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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Boat at Mount Pleasant VBS 6/29/14
Mount Pleasant VBS
"SonTreasure Island"
(Photo by Ester)

"Pleading With Jesus To Leave"

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"Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region" (Mark 5:17). "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19).

Yesterday I read an article concerning the growing rejection and discrimination toward evangelical Christian groups on many college campuses. Christian groups are no longer welcome or even allowed on many of these campuses. When we were young campuses had many thriving Christian groups such as Inter Varsity, Campus Crusade for Christ and Chi Alpha. My niece goes to Vanderbilt University, a school that now bans these groups from campus. This quote from the article especially caught my attention, "a discomfort in academia with conservative forms of Christianity". *

Evidence of the spreading spiritual darkness abounds. God's instruction manual for life, the Bible, continues to be ignored, violated and tampered with and this is leading to chaos and destruction. This will certainly get worse unless we have a revival. Sometimes it seems I can practically hear Satan's hideous laughter since he delights in destruction (John 10:10).

The daily verse ends a section that deals with one of the most remarkable and dramatic deliverances Jesus accomplished; that of the Gerasene demoniac. More detail is given to this deliverance than any other in Scripture, with each of the synoptic Gospels recording it. You can read the full account in Mark 5:1-20 and I would encourage you to do so. In a nutshell Jesus frees a man who was horrifically bound by demons.

But all are not joyful when the Lord of the universe comes in and cleans house! The pig owners lost a great source of wealth, the chain-maker a steady repeat customer, and the village novelty was now dressed and in his right mind. Those who had benefitted from this man's demonic possession were afraid (v. 15).  Life had been interrupted and it seemed little regard was given for the man who had been delivered from years of demon possession. The daily verse is so indicative of the reaction of those lost in darkness, "Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region."

This happens today as well. Many would prefer to have a world void of the influence of Jesus and His followers. For most the miracle of salvation is not as outwardly dramatic as that of the Gerasene demoniac's deliverance; but inwardly, genuine regeneration is every bit as miraculous. Genuine conversion has many consequences. Smokey's Bar loses a steady customer; the gambling casino has one less patron to be "entertained", the vile pornographic industry loses a source of profit.

And this world has one more little light to remind them of how dark the darkness really is. To those profiting in darkness that's scary. Those most accustomed to darkness don't want light. A powerful Scripture that teaches this is John 3:19: "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil." Today, as then, many unregenerate people continue to plead with Jesus to leave.

Jesus did move on and the redeemed man wanted to go with Him but Jesus told him to stay and spread the message. And he did so! Today redeemed people all over the world continue to share the message. And many still don't want to hear it. They'll still plead to those walking in the light, "Leave and take your Jesus with you." But until we are called home let us remain obedient to Christ and keep letting our lights shine in the darkness that surrounds us lest we too be swept into the darkness!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Father, You didn't command us to change the hearts of those walking in darkness, for only You can do that. But You did command that we let our light shine so that others will see Your work in our lives and glorify You, our Father in heaven. May the work of our hands and the words that flow from our lips be expressions of Your indwelling light that guides us day by day. We desire, along with multitudes of other believers, to be a sunbeam shattering the spreading darkness as we walk circumspectly in Your ways. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

Kember print
Yesterday I received a photo of yet another Kember print from Zion Illinois (near Chicago) that had hung in a Christian school. For more information about these prints see here (scroll down to footnote)

If you have or see a Kember print I would appreciate your sending me a photo of it similar to the photo above. I am developing a photo montage in honor of Walter Kember, who made the framed prints as a means of outreach..

Please send an email to this address with the photo as a .jpg attachment. In the subject line put "Kember print" and specify where you are from and if you want to tell the story behind it or how it has been meaningful to you.

This week our church is having Vacation Bible School and Ester is enjoying her role as the official photographer! Here are some of her photos.

Mount Pleasant VBS 6/29/14

Mount Pleasant VBS 6/29/14

Mount Pleasant VBS 6/29/14

Mount Pleasant VBS 6/29/14

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"What The Blood Is For" 
Video  Jason Crabb

"Jesus Paid It All"  Video 
Homecoming singers

"I Will Sing of My Redeemer"  Video 
Homecoming singers with Larry Ford

* Here's the article I quoted from as well as an interesting summary.

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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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