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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Alpaca Farm in Lancaster County PA
 Eastland Alpaca Farm near Mount Joy, PA

"Forever God Is Good"

Message Summary: Sinking, shifting sand is an apt description of what surrounds us today in the temporal kingdoms of this world. But the great God we serve is absolutely steadfast and His Kingdom will endure forever, for it has no end. Praise Him today and serve Him wholeheartedly!

to this message on your audio player.

"In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever" (Daniel 2:44). "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever" (Psalm 136:1).

Brooksyne led a song in our Worship Service on Sunday that has a great perspective to consider today. (A video link to the song is posted below.)

Blessings before me, blessings behind me
Forever You are good
Battles before me, battles behind me
I'll look to You alone
You are good forever and Your love endures

Most everyone who gets news on this planet knows by now, our 2016 USA national election is finally over. Some of our population is happy this morning, some are excited about
the outcome while to varying degrees others are not so happy, with some being in despair.

As followers of Christ, as believers in Scripture and the sovereignty of God, we affirm once more that our hope is not in the outcome of an election but our hope is in the Lord. Indeed, forever God is good!

Today we want to share a timeless message of spiritual assurance concerning a Kingdom that cannot fail. Let's examine a Scripture text from some 2,600 years ago and hear the words of the Lord as we glean from a rather obscure verse from the prophet Daniel.

Daniel lived during the period of the Babylonian captivity. As a youth he had seen the horrendous destruction of his country described in graphic detail by Jeremiah in his book of Lamentations. The nation, as promised by God*, was being judged. It is one of the most horrendous portions of Scripture that is there for the historical record, more so than inspirational verses that we might choose to memorize and from which we would draw strength. Daniel was displaced from his homeland as the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar "ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his officials, to bring in some of the sons of Israel" (Daniel 1:3).

Much like we do today, he must have wondered, "Where is God in all of this?" Surely the godly remnant, which would likely have included his parents, had prayed for a restoration of righteousness in the land and for a wide-spread renewal of faith. Surely
he had prayed that God would deal with the godless authorities of his day and give them a king like Josiah.

But it didn't happen. While unanswered questions must have filled Daniel's mind he stayed faithful to his God even though separated from his loved ones and living in captivity in a foreign land. Believers have always had to accept that some questions just won't be answered on this side of eternity as to how God chooses to accomplish His will in spite of our genuine, Scripture based prayers. God calls us to faith and faithfulness as described in Hebrews 11:1: "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Daniel took a very bold stand in his new land of exile and chose to live by the godly standards he had learned from his upbringing (see Daniel 1:8). He excelled as a personal aid to the King and interpreted a dream that had tremendous prophetic insight into the future kingdoms from that point on (Daniel 2). In a prayer prior to giving the interpretation he stated, "It is He (God) who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings." Since that time, many kingdoms have come and gone and most certainly present kingdoms will come and go as well.

But Daniel looks to a future, forever enduring Kingdom. "In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever" (Daniel 2:44). "In the days of those kings" describes the Roman period. The kingdom which the "God of heaven will set up" is the Kingdom of Christ expressed in the first coming. (This prophecy was made some 550 years before the incarnation.)

Note two descriptions of this glorious Kingdom in the daily text: it will "never be destroyed" and "it will itself endure forever".

Sinking, shifting sand is an apt description of what surrounds us today in the temporal kingdoms of this world. But the great God we serve is absolutely steadfast and His Kingdom will endure forever, for it has no end. Praise Him today and serve Him wholeheartedly! We began with the words of a recently written song. We end with a verse from the classic hymn, "Rejoice the Lord Is King". Those powerful lyrics come to mind as we conclude today's message:

His kingdom cannot fail; He rules o'er earth and heaven.
The keys of death and hell are to our Jesus given.
Lift up your heart; lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say rejoice!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, today we bless You, our God of heaven. May Your name be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to You. It is You who changes the times and the epochs; You remove kings and establish kings; You give wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding. You reveal the profound and hidden things; You know what is in the darkness, and the light dwells within You. To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise. Amen.

Adaptation of Daniel's prayer -  Daniel 2:19-23

* This "promise" is found in Deuteronomy. We realize many only want to see God's promises as something with a positive outcome, but we are using the word in the sense of God speaking and keeping His word, including a message of judgment. God keeps all His promises He makes (Proverbs 30:5a).

Message at church 11/8/16
Our polling place yesterday was at a church here in Mount Joy. Using it as an opportunity for a witness, they had a small table set up as you left with some wise tracts and sweet candy!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Good Forever"  Video   Matt Redman  (This is the song quoted at the beginning of our message today.)

"Rejoice The Lord Is King"  Video  Tommy Walker  (This is the song quoted at the end of our message today. This is a different version than many of us have sung in our churches but maintains the same rich lyrics.)

"I Will Trust In You"  Video   Lauren Daigle  Brooksyne's note: I have really come to appreciate this song in recent weeks. By the time you listen to the lyrics you will be singing with Lauren, "I will trust in You!"

"The Love Of God"  Video  Gaither Vocal Band  We also sang this classic hymn on Sunday, This line especially gripped my attention when we sang it together, "It (His love) shall forevermore endure".

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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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