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Friday, October 31, 2014

Route 322 10/31/14
Today we drove on Route 322 over a ridge in northern Lancaster County and see many of the trees have lost all their leaves for the season.

Note: Due to a very busy day a podcast was not prepared for this message.

"Being A Shining Light"

"The light shines in the darkness" (John 1:5). "Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them" (Ephesians 5:11).

For about 7˝ years in the 1990's we lived in New England, where I pastored a church about 35 miles south of Boston in Taunton, Massachusetts. Salem, about 16 miles north of Boston, is a historic town best known for the witch trials held in the late 1600's. It is still a center for witchcraft and other deeds of darkness. In fact it proudly promotes its reputation as the "witch city". I recall sensing the spiritual darkness even as we walked through the city on one occasion.

As best as I can determine there are several Bible-faithful churches in the city and certainly more in the surrounding area. Last night I communicated with a pastor in Salem who is standing true for Biblical Christianity. What a mighty job he and his congregants have in letting the light of Christ shine through them to the darkness that pervades that area. Halloween is a very significant day for witchcraft and satanic activities in Salem (and elsewhere), and yet the true church will have mission outreaches. I read about ministries that especially seek to share Christ at the the annual Halloween festival.

The light of Christ will shine as they expose the fruitless deeds of darkness. May the Lord bless these worthwhile efforts! Thankfully, God has a light shining in the midst of this darkness and the true church has seen many people turn from worthless deeds of darkness to God's marvelous light. 

The first daily verse fundamentally speaks of Christ. He is the Light and indeed He shines in the darkness. Wherever you live there is darkness, although some places are certainly much more spiritually dark. We noted such a difference in this regard when we moved from Northern Pennsylvania to New England and now to Lancaster County. However, wherever you live there is spiritual darkness, since the prince of darkness resides among us, but we thank God that he does not reside with us who have declared allegiance to the King of light.

The verb "shines" in the first daily text is in the present tense and can be understood as "the light keeps on giving light." Jesus teaches His followers, "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:14-16).

Today, all over the world serious believers are allowing the light of Christ to shine through them. This light exposes the fruitless deeds of darkness and this is the essence of spiritual warfare. Darkness hates the light. Yet faithful followers of Christ will continue to let their light shine, essentially reflecting the Light, who is Christ.

In our second daily verse the Apostle Paul makes a very unambiguous statement: "Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them."  It's a call desperately needed in our culture and increasingly so in the Church. By obeying it will subject us to ridicule among many who "love the darkness rather than the light" (John 3:19). In fact the world wants to silence those who speak out for truth exposing darkness by the Light of His Word.

You see, when we get used to the darkness it just may not seem as dark anymore.  Remember the childhood phrase, "my eyes got used to the dark." I believe that can be true of our spiritual eyes as well. As the old song says we must "in the light of His presence continually dwell."

Today, all over the world serious believers are allowing the light of Christ to shine through them. This light exposes the fruitless deeds of darkness and this is the essence of spiritual warfare. Darkness hates the light. Yet faithful followers of Christ will continue to let their light shine, essentially reflecting the Light, who is Christ.

May each reader today shine brightly the light of the world which is Jesus!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You created us to be people who function and thrive by light.  Your placement of the sun by day and the moon by night is the way You provide for our physical needs enabling us to see clearly as we carry out our multitude of duties.  As important as light is for the eyes to see, it is even more essential that the eyes of our heart see the magnificent light of Your glory.  As we walk in Your light we will be able to discern that which is evil from that which is good.  We know that goodness cannot partner with wickedness for there is no harmony between You and the devil so help us to be consistent not only in what we speak but the manner in which we live so that the fruit of light is evident in all we do.  In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

Neck Pumpkins 10/31/14
This morning we bought two neck pumpkins weighing nearly 60 pounds!

Miners Village, Lebanon County, PA 10/31/14
Miners Village near Cornwall in Lebanon County PA. These were built as company homes in 1865 for miners and furnace workers at a nearby quarry and iron furnace.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Shine Jesus, Shine"  Video  Congregation at Royal Albert Hall, London

"Shine On Us"  Video  Philips, Craig and Dean

"This Little Light Of Mine"  Video  The Kingston Trio

"Table Of Grace"  Video  Phillips, Craig & Dean

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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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