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Tuesday, September 17, 2013
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"See that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused Him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject Him who warns from heaven. At that time His voice shook the earth, but now He has promised, 'Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.' This phrase, 'Yet once more,' indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe" (Hebrews 12:25-28).
"When your world is shaking run to the Rock."
Yesterday I attended a meeting for ministers dealing with the rapidly changing moral landscape. I left with my head practically spinning as I considered how far our country and world has departed from its Biblical foundations. Among topics discussed was the frightening abandonment of God's standards regarding sexuality combined with the technological advances. (Note: The meeting really didn't look like the photo to the left but I thought it was a neat picture!)
Of course many of us have followed the tragic news of another mass shooting in Washington. A mere scanning of headline news reveals so much uncertainty whether here in America or around the world. On a personal level yesterday afternoon I received a letter from our insurance company and assumed it to be a bill. Upon opening the letter in bold letters the headliner read: "IMPORTANT! Your health plan will be discontinued at the end of the year." Like many others, our health insurance plan is being cancelled due to "health care reform".
We consider our readers, both those we know and so many we don't. Many of you are going through surprises and shakings in life, some for a long time and in severe ways. I have heard it said that reality ultimately consists of two things; that which can be shaken and that which cannot be. All that we see with our physical eyes can be shaken.
Upon awakening this morning, before I rose to start another routine day, the mass shootings crossed my mind. I considered those who lost loved ones in the massacre and how their awakening to a new day would bring about heartache, loss and challenges they never foresaw yesterday morning. They will struggle with raw emotions they never felt before.
In an interview one employee from the navy ship yard spoke of how he intentionally sought to hear the voice of God in the midst of the tragedy. Spiritually speaking, I wonder how intentional we are in listening for the voice of God in the chaos and disorder of our world. Our daily Scripture portion begins with a timeless message from God. "See that you do not refuse Him who is speaking." This brings to mind the title of a Francis Schaeffer book, "He Is There and He Is Not Silent". Yet so very many are refusing Him who is speaking.
The text acknowledges the reality of the shaking of the created order that we have all experienced in various ways, although some in a far more stunning way. Consider your life for a few minutes and look back over those periods of severe shaking. We prefer to avoid them, but Scripture has a wonderful promise in the latter part of the daily text, "We are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken."
The wonderful twelfth chapter of Hebrews ends with such a powerful, assuring truth. The apostle is writing to encourage faithfulness to God's children who were enduring persecution. Their world was truly being shaken. We must purposefully and intentionally focus on the spiritual realm, on this "kingdom that cannot be shaken."
We are indeed "receiving" this kingdom and the verb tense is quite significant. Jesus taught us to pray, "Thy kingdom come". Our journey through this life is but a transition to the future Kingdom God has prepared for us. I am convinced that very early in eternity we will recognize just how brief this journey really is, although since it's all we know it seems long and wholly significant. The apostle James wrote, "You do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes" (James 4:14).
We are "receiving" this kingdom and the verb tense (present) is quite significant. Jesus taught us to pray, "Thy kingdom come". Today we encourage each reader to keep the perspective. We are receiving this eternal kingdom! It's an absolute certainty. What is our response? "Let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe!"
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, help us to seek first Your kingdom and pray in the spirit so that we can live in victory even while encircled by conflict. Frequently Your shakings come to bring about personal change, but we also witness Your shakings of entire nations throughout history. Though land, dwellings and people are destroyed due to the hardness of man's hearts, Your kingdom is indestructible. Scripture assures us that we who believe are receiving this Kingdom that cannot be destroyed, so we come with thankful hearts and worship You today with holy fear and awe, for You, our God, are a consuming fire. Amen.
In addition, we pray for those enduring great shakings such as the families and employees who suffered the loss of family members and co-workers from the Washington massacre yesterday. May they look to You, the eternal One, for strength to cope and for the ability to forgive and overcome their loss due to such heinous acts of slaughter. And we pray for those throughout the land enduring shakings of their own, that they may find You to be their strength and hope in the midst of their testings. We can conquer and defeat all our foes through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Cherry Crest Farm
On Saturday afternoon we took our four unofficially adopted Amish grandchildren to the Cherry Crest Farm.
The children really enjoyed the corn maze! Little Sadie told me before we went in that her dad told her if you get lost in corn follow a row out of the field.
The Strasburg train with a real steam engine runs right through the farm. Throughout the afternoon we were blessed to have it pass by several times!
The children were not to sure about greeting the "Veggie Tales" characters.
But along with Ester they sure enjoyed the wagon train ride.
WDAC, one of our local Christian radio stations, sponsored some fun activities at Cherry Crest this past Saturday including "Ryan & Friends", a local ventriloquist along with his dummy friends, including Ardy the Skunk.
When Ester was little she enjoyed the Donut Man.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"When The Tears Fall" Video Tim Hughes
"Your Hands" Video JJ Heller A nice folk song I had never heard before this morning! Has the line, "When My World Is Shaking".
"I Will Worship You" Video Matthew Ward
My God is faithful.
My God is truthful.
My God is boundless in all He is.
My God is wisdom.
My God is righteous.
My God is vision for all who seek.
So I will worship You
In the beauty of holiness.
And I will worship You
For all things you've done in me.
And when my life's complete
I place my crown at Your feet.
And I will worship You on bended knee.
My God is power.
My God is glory.
My God is ruler over all that is.
My God is justice.
My God is mercy to the oppressed.
His name is love.
His voice is thunder.
His heart is tender.
His hand is strong.
O I will worship you my King
I will worship you on bended knee.
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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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