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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Pumpkin wagon near Paradise, PA 9/28/16 (Click to enlarge)

Early yesterday morning we stopped at this pumpkin wagon near Paradise, PA and purchased some pumpkins, gourds, straw and other fall decorations.
(Click on photo to enlarge)

"Physical Laws, Spiritual Laws"

Message Summary:
Just as there are physical laws that govern the physical universe, so there are spiritual laws that govern your relationship with God. Of vital importance is knowing and understanding the spiritual laws that govern our relationship with God.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:1,2)

Through the years I have had many engineering friends who use physical laws that they apply in their work. These physical laws govern the physical universe and can be applied reliably and consistently to any product line.

The physical laws that govern the physical universe are studied by scientists, applied by engineers and observed by all. Life as we know it works because these physical laws created by God are so reliable. Consider everything that is dependent on this single creative act, "God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night" (Genesis 1:16).

We live in a universe that functions by laws; predictable, repeatable, understandable laws. Dr. Warner Von Braun, the father of the space program, said: "The natural laws of the universe are so precise that we do not have any difficulty building a space ship, sending a person to the moon and we can time the landing with the precision of a fraction of a second."

When I became a Christian, and serious follower of Christ in the early seventies, my early discipleship (training) was through a ministry called "Campus Crusade for Christ". Many of our readers have heard of this ministry which has had a worldwide impact. A foundational aspect of my training was learning to share my faith with others. Campus Crusade used a small booklet titled, "The Four Spiritual Laws" as an aid. We were expected to memorize this booklet and now nearly 45 years later I can still recite each of the spiritual laws.

The approach begins with a powerful statement. "Just as there are physical laws that govern the physical universe, so there are spiritual laws that govern your relationship with God."

Today's text contrasts two of these spiritual laws,
The law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death." "Law" is used in this context to stand for the regulative principle which exercises a control over one. It is analogous to the phrase, the "law" of gravity.*

Spiritual laws are determined by God's Holy Word, the Bible. They govern our relationship with God. Bill Bright, who founded Campus Crusade for Christ, summarized these spiritual laws into four essential points concerning salvation:

Law 1: God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life.
Law 2: Man is sinful and separated from God. Therefore, he cannot know and experience God's love and plan for his life.
Law 3: Jesus Christ is God's only provision for man's sin. Through Him you can know and experience  God's love and plan for your life.
Law 4: We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God's love and plan for our lives.

Of vital importance is knowing and understanding the spiritual laws that govern our relationship with God. We urge all reading our message to examine their hearts today. Today's prayer is a type of prayer often used to help people with the words in accepting Christ. (In fact it is the suggested prayer used in the Four Spiritual Laws.) Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If it does, we invite you to pray this prayer, either as a first-time expression of faith or, as we have often done, as a means of rededication and affirmation.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.

Several cautions: We find the use of an easily understood approach to personal evangelism helpful as well as a suggested prayer. But through our years of ministry we have also seen some misunderstanding.

1) There is not one single way to express what becoming a Christian is all about. In fact there are several other approaches developed by other ministries such as "Steps To Peace With God" used by Billy Graham, "The Bridge To Life" used by the Navigators, "Need Him" and many others. They share the same essential truths concerning salvation but use various illustrations.

2) There is not just one way to to say the prayer accepting Christ! Some people stumble over whether they said it just right. Some become emotional when initially expressing their faith in Christ others not so much.

3) An authentic understanding of God's way of salvation and saying a prayer is only the beginning of a lifelong discipleship journey, not an item to check off your list and then ignore, which many seem to do.

4) Some have a very specific memory of when they accepted Christ, others not so much. Perhaps they were very young or not in a group that stresses the singular act of beginning faith. The main thing is this, "Are you living your faith with obedience and commitment?"

* For further study: As I developed today's message I was enriched by the study of Romans 8:2. Here's a selection of notes from Precept Austin.

Some Fall Scenes From Lancaster County

Pumpkin wagon near Paradise, PA 9/28/16
When we visited the pumpkin wagon yesterday morning the seventh generation farmer was bringing in a fresh load of pumpkins from the fields.

Amish buggie on foggy morning near Paradise, PA 9/28/16
We passed this buggie on the foggy morning yesterday near Paradise, PA

Antique equipment at Lampeter Fair 9/28/16
After several chaplain visits we stopped by to walk through the Lampeter Fair, one of numerous local fairs held here in Lancaster County through the late summer and early fall.

Prize watermelon at Lampeter Fair 9/28/16
The prize-winning watermelon at 77.5 pounds!

JK Sales team at Lampeter Fair 9/28/16
While at the fair we visited for a few minutes with Matt and Tim, two members of the sales team for JK Mechanical, who were staffing a display booth for the company. If they could create interest from everyone who helped themselves to the free creamy caramels at their display they would be booked with a waiting list that would absolutely delight any HVAC company.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

The Four Spiritual Laws

Campus Crusade For Christ is now known as Cru

"Just As I Am"  Video  Travis Cottrell

"Jesus Saves"  Video  Travis Cottrell

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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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