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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Longwood Gardens (Nick Nichols)
Longwood Gardens
(photo by Nick Nichols)
For a larger size click on Nick's photo blog click here.

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"What Shall Be The Outcome?"

The king of Israel then ordered, “Take Micaiah and send him back to Amon the ruler of the city and to Joash the king’s son and say, ‘This is what the king says: Put this fellow in prison and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely’” (1 Kings 22:26,27). "I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, “O my lord, what shall be the outcome of these things?” (Daniel 12:8). "As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance” (Daniel 12:13). "In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:37).

Discouraged young manYesterday I spoke to a young man I have known since moving to Lancaster County who has faced a barrage of health problems since early this year. Several times on the road to apparent recovery he's endured some setbacks. I spoke to another friend this morning who's had a long season of unemployment while seeking any type of work to use his skills and provide for his family. It is understandable at times like this we wonder, to use the words in our message title and second daily text, "What Shall Be The Outcome?"

Our daily encouragement message yesterday was about Micaiah, a little-known Old Testament prophet who took a bold stand for the Lord in his generation. If you didn't read that message or need a refresh it is posted here. Today we want to share another insight from the account.

Ahab had consulted
the "Yes men" prophets regarding the battle plans. "Go," they answered, "for God will give it into the king's hand." In fact one of them by the name of Zedekiah even added some flamboyant visual effects, similar to the style of some very showy evangelists of our time!

Micaiah But Micaiah stated, "As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me" (1 Kings 22:14). What God had directed Micaiah to say was certainly not well received. His prophetical word is summed up in this simple pronouncement: "The LORD has decreed disaster for you" (1 Kings 22:23). That's certainly not what Ahab wanted to hear. Yet his riches, his alliance with Jehoshaphat, and his kingly position did not change such a deadly pronouncement!

After receiving Micaiah's news of disaster Ahab attempted to silence the prophet with these orders: "Put this fellow in prison and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely" (1 Kings 22:27).

Perhaps he reasoned that his order for imprisonment and food deprivation would surely force Micaiah to modify his "doom and gloom" prophecy. And yet there was no backing down for this faithful prophet. In his parting prophetic statement recorded in the Scripture he boldly added: "If you ever return safely, the Lord has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Mark my words, all you people!" (1 Kings 22:28).

Notice the responsibility for his prophecy that Micaiah took. He forthrightly stated that if Ahab did return safely, "the LORD has not spoken through me." Over my lifetime I have heard some who claim to speak for the Lord and miss the mark in situations that parallel our story today. Consider those who have been very specific regarding the date of the Lord's return. Yet they make excuses or go on to try again and again. Guess enough on the issues and at some point they're going to get it right!  And think about whenever the Lord does return someone might possibly have predicted the date!

Ahab death on battlefield Ahab ignored the counsel and died on the battlefield, validating Micaiah's prophecy. An amazing detail about Scripture that intrigues me is that the last detail we read about Micaiah is that he's in prison! There's no record of what happened to him after Ahab's body was recovered from the battlefield. We know nothing more about Micaiah's outcome. Micaiah may be one of the lesser known prophets that I want to converse with when I get to heaven. I'm anxious to hear "the rest of the story"!

I am blessed by the expression in Daniel in our second daily text. Regarding a specific matter in his own life he candidly admits, "I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, “O my lord, what shall be the outcome of these things?” Isn't that our question so often?

The main encouragement to end this message with is this: Let us be faithful in declaring God's Word regardless of the cost and even when the specific outcome is not known. In the big picture we do know this: "In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:37).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, far too often we want quick fixes or to know the exact means in which You are going to work a matter out in our lives. But even as the Gospel is in ways a mystery unfolding, so is Your leading in our lives. If we had it all figured out and knew exactly how everything was going to fall into place, we'd be walking by sight rather than trusting by faith. We know that "faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see." Reassure our hearts as we keep the words of Solomon before us, "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." May Your Voice of Truth always be our guide in testing the spirits of those who are quick to say, "Thus saith the Lord" or "God told me…" If they are truly Your prophetic messengers their actions and words will be confirmed through Scripture.  Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

Shannon Wexelburg 6/22/13"Faithful God"  Video  Shannon Wexelburg

This is one of our favorite songs Shannon sings.
The ladies in our area were richly blessed as Shannon led us in worship at the Revive our Hearts Tour on Friday and Saturday. Lancaster was their last stop this year and what a special treat to sit in on the broadcast recording as Nancy Leigh DeMoss recorded four sessions this past Saturday morning. It is scheduled for radio during Passion week next year so we were audience to an early Easter season theme! Stephen and I discussed the technical efficiency of her recording sessions and contrasted that to our rather home-made efforts!

If you enjoy "Faithful God" you might want to learn more about Shannon. She and her husband have endured disappointment, trial, and heartache; most recently they needed to evacuate their home as it is near the Colorado fires.

Many of her songs are written from her overcomings as a believer; others in a very tender spirit of worship. Her website.

"Through"  Video  Booth Brothers

"We'll Understand it Better By and By"  Video  Guy Penrod

Nick Nichols 7/27/11Our lead photo today from Longwood Gardens was taken by our friend Nick Nichols whom we met many years ago through Daily Encouragement Net. Nick is a local businessman with a very vibrant personality. In the photo to the right he is showing me his new iPhone (at the time) with a photo he had just taken of me! He has many photo collections posted on his photo site including this outstanding collection from Longwood Gardens (over 500 stunning photos!!!) he took this Spring.

Longwood Gardens is one of the premier botanical gardens in the United States. We have been there and recommend it for friends visiting our area. Here is a selection of photos Brooksyne took on a visit several years ago.

Location of Longwood Gardens (Google map)

Italian foodFinally today: Last night our neighbors had a birthday party for their 4 year old daughter. This is a family who owns and operates pizza shops all through our region and is very Italian so we had foods we aren't normally accustomed to including tripe and steamed crabs and mussels. The seriously sharp cheese in the photo to the left tingled the tongue was home-made and brought directly from Italy and at least 10 different meats were grilled or otherwise. It was an amazing feast. Brooksyne's deviled eggs looked a little "dutchy" among the Italian dishes.

We noticed a little boy about two years old walking around piddling with a iPhone and commented how young kids get into the high tech gadgets these days. Then we looked over and saw him dunking the phone into the icy water where the cold sodas were! His Mom retrieved it quickly and was getting advice on what to do but we don't know the outcome to this story.

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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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