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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Lancaster County, PA Amish farm (Photo by Frank G. Heron)
Lancaster County, PA Amish farm
(Photo by Frank G. Heron)

"True, Living and Eternal"

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"But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God, the eternal King" (Jeremiah 10:10). "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38,39).

God and God alone
created all these things we call our own

From the mighty to the small
the Glory in them all
is God's and God's alone

Today we consider those who are living under oppresive conditions. How vitally important it is to bring encouragement to them, to let them know they are not forgotten. I especially consider those undergoing persecution. Some are able to receive these and other edifying messages. Several weeks ago we heard from Philip who is ministering for the Lord in the Middle East who wrote, "Your site has been very encouraging to me especially in the past year. Ministering in this place gets lonely sometimes and discouraging at others." But many others are unable to even access encouraging material and are so isolated from the rest of the Body of Christ.  May God give them a deep assurance of His care.

Persecution is taking place in many countries all around the world and is growing. The persecution.org website reports that the past year has been incredibly difficult for Christians in Egypt. When the persecution of Christians has made it into the news it has been the reports of attacks on churches or kidnappings. Lost in the reporting is the level of hostility that Christians face on a normal day while trying to carry out simple tasks from riding on public transportation to buying goods from a store. The hostility shown towards Christians by some reinforces the idea that their rights and their place in Egyptian life are not secure.

JeremiahThe prophet Jeremiah served God during extremely difficult times. In fact he lived at the time Josiah, whom we referred to yesterday as Judah's final good king, died and uttered a lament for him (see 2 Chronicles 35:25). Following Josiah's death there were several evil kings as the nation plunged to destruction. Jeremiah surely at times felt alone in his resolve to remain steadfast for God. But he remained faithful when judgment came upon the idolatrous nation and they were taken into Babylonian exile. He was tormented and ridiculed but he persevered. Today the Lord desires men and women who, like Jeremiah even in the midst of adversity, will remain steadfast and faithful. 

What great assurance the short statement that comprises our daily verse must have given Jeremiah and will also give us today: "But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God, the eternal King" (Jeremiah 10:10). Three words describe the immutable God of the universe; true, living and eternal. 

Consider each of these bedrock, immutable characteristics of God in light of the shifting sands of the world's value system. They are just as valid in describing God today as they were 2,600 years ago, for God does not change.  They describe the One who said "I am the God of…".  The present tense is always necessary in describing the true, living and eternal God for He always "is".

Today, although the vast majority of you are not being persecuted (at least in a severe physical sense), some of you are going through a serious trial that is testing your faith.  We encourage you to place your faith in the eternal King who is ever true and ever living. He is always the great "I am". May this assurance fill your heart, "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38,39).

God and God alone
will be the joy of our eternal home
He will be our one desire
Our hearts will never tire
of God and God alone

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Father, because You are the true, eternal and living God I can commit my past to You, and entrust my present needs to You.  I'm so glad the Word of God declares that You are the great "I AM", not "I was."  As my issues change and my needs grow You are present to meet every situation I bring before You. I place my confidence in You as I remain steadfast and faithful, abounding in my relationship with You, my true, living and eternally great God. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"I Am Persuaded"  Video  Travis Cottrell

"I Am"
Prestonwood Choir

"God and God Alone"
Steve Green

"You Are God Alone"  Video  Phillips, Craig, & Dean

"Great I Am
"  Video  Phillips, Craig & Dean

"I Then Shall Live"  Video  Prestonwood Choir

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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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