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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

JK whiteboard witness
Mike shares his faith in Christ using a whiteboard and this COFFEE acrostic. Hopefully it is a reminder to stimulate those who see it to wholesome thinking!

"The Stimulant Of God's Word"

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"Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles" (2 Peter 3:1,2).

National Coffee Day
Yesterday was National Coffee Day, one of the many "days" promoting a product. After all I suppose every day there's some type of promotion for something! Many places, including Dunkin Donuts, offered a free cup of coffee to customers. It was Coffee Day, not just here in the USA, but in nearly 20 countries. I suppose enjoying coffee is something common in much of the world.

1 Corinthians 13 coffee mugs
Brooksyne and I both enjoy a cup(s) of coffee as we prepare these messages each morning. It stimulates the wake-up zone of our brains and may even stir us up a bit. Coffee is ready to go at 5:00 AM with just the push of the "on" button. There's just something motivating you to get on with your day in the morning when you smell a fresh pot of coffee brewing, or as the commercial goes, "The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup!" However we sure hope as redeemed children of God there are many better reasons to get up than a cup of coffee!

Throughout this day we will all be inundated with a variety of stimulants.
Coffee is a stimulant and for that reason some people refrain from drinking it. The word "stimulate" often has a negative or even fleshy connotation. As we get out and interface with the world we will face various types of stimulation with much of it appealing to the sinful nature. Listening to the news can provide a stirring up or stimulus for a provocation of the flesh (stress, fear and anger), if we're not careful. The Apostle John identifies these stimulants as, "the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life" (1 John 2:16).

But today let us consider a positive spiritual stimulant. Peter provides a very concise purpose statement for both of his letters.
"I have written both of them..."

The NIV expresses this purpose, "as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking."  Another version states,
"I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder" (ESV and NASV).

Writing on scrollThe Greek word for "stimulate" or "stir up" is "diegeiro", which is normally used for awakening from physical sleep when used in the Gospels. It conveys "awakening thoroughly, through and through." The present tense indicates Peter's desire was to continually awaken his readers. 2 Peter is the only epistle that uses this word and it is done so in a figurative sense. He also uses it in chapter 1:13 in a similar way, "I consider it right, as long as I am in this [earthly] dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder."

The dulling, numbing, soul-slumbering influence of the world is very pervasive. The world's steady rhythmic blasting of Christian tenets can weary the believer to the point of feeling, "Will it ever end? What's the use! What is one voice among so many?" A spiritual sleep may soon follow such a mindset if we fail to receive a spiritually oriented stimulation from God's truth. For examples of those who experienced such a falling away from the faith see II Peter 2, especially vv, 20-22.

2 Peter reminders
Peter seeks to fully arouse his brethren from their spiritual sluggishness. "I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles." He is essentially saying remember the Word of God!

Today let this brief word stir you up! Hide God's Word deep in your heart, let it pervade your mind, and move you into wholesome thinking, outlook, conversation and action today!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer:
Father, we need our minds stirred up by those things which are true, honorable, right and pure. Stimulate our minds to wholesome thinking as we consider Your Word which not only purifies us within, but also guides us as we develop godly character. Help us to maintain a teachable heart that is open to a fresh perspective on ancient truth but is also blessed when we receive the reminders of truths well established from the beginning of time. Remind us often that our words and actions give us opportunity to bring You glory as we reflect Your image. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

Additional study notes on today's message:

1) The Precept online commentary makes this point, "The modern evangelical church in the new millennium (2000 and counting), is in grave danger of stepping off of the ancient paths (Jeremiah 6:16, Isaiah 35:8) especially as it seeks to "emerge" from the tried and true old paths (consider the Lord's words to Israel in Jeremiah 18:15, But my people have forgotten me; they make offerings to false gods; they made them stumble in their ways, in the ancient roads, and to walk into side roads, not the highway." Things have not changed much because man's heart is still as deceitful as ever (Jeremiah 17:9)."

2) Peter wants this stimulant to be "by way of reminder". The phrase "by way of reminder" seems to mean more as you get older but being reminded of established truth is always important. Peter elaborates on what we are to remember, "that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles." This is a strong call the faithful Bible preaching and teaching.

In his first letter Peter wrote, "So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have" (1 Peter 1:12). In 2 Timothy 2:14 Paul wrote to Timothy in regard to his ministry, "Remind them of these things." In an age when "new" is especially valued we need to see the importance of old as well!

3) "Stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder" describes what we seek to do in these daily encouragement messages!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Enough"  Video  Frances Drost
We just came across this interesting  arrangement of the hymn "My Faith Has Found A Resting Place". In fact Brooksyne is already planning to introduce this arrangement when she leads worship at our church.

"Where No One Stands Alone"  Video  Gaither Vocal Band

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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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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