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Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Mountain scene photo by Doris High (Click on photo for larger view)
"Weighing On The Scales Of Scripture"
"Tekel: You've been weighed on the scales and found wanting" (Daniel 5:27).
This week we are joining a fun contest at one of the companies where we serve as chaplains. It's named after the TV show "The Biggest Loser" and is a weight loss challenge among those who need to take off a few (or more) pounds. Each week we weigh in and at the end of the contest the biggest loser gets a prize as well as a healthier body!
When I step on the scales if the number's in my favor I step on it often. But other times I purposely avoid it fearing that the number of pounds will reveal too many food indulgences. Now we will both be responsible for a weekly weigh in and will need to report (accountability) whether the number is good or bad.
More importantly we should regularly weigh-in "on the scales" of God's Holy Word. I am not sure how to apply this illustration but the Holy Scriptures do give an account of a man who had been weighed on the scales and found wanting. Other versions state "deficient" or "too light".
In Daniel 5 King Belshazzar has a strange experience with a finger writing on a wall the inscription, "MENĒ, MENĒ, TEKĒL, UPHARSIN." It was so distressing that "the king’s face grew pale and his thoughts alarmed him, and his hip joints went slack and his knees began knocking together" (Daniel 5:6).
He first summoned his own advisors who were unable to provide an interpretation. Daniel was called in to provide the interpretation. He demonstrates the characteristics of a true prophet, boldly and fearlessly speaking truth to power. In fact he refused to even accept the prize the king offered to whomever interpreted the meaning (5:17).
When Daniel interpreted the writing on the wall for Belshazzar he revealed a message Belshazzar didn't like: "Tekel: You've been weighed on the scales and found wanting."
God revealed the king's sins to Daniel, that he praised gods of silver and gold, gods that couldn't see, hear or understand. He concludes with a stunning statement well considered by all. "But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways" (Daniel 5:23). Since he didn't honor God his reign was put to an end. "‘MENĒ’—God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it." This prophesy had no delay. "That same night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was slain" (v. 30).
Let us regularly weigh in and aspire not to be found wanting! When we weigh-in on the scales of Scripture let us consider God's estimation as we prayerfully ask, "Am I conforming to the likeness of Christ?" The Scriptures will reveal our progress or lack thereof and we must respond accordingly.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we thank You that the veil was taken away when we left this world and turned to You. We, who now have unveiled faces contemplate Your glory even as we are being transformed into the image of Christ with ever-increasing glory, which comes from You. But even still our flesh battles our spirit from day to day as we travel through this life so we must regularly weigh-in on the scales of Your Holy Word to see where we are lacking. We need regular perspective from Your Holy Word, lest we form attitudes and behaviors that reflect the pattern of this world. We want to be transformed daily by the renewing of our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus that we might be more and more like Him. It is in His name that we pray. Amen.
See II Corinthians 3:16-18, Romans 12:2
Matthew Henry Study Note based on Romans 12:2 - He [Paul] entreated the Romans, as his brethren in Christ, by the mercies of God, to present their bodies as a living sacrifice to Him. This is a powerful appeal. We receive from the Lord every day the fruits of his mercy. Let us render ourselves; all we are, all we have, all we can do: and after all, what return is it for such very rich receivings... Conversion and sanctification are the renewing of the mind; a change, not of the substance, but of the qualities of the soul. The progress of sanctification, dying to sin more and more, and living to righteousness more and more, is the carrying on this renewing work, till it is perfected in glory. The great enemy to this renewal is, conformity to this world. Take heed of forming plans for happiness, as though it lay in the things of this world, which soon pass away. Do not fall in with the customs of those who walk in the lusts of the flesh, and mind earthly things. The work of the Holy Ghost first begins in the understanding, and is carried on to the will, affections, and conversation, till there is a change of the whole man into the likeness of God, in knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness. Thus, to be godly, is to give up ourselves to God.
Reader's Note: This thoughtful note in response to yesterday's message from a New York reader regarding "The Hopeless Cause": "I am convicted as I read today's Daily Encouragement. How many folks missed out on a chance for a new identity because I judged them as too far gone and rebuffed any contact with them and failed to show the intense tender loving care needed?
Free entertainment in the Weber's front yard. Our neighbor, John, walked by with his dog while our cat, Dottie, was out front. She scrambled up the oak tree for safety and Krystal scrambled right after her (all the while being held back by John).
Part dog/part bear. Krystal was determined but couldn't even make it to the first limb no matter how many attempts she made. Dottie had nothing to fear!
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Lord, I Want To Be Like Jesus" Video Fernando Ortega
"Make Me More Like You" Video Chosen Ladies Trio
"My Greatest Love is You" Video Hillsong Brooksyne's Note: As I listened to the lyrics of this song I thought, "Dig deeper into the Scriptures, live in a way that reflects that you love Jesus more than anyone or anything, and you will be lacking in nothing."
The following poem was written in response to the message, "A Hopeless Cause" that we shared in yesterday's Daily Encouragement. Thank you, David Short, for your inspiring poem:
Lifeless, wilted, forlorn, hopeless,
Drooping with lack of nourishment.
Colorless and deflated to the eye,
Yet, hidden deep below - a spark.
Out of sight, a vivacity for life;
Flowing, alive, resilient with energy.
Sustenance is shared, the vital flow begins
Imperceptible yet effervescent with nutrients.
Radiant hues appear, strength returns;
Artistic form invades the plant with verve.
Structure, and cohesive identity occurs;
Restoration develops a pace, with delight.
Revived with skill and craftmanship
Beauty permeates the structure.
Wholeness, togetherness, completion;
The past transformed, New Life displayed.
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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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