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Thursday, May 15, 2014
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The risen Christ proclaims, "I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys" (Revelation 1:18). "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Romans 10:13).
Yesterday I stopped by Northwest Savings, my local bank, to make a deposit. It's a small bank that addresses the customers by name. It's been our bank since moving to this area in 2001. I visited for a few minutes with Dave, the branch manager, who offered me a cup of coffee. I like the personal touch and although I do a lot of banking and finances over the internet I want to set it up so that no major transaction can take place unless I come in and personally authorize it It just seems there's is so much identity theft from those seeking to steal from others any way they can. Passwords and pin #s are supposed to prevent this but we know how that goes!
Is your life loaded with passwords and pin numbers? Mine sure is! Due to security concerns almost anything to do with the computer or an internet account is "password protected".
Apparently there is a new virus or security threat sweeping around the internet that has prompted an urgent call by the security experts to change all your passwords. (Actually I have a feeling this will be an "evergreen" message since there's always something along this nature.) Since we are confident in the trustworthiness of our Daily Encouragement readers we freely share our password, which is *************. (Please don't pass this along.)
Depending on how long you've been on the internet and how many accounts you hold you probably have a lot of passwords and many experts advise changing them regularly; most say at least every three months. They also suggest you have a different password for each account. There are also suggestions for developing a good password and many account setup pages even inform you how good the password is as you set it up. You can keep adding and mixing numbers and letters until you have a good one.
Then you better remember that password! In my case I have a password protected file where I keep all my passwords, nearly 100 of them, although many are for accounts I rarely use. Of course if I forget this key password to my overall passwords I am really in trouble!
I have heard many illustrations about prayer being like an 800 number or our desperate cries to God being like a 911 call. But is our communication with God "password protected"? Yes indeed, there is a password required to enter into right relationship with God. It's not a series of numbers or a favorite pet, but it is a Person. Jesus said, "I hold the keys".
The second daily text is a clear, straightforward truth. "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved". Earlier in the context the Apostle Paul had written, "If you confess with your mouth 'Jesus is Lord' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved" (Romans 10:9). Surely the most vital "password" that we must remember and use is the glorious Name of Jesus! However there is no need to keep this password a secret from others. Rather we are called to let the whole world know!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, thank You for Jesus who died on the cross for our sins; past, present and future. It was but a short time that He was held under the power of death, but He will die no more. Jesus is alive forevermore, and we who express godly faith will live forever, because Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. As we believe on Him, though we may die a mortal death, we shall yet live an immortal life. Jesus holds the keys to the invisible world which will one day be made visible to all creation. He also holds the key to our heart's door, but will only turn that key when we invite His entrance. Today we not only invite Jesus to enter but we welcome His residency as His Holy Spirit constantly abides with us guiding us into all truth. We love You, Father, and we come to You through Your Son, Jesus, in whose name we pray. Amen.
We often mention our two dogs, Roxie and Mollie, but we want to highlight our longtime cat, Dottie, who turns 13 today. We know this precisely because she was born on May 15, 2001 three months after we moved to Lancaster County from New England. At the time we were renting an old farmhouse and she was born in what is known as the "summer kitchen", though it was a dysfunctional room at the time which is how the wild cat was able to enter without our knowing. I still recall her mother, a wild black barn cat, snarling at me when I walked into the summer kitchen early that morning. "Mama" was instinctively protecting her four tiny furry balls. Of course Ester insisted on keeping one and chose her pick from the litter. We've had Dottie ever since; the longest time we've managed to keep any pet during our 38 year marriage. She now resides in our utility barn, hopefully keeping the mice at bay. She is content with being fed and watered and a daily pickup and petting.
Several years ago we came up behind this Amish family travelling to church early on a Sunday morning. It was a beautiful day and they appeared to be enjoying the ride in their two horsepower open wagon traveling down Main Street through Mount Joy. Buggies do not require passwords, pin #s or keys!
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"He Holds the Keys" Video Steve Green This from an Easter special from Gateway Church, a mega church in Texas, with lots of drama and audio-visual affects. Here's a simple version of just the song. Video
"Glorious Freedom" Video Gaither Vocal Band This Saturday evening we will have the opportunity to hear the Gaither Vocal Band live here at the American Music Theater in Lancaster. Two of our daily encouragement readers we met several months ago invited us to be their guests. We didn't have to think twice about their generous invitation. Local readers who may be interested in attending the concert see here or here, although it looks like all the weekend concerts are about sold out.
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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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