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Message Summary: The three words that prompted this study are "Nothing else matters".
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"He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than He blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff" (Isaiah 40:22-24).
Matthew, a Biblical disciple whose is the namesake of the first book of the New Testament, is also the name of a major hurricane coming up our east coast. It has grabbed a lot of news the last several days and likely will for a few more. I have a sister who lives in Jacksonville, Florida who has evacuated. But soon news of that Matthew will pass.
But here in the USA which prince or princess will be elected to lead our country has been the persistent, dominant news for many months now and will be for another month. Of course we don't use the terms prince or princess but rather "president" to describe our national leader. But we feel the daily text gives a very needed perspective on princes and rulers or whatever we may call them.
I heard a message that illustrates our present life as a brief preface to a book that really has no ending chapter as we live on through eternity. Presently all we know in our own life and that of others is the preface. We really have so little comprehension concerning the rest of the book.
What a powerful perspective is found in all of Isaiah 40. It is surely one of the greatest expressions of the glory and majesty of God in the entire Bible. "He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in."
But what candid bluntness regarding the comparative puniness of man especially as applied to rulers, "He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than He blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff." We can apply this Scripture to the rulers all throughout history and the rulers of our day.
History verifies the truth of this verse over and over. Are we any different today? I suspect each living generation considers a special significance to their own. But the Bible tells us, "Generations come and generations go" (Ecclesiastes 1:4). And so will ours.
The main thing is preparing ourselves spiritually for what follows this brief life, which is merely the preface of our book. But so many give little to no thought to this preparation because their minds and focus are solely on earthly things.
At 40 years of age Moses made a critical decision to identify with God and His people. "By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward" (Hebrews 11:24-26). The titles, pleasures, and treasures in his day paled in comparison to God. And that is true for each generation, including our own.
We've given a lot of Scripture to ponder today but let me conclude with the last phrase in the above text, "He was looking ahead to his reward." That should also be our primary outlook today. Are you looking ahead to your reward?
In the book, "When Christ Comes" Max Lucado describes a grand vision of the Lord's return. He writes that once we get a glimpse of that glorious future event we will realize that "Nothing else matters." He gives a perspective contrasting all the stuff that so often consumes our minds and hearts on this side of eternity and what will happen at the return of the Lord.
"The angels bow their heads. The elders remove their crowns. And before you is a figure so consuming that you know, instantly you know: Nothing else matters. Forget stock markets and school reports. Sales meetings and football games. Nothing is newsworthy. All that mattered, matters no more, for Christ has come."
The three words that prompted my recollection of this reading are "Nothing else matters". Let us stay faithful today in proclaiming that which really does matter!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we want to enjoy the lasting pleasure of doing that which is right as we look ahead to our eternal reward. Our lives are but a whirlwind, here today and gone tomorrow. Nothing in all of this temporal world can compare to the sin-free splendor of heaven or hearing Your words of commendation, "Well done, good and faithful servant." May we never lose sight of why we were created nor what our purpose is which is to honor and glorify You. Amen.
It's harvest time. We passed this labor intense harvest yesterday north of New Holland.
The Village Farm Market is a Country Store in the lower level of a former steer barn. The staff is all Plain women.
Yesterday we were on a section of Route 322 west of Ephrata that reminds us of mountainous northern Pennsylvania. In several weeks these trees will be changing and provide, in our view, one of the most scenic routes in this area.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"When Christ Comes" Max Lucado reading
This is Your Land from "City of Gold: Visions of Heaven" Video
Yesterday we shared a photo and inquired as to what it was once used for. Several responded, including our pastor. It is a feed cart that dairy farmers use in feeding the cows along the rows when they are in their stalls. I helped my father-in-law and used one very much like the one you pictured.
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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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