The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
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Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Lancaster County is very much in need of rain at the present time. Walking down our trail yesterday Brooksyne noticed how low the creek is. Watercress has taken over large portions of the stream so that you can't even see the water. Too bad watercress gets bitter over the summer months or we'd have plenty of healthy greens to pick. On every walk we see these mallards who hang around with the one white duck.
"This World Is Not My Home"
Message Summary: The Apostle Paul said, "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Philippians 3:20). Let's all remember that! In so doing we will have an inner peace that does not change based on the circumstances of the day or whether "our side" wins or loses in this political election. Whatever happens, "Our God Reigns" and because of that we will forever place our trust in Him.
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"They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world" (John 17:16). Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36). "For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" (2 Corinthians 5:1). "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Philippians 3:20).
This world is not my home; I'm just a passing through.
My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue.
The angels beckon me, from Heaven's open door.
And I don't feel at home in this world anymore!
Today is Election Day here in the USA. We've heard from our international readers who are following our election and are praying for us today for which we are thankful. In this Daily Encouragement message we write particularly with the American election in mind. However our Biblical exposition is pertinent to every nation.
In the next hour we will cast our vote and expect to witness the usual integrity that is demonstrated at our small town voting place. Representatives from both political parties work together to verify our identity and that we are indeed registered to vote. This is altogether reasonable! After confirmation a ballot will be handed to us where we are able to secretly cast our ballots in a small booth. It is our hope and prayer that the elective process go as smoothly all over the country in both rural and city polls!
Two major competing ideologies divide our nation this election day. These ideologies in fact have divided the human race ever since the fall. Now to be clear we are by no means asserting that either one or the other of the present candidates or modern political parties represents these two ideologies 100%. It's not that simple. As some are fond of stating the obvious, "God is neither a Democrat or a Republican".
There are various reasons that people will choose to vote as they do. Some simply vote along political party lines, giving little thought about the actual persons or positions they represent as they elect them to office. Some just vote the way their family does. Others base their vote on the charisma of the candidates and their popularity with the public or who featured the best rock stars at their campaign rallies. Many vote based on who they think will give them the better deal or more stuff. Sadly in my view there is much pandering in politics regardless of party affiliation. I heard the sound bite of a major candidate urging listeners, "Vote for yourself!" I suppose we could all do that if we wrote in our names! Others base their vote on how they are instructed by an organization, but give little thought to the deep values that should be of utmost importance.
Few candidates really want to address the deep needs our country faces.
Today we prayerfully support the candidates who will most likely defend and protect our religious freedoms, a constitutional right that has always been upheld in the past but now is eroding rapidly before our very eyes. We also consider the candidates' views on subjects that we feel are vital to our nation's survival, security, prosperity and moral well-being.
But we must keep in mind that politics is not the key to surviving as a nation. Another way to put it is that, although we may have a preference as to whom we want to govern, our hope is not anchored in the outcome of our 2016 election.
We want to have a perspective similar to Jesus. The dominant system when Jesus was on this earth ultimately determined that His views were worthy of death. At His trial before Pilate Jesus calmly addressed the heart of the matter, "My kingdom is not of this world." Earlier in an exchange with the religious leaders of His day He minced no words, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world" (John 8:23).
Jesus also applied this phrase "not of the world" to His followers in John 17:16, "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world". We want to remember where our ultimate citizenship is. We need to have the mindset of the writer that we quoted at the beginning of our message, "And I can't feel at home in this world anymore!" God never intended that we drive the stakes too deeply with our life here on earth since the original sin marked our lives with the stamp "terminal".
The Apostle Paul said, "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Philippians 3:20). Let's all remember that! In so doing we will have an inner peace that does not change based on the circumstances of the day or whether "our side" wins or loses in this political election. Whatever happens, "Our God Reigns" and because of that we will forever place our trust in Him.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we are privileged to vote on this historic election day. Our country is deeply divided, our biblical values are assaulted daily, and our personal freedoms are diminishing year after year. Yet we still have a voice in the electing of our governing officials.
We pray for discernment in voting for our country's leadership, from the highest office level to small town officials. We pray for our godly candidates that want to make a spiritual impact in the prevailing secularism of our land.
Like Joseph, Daniel, David, and Paul, who influenced the government of their day, we pray for wise, fierce, and courageous leaders who will uphold standards that align with Scripture, that will seek to change laws that intimidate or penalize believers who practice their faith in the public arena.
No matter the election outcome our trust is fixed on You, both here and now and for all eternity. Amen.
Study Note: The verse used from 2 Corinthians 5:1 is normally, and I believe correctly, interpreted as the "tent" being our physical body. However in studying for today's message the verse came to mind in regard to life in this present physical realm in general.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"This World is Not My Home" Video Homecoming Singers
"Glorious/Our God Reigns" Video Chris Tomlin
"Our God Reigns" Video Studio Musicians
"This Little Child" Video Scott Wesley Brown (with on screen lyrics) This ballad type song has been around for over 25 years but packs such a powerful message for any age. It presents the gospel then looks ahead to our time and the rejection of His truth. As I listened to this song today I consider loved ones who have forsaken the way of the Lord. May they return to the God of their childhood!
"2 Chronicles 7:14" Video A nice song from the Integrity Scripture memory series. Many of us that have been around for awhile may recall the radio Bible teaching of J. Vernon McGee. He has an interesting perspective on this verse here.
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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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