Peter Greer who presented a message about living a life of significance by serving others. He works with a ministry called Hope International which works to empower men, women, and families to break the cycles of physical and spiritual poverty through the provision of biblically based business training, savings services, small loans, mentoring, and discipleship. We have a link for more information about this ministry below.
Following the meeting Chris, our local CBMC leader, presented a challenge to follow Christ and led us in a prayer of confession and commitment, often called "the sinner's prayer". That's where yesterday's meeting got especially interesting.
Chris was leading in the prayer inviting any who had not already done so to accept Christ. The room grew quiet as many of us were silently praying even as we listened respectfully. During times like this I also reaffirm the decision I made many years ago to follow Christ.
Chris was praying with an anointing and burden for the men in attendance when, suddenly without warning, a pleasant but somewhat exasperated female voice blurted out, "I am not sure what you want!" Not only the surprise interruption but the loud female voice in an all-male meeting sure caught our attention!
I immediately recognized it as one of those smart phone voices. The phone owner was very embarrassed at his phone's misbehavior and showed me his iphone after the meeting. It must have been Siri, who has been known to misunderstand humans and speak out inappropriately! Someone more technically proficient than I might explain what it was about the salvation prayer that set "her" off but I think it was a teaching moment for any who heard it (most in the room).
For real humans Chris was quite clear in his presentation of salvation. He wanted each man in that room to get his heart right with God!
That's also our goal today for each one who happens to be reading this. We chose two Scripture texts:
"Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts." This is a Bible reference taken from Psalm 95:7 where the Psalmist warns against hardening our hearts like the Israelites did in the desert. Just as God spoke through Moses to the people, He speaks to us through His Holy Spirit. If we repeatedly silence His promptings our hearts become callous and hardened like stone.
"Behold, now is 'the acceptable time,' behold, now is 'the day of salvation'." Today we urge each of you to examine your heart and realize this is (always) the day of salvation. Tomorrow may be too late. Will you this moment His grace receive?
Daily prayer: Father, we thank You for sending Jesus to live among us over 2000 years ago. We thank You for His teachings, His sinless life, and for His death on the cross that provides for our salvation. Each of us has sinned and we know through Scripture that the penalty for our sin is death. So we thank You for Jesus who died instead for our sin. We ask for Your forgiveness as we believe and confess that Jesus is Lord, because salvation comes to us through Christ Jesus our Lord. Thank You for Your gift of salvation.
Salvation prayer based on what is commonly referred to as the Romans Road (Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:8-10)
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
On Tuesday we shared a message titled "A Lesson From A Decaying Tree". A reader shared the above photo!
Yesterday it was a pleasure to chat a few minutes with Gene in the course of our chaplain visitation. Gene is 88 years old. He works daily and loves it!
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Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Just As I Am" Video Travis Cottrell (A wonderful adaptation with some new lyrics.)
"Jesus Saves!" Video Travis Cottrell What a powerful reminder!!!
"Come To Jesus" Video Chris Rice
"Glorious Freedom" Video Gaither Vocal Band
"Grace That Is Greater Than All Our Sin" Video Bart Millard
Hope International is the ministry Peter leads. It's based here in Lancaster PA.
Peter Greer dealt with this topic yesterday which I found especially insightful.
CBMC is the Christian Businessman's organization referred to in the message.
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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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