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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Pond along Rt 283, Lancaster County, PA 10/23/15
We pass this peaceful pond along busy Rt 283 between Lancaster and Mount Joy.

"Victory Verses"

Note: Podcast not prepared for this message due to early start and projected long day of chaplain visitation.

"How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your Word" (Psalm 119:9). "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee" (Psalm 119:11)

Stan MillerOur Sunday School teacher, Stan Miller, is diligent in his walk with the Lord and this last Sunday he made a point that has given me cause for pondering and further study. (Brooksyne teaches another class at the same time but we discussed this concept together.)

Stan shared an illustration about a missionary who had ministry to military personnel in Asia. He held Bible studies in his home, which was off the base, for the servicemen. However the men had to drive through a seedy strip as they left the base to get to his house and again when they returned to the base. (I well remember the seedy strip leading up to the main gate
at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri where I served as a chaplain's assistant during college. The garish signs beckon the men to sin.)

The men were having a time with temptation just going to and from the Bible study and some were succumbing. The missionary challenged the men to memorize "victory verses". These are Bible verses that would arm their hearts to resist temptation. When the time of testing came they could draw strength from God's Word to have victory over the temptation.

Well, regardless of our age are we all need victory verses. The sources of temptation will change throughout the course of life but Satan is a wily foe and will continue his quest to devour (see 1 Peter 5:8) till we are safely home.

We should all have an arsenal of victory verses. We believe memorization is a great key and gives us the ability to immediately draw strength. However you may also carry your sword with you (and of course many now have the Scriptures on their phones). You still need to know where these verses are for quick access.

Today we contemplated some matters that are common sources of temptation and considered a fitting victory verse:
  • Greed and discontentment: "And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). Note: I like to further personalize a verse like this stating "all my needs")
  • Worry: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6,7).
  • Despair: "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope" (Romans 15:13).
  • Sexual temptations:  "How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your Word" (Psalm 119:9).
  • Pornography: "I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl" (Job 31:1).
  • Anger: "Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God" (James 1:19,20)
  • Aging: "Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day" (II Cor. 4:16). "For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" (2 Corinthians 5:1).
  • Rejection by others: "It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed" (Deuteronomy 31:8).
We know there are many more subject matters that people encounter but earnestly believe there is a victory verse for each one. Sometimes the verse will specifically address the issue, other times it provides a principle. We encourage you today to develop your own arsenal of victory verses!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer:
Father, You make it possible for us to move from defeat to victory with Your many provisions and promises revealed throughout Scripture; the victory verses that show us how to be strong in our weakness, how to exercise self-control in temptation, how to trust instead of doubt, how to be consoled in the midst of our sorrow. And in our death we find life everlasting. You are truly our all in all! So we look to You for victory as You supply everything we need. Amen.

There's another takeaway I had from Stan's lesson that I want to address tomorrow in a message we will title, "The Danger of Dabbling".

Yesterday's message on "The Case For Sexual Purity" prompted more response than usual and reminded us of how many family members are affected when God's standards are violated. Consider this note we received permission to share:

Reader's Response:  "I am in tears as I write this. Your message today about sexual purity struck a chord with me.

I, too, am a grieving grandmother. My daughter went through a divorce two years ago. She was in a difficult marriage but instead of turning to Jesus, as I encouraged her to do, she got involved in an affair with her now ex-husband's best friend. They both left their spouses so they could be together. And they married. She has two children (my grandchildren) from the first marriage. There is joint custody and my daughter and her ex-husband fight like no other.

Additionally, my daughter got angry with me and my son (her brother) because we did not approve of the situation. The three of us had always been so close and I sometimes feel like I am dying inside. I wouldn't wish this on anyone, but you mentioned grandparents in your message. Knowing that others go through what I'm going through lets me know I am not alone in my brokenness. Please pray for my family."

(Brooksyne spoke with this grieving mother and prayed with her. Later we also prayed for our daily encouragement friends who have similar grievous disharmony due to the consequences of those who've chosen to live in disobedience to God.)

Brooksyne's 60th birthday mug
A new coffee cup Brooksyne uses as she helps write and edit Daily Encouragement.

Wisconsin Autumn walk (Photo by Georgia)
A wooded path is always a pleasant sight.
This photo was taken in Wisconsin by my cousin Georgia.

Hay bales (Photo by Doris High)
Another one of my favorite autumn sites is the large round hay bales that now dot the landscape all around us.
(Photo by Doris High)

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Thy Word"  Video  Maranatha Singers

"Consequence Of A Moral Tumble"  A thoughtful analysis by Randy Alcorn

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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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