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Monday, October 6, 2014
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"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32).
Yesterday in our church service we sang an old hymn that, like so many, I would say is one of my favorites (I suppose I really have 100's of favorites!). I wonder if our readers who know the hymns can identify it based on just this phrase, "our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend!"
Jesus provides so much; He indeed is our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend. He's our Protector, Comforter, Physician, Healer of broken hearts, and Provider to name just a few. Have you found Jesus to be your all in all? If not, you can invite Him into your heart right now, and find that He IS enough!
Years ago, newspapers often carried the pastor’s sermon titles for Sunday services. As was his weekly custom, Pastor R.I. Williams called into the local paper and gave his sermon title, "The Lord is my Shepherd". The newspaper employee asked, "Is that all?" Pastor Williams replied, "That's enough." The next day the church page carried his sermon title as, "The Lord is My Shepherd - that's enough!"
Truly when the Lord is our Shepherd, that's enough! A hymnwriter set out to express that very message in the following text:
I need no other argument,
I need no other plea;
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that He died for me.
From the beginning Satan has tormented the human race with the lie, "God is not enough". This was portrayed when he slithered to Eve in the garden and crafted God's very clear command as though it were a thought provoking question up for debate, "Did God really say..?" We have questioned God's commands ever since, to our own demise. The outstanding beauty and sumptuous variety of vegetation God offered them in the Garden was suddenly not enough. Conversation with the devil stirred up doubts and discontent which led to disobedience. The lie, acted upon, led Adam and Eve to believe that God was actually withholding from them the best He had to offer.
Today we have an overabundance of things promising to fulfill; a special place that promises to be better, a new item that will thrill, and for many someone else to be that special person. Consider the practically constant advertisements for smart phones with the rivalry between Samsung and Apple. Samsung has a slogan that states they have, "the next big thing." Get it and you will be satisfied. But there's always a "next big thing"!
A survey was taken among teen Christian girls and 88% admitted that "God is not enough" though God promises to satisfy our needs, (Philippians 4:19). Three main things consistently rivaled God for being enough to satisfy: friends, material objects, and accomplishments.
All believers do well to take to heart the Apostle Paul's confident assurance expressed in the daily verse, "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?"
We may tend to understand "all things" in the sense of material things. But James Denney in the Romans 8 Commentary of the Expositor's Greek Testament observes, "All things is usually taken to mean the whole of what furthers the Christian's life, the whole of what contributes to the perfecting of his salvation; all this will be freely give to him by God."
This is illustrated by the story of a poor European family who saved for years to buy tickets to immigrate to America. Once at sea, they carefully rationed the cheese and bread they had brought for the journey. After 3 days, their little boy complained to his father, “I hate cheese sandwiches. If I don’t eat anything else before we get to America, I’m going to die.”
Giving the boy his last nickel, the father told him to go to the ship’s galley and buy an ice-cream cone. When the boy returned a long time later with a wide smile, his worried dad asked, “Where were you?” “In the galley, eating three ice-cream cones and a steak dinner!” “All that for a nickel?” “Oh, no, the food is free,” the boy replied. “It comes with the ticket.”
Today I want to experience the assurance that "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, will also with Him freely give us all things!" Truly, that's enough!
And all of You is more than enough for all of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You is more than enough
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, Your commands do not come with a question mark nor are they intended to provoke debate as to whether we think it in our best interest to follow or reject. Your commands are for our good and your provisions are all that we have need of. Just as you supplied the Israelites manna for food, fire by night, and the cloud by day You lead and provide for us through every season of our life, during the plenty and during the barren times. You are enough for all that we have need of, the greatest need of all being met through Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, who died that we might live forever. Thank You! Amen.
Ray Stedman in his devotional titled "If God Be For Us" writes, "He who has already given us the best, the greatest, the dearest, the most precious thing He has, and Who did so while we were sinners -- while we were enemies, while we were helpless -- will He not also give us some of these trivial, piddling little things that we need? If someone thinks enough of you to give you a costly, brilliant, beautiful, flawless diamond, do you think he will object when you ask him for the box that goes with it? If a mother will give up a baby, do you think she will object if they ask to take his clothes too? And if God has given us his own Son already, do you really think God is going to withhold anything else that we need? Paul's argument is unanswerable: Of course he won't. We can say with David in the 23rd Psalm, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want,"
Baseball season is in championship mode all across the USA. The Royals from my hometown of Kansas City and the Orioles from Baltimore, which is just down Interstate 83 from us, are beginning the American League Championship series. But Friday night Ester and I went to a Lancaster Barnstormer Championship game!
The Barnstormers were playing in the Atlantic League Championship against the Sugar Land Texas Skeeters and led 2 to 0 in the best of five series. They had the opportunity to win the league championship that night! Here's Ester before we entered the ballpark with a large inflatable Cylo, the team mascot.
It was an exciting game and began raining steadily around the seventh inning but they played on, the game tied at the end of nine innings. The Lancaster Barnstormers won the championship with a solo homer in the bottom of the 13th inning, raining from the seventh inning to the end! In my nearly sixty years this was the first championship baseball game I've ever attended. (Although I have watched a lot on TV.)
Saturday afternoon Ester and Brooksyne, along with our friend Fran, went to a concert at the American Music Theater and saw one of Ester's favorites, Comedian Mark Lowry, and one of Brooksyne's favorite singing families, "The Martins".
While Brooksyne and Ester went to the concert I went on a long bike ride following the new trail we started using this past week down the Susquehanna to Columbia and across the 1 mile Veteran's Memorial Bridge to Wrightsville where I took this photo.
We encountered some slow traffic going to church yesterday morning.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"My Faith Has Found A Resting Place" Video Bobby Michaels
"Enough" Video Chris Tomlin
"Your Grace Is Enough" Video Chris Tomlin
"You Are My All In All" Video A very different style of music for David Phelps and the Gaither Vocal Band with orchestra. It is excellent and will be enjoyed especially by those who enjoy classical music.
The phrase, "Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend!" comes from the hymn "O Worship The King" written by Robert Grant, which is also the name of a good friend I met in Bible College and still stay in contact with 40 years later. Robert Grant wrote this worshipful hymn in 1833! Here's a nice version. Video
"He's All I Need" Video The Kingsmen
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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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