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Friday, April 5, 2013

Red flower cart near Greensboro NC
Red Flower Cart

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"Alive Forevermore!"

“Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades" (Revelation 1:17,18).

His kingdom cannot fail; He rules o'er earth and heaven.
The keys of death and hell are to our Jesus given.
Lift up your heart; lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say rejoice!

Bible Road (Centre County, PA)We have periodically referred to unusual roads in this series. We've written about Bible Road in Centre County, Thankless Lane near Rising Sun, Maryland and Delilah Road near Atlantic City, New Jersey. Mosey up I-81 and then head west to a rural area in the Lykens Mountain Valley and you will come across Fearnot Road along with a little village named Fearnot! I would like to meet somebody to explain the derivation of this name but I am quite sure it has a Biblical background. Interestingly, there is a church in the area named "Fearnot", and I'm sure they highlight Scriptures that align with the name of the town.

Fear Not"Do not be afraid" or "Fear not" is one of the great statements in Scripture. It's found early in the Book of Genesis with a reassuring word to Abraham and today's text is the final occurrence in the Bible.

It is the word of Jesus Christ to John on the Island of Patmos. In the presence of Jesus John had fallen "at his feet as dead". Jesus placed His right hand on him and uttered the message in our daily text,
“Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades."

The resounding message from our Lord surely brought peace to John in that surreal setting, but as a part of the Holy Scriptures His message speaks to believers of all generations.

1) Jesus is the First and the Last. He is the God of all eternity, the Lord of eternity past and eternity future. He always was and is and evermore shall be.
As Reginald Heber expressed in his majestic hymn Holy, Holy Holy,  "Who wert, and art, and evermore shall be!"

2) Jesus is the One who lives, and was dead, and is alive forevermore. He has the credentials of being resurrected, and lives to never die again though He indeed was dead. The victory that Jesus won over sin and death is a permanent victory. He didn't rise from the dead just to die again. He lives forevermore!

Alive, alive, alive forevermore
My Jesus is alive, alive forevermore!

3) Jesus is the One who has the keys of Death and of Hades. Some imagine that the devil is somehow the "lord of Hell" and has the authority or power to determine life or death. But only Jesus holds the keys of Hades and of Death. We can trust that Jesus never lets the devil borrow the keys!

Today in one way or another we will surely hear something or encounter a problem that which will strike fear in our hearts, but let us consider our faithful God who continues to speak "Fear Not" to the hearts of His children. He is alive forevermore!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You speak to us through the prophet Isaiah, "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Though this passage is somewhat general we know that You deal with the specifics in our lives as we encounter personal difficulties and quandaries. How comforting it is to know that You are alive forevermore and not only go before us, but You walk alongside us in our times of pain, confusion, loss, and when we're uncertain what direction You want us to take. Ever-faithful and ever-loving God, we praise You for Your presence in our lives. It is through Jesus that we come to You in prayer. Amen.

Isaiah 41:10

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Evermore"  Video  Phil Wickham  Powerful song I don't recall ever hearing before.

"Rejoice The Lord Is King"  Video  Tommy Walker & the Generations Gospel Choir (This is the song our opening stanza comes from)

"Holy, Holy Holy"  Video  Matt Maher

"He Holds The Keys"  Video  
Steve Green

"Just As I Am"  Video  Travis Cottrell

"Alive Forever, Amen"  Video  

"Alive, Alive, Alive Forevermore!"  Video  Cedarmont Kids  How many of you remember this one?

"Our God Saves"  Video  Travis Cottrell

Message on Bible Road

Message on Thankless Lane

Message on Delilah Road

Yes, there really is a Fearnot Road (location on Google map)  There's another village in the same area called "Rough and Ready". I suppose someday that could be a message about John the Baptist.

Today's message contains some exposition thoughts from the StudyLight online commentary with notes from David Guzik.

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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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