The on line Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Wednesday, December 16, 2015
One of the little known extended family facts is that we have a cousin who is a concert pianist and formerly played at a Nordstrom department store in the Kansas City area. Here's Brooksyne as pianist at Costco blessing the busy shoppers with Christmas carols!
"Mighty To Save"
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"The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save" (Zephaniah 3:17). "But when he (Joseph) had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.' Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet" (Matthew 21:20-22). "Therefore He is able also to save to the uttermost (completely, perfectly, finally, for all time and eternity) those who come to God through Him" (Hebrews 7:25 Amplified)
One day when Heaven was filled with His praises,
At this season, along with Easter, it's predictable that national news magazines will do a feature story about Jesus Christ. However so often these articles are slanted away from the Biblical and historical teachings about Jesus Christ and espouse the faddish views of various "scholars" that the writer selectively cites.
Critics have often tried to distinguish between what they perceive as the harsh, judgmental God of the Old Testament with the kind, loving God of the New Testament. Of course God is God and He does not change. In Malachi 3:6 He declares "I the LORD do not change". The feeble attempts by critics to "package" God merely reveals that we are finite humans. We are called to belief and obedience. Understanding comes as we "trust and obey".
Today's first verse is a reminder to us of a powerful, loving God who is ever present. "The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save." You may have present circumstances in your life that make this verse hard to grasp. But consider the great truth that God is with you and He is mighty to save! I would sure take this to primarily mean in regard to our greatest need of salvation from sin, but I also believe He is "mighty to save" in regard to a specific situation we are dealing with as well.
Matthew 1:20-22 contains the angel's announcement to Joseph concerning Mary. The message of the angel in verse 21 is an assurance to Joseph that Mary’s baby would be a "Son" whose name would be "Jesus." The Greek name "Jesus" comes from the Hebrew name Joshua which literally means "Jehovah saves," or "God is salvation." Even before Christ was born the angel revealed to Joseph the unique nature of His reason for coming, "He will save His people from their sins". The Gospels and Apostolic teaching reveal this was accomplished by His sinless life, atoning death, and resurrection from the dead. The term “His people” should be understood to include both believing Jews and Gentiles (see Gal. 3:13,14; Romans 3:21-25; Titus 2:13,14; 1 Peter 2:4-10) whom Christ would save "from their sins" by means of His perfect life and substitutionary sacrifice. (from "Explore the Bible")
Two thousand years after His first coming and mission accomplished we are among those who experience the wonder of His love. "Therefore He is able also to save to the uttermost (completely, perfectly, finally, and for all time and eternity) those who come to God through Him."
O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, the wonder of Your love is that You sent Your beloved Son, Jesus, the Holy Child of Bethlehem, in answer to our need for salvation. And in answer to our prayer You cast out our sin and entered in to be born in us, making all things new in our spiritual transformation. Because we come to You through Christ we are saved completely to the uttermost: perfectly, finally, for all time and for all eternity. All we have need of You provide through Christ Jesus our Lord. And we are forever grateful! Amen.
Special Year-end appeal:
We want to thank all who have financially supported our ministry this past year. We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. We typically see a spike in giving at the end of the year for which we are most thankful. Our ministry labor is comprised of half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive a fee (of course this percentage of time varies week by week). Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each phase would provide half of our ministry expenses and income. If you would like to make a donation to our ministry see here for more information or donate directly online through my chaplain account here. Thank you!
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In our lead photo of Brooksyne playing at the piano at Costco we mentioned a cousin who is a concert pianist. Actually Joy is my cousin George's wife (my "cousin-in-law". There is such a word BTW, see here) Georgia, who took this photo in Wisconsin, is my cousin Doug's wife. I had fifteen cousins on my Mom's side and we all stay connected (although one has passed on) and over the years their spouses are also very close to us. Although our common grandparents passed away over 40 years ago and all our parents have gone on we still meet annually at a family reunion.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Glorious Day (Living He loved me)" Video Casting Crowns
"Aililiú na Gamnha" Video The Pembroke Hill Upper School Combined Choirs with my cousin Joy as pianist!
Resources for Christmas Celebrations
(We will leave these resources posted below our daily messages through Christmas)
Each year we share several online resources that we have used over the years and that may be a blessing to families and churches during this Christmas season.
"I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" Video Outstanding presentation with background story and touching photos (Artist not identified), but appears to be produced by a local church. This would be a powerful video to use in a Christmas Eve service.
"In Remembrance of Me" pdf This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. Brooksyne and I have used this reading with great receptivity during Christmas Eve services over the years. We suggest, if possible, a musical background as the message is read. It is also a great lead-in to a Communion service. It should be thoroughly practiced and read with great feeling.
"When Christ Was Born" pdf This is an adaptation to the tune of "How Great Thou Art". It's a great song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with and love the tune.
Responsive Christmas Scripture readings for church or family:
John 1:1-18 pdf
"O Come Let Us Adore Him" pdf
My First Christmas In Heaven This is a blessed reminder for all who lost a loved one this year. This is the poem that Brooksyne read and wrote about in this message. This year we dedicate this to my Aunt Mary, who happens to me my last surviving aunt or Uncle on either side. Her husband, my Uncle Don, passed away early this year.
Christmas Knowledge Test
We have also posted two Christmas carol quizzes here (scroll down on this archived message)
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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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