The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
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Thursday, December 15, 2016
Amish work team horses near Intercourse, PA
Today we have a very cold day with blustery winds. Hearing the forecast Tuesday we used some flexibility and made our chaplain visits yesterday. Can you see the farmer?
Note: This week we are considering the five women mentioned in the genealogy of Christ. Today we consider Bathsheba.
Message Summary: God's nature is to forgive. Are you burdened down under a load of sin today? Have you sinned even as a believer? Of course you have. We all have. Is your sin a "big one" like David's? I don't read any restrictions in God's offer to the earnestly repentant. His Word is very unambiguous: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). Why don't you accept this gracious offer of forgiveness today?
Listen to this message on your audio player. An alert listener called attention to the fact I forgot to post the podcast yesterday. It is here.
"David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah's wife" (Matthew 1:6).
This morning we got a phone call from an excited grandmother, but to be even more precise it was from a great-grandmother. Wilma was so thrilled to call and report that once again, as of this morning, she is a great--grandmother to another child! In her early 90's she is a Grandma to 17 adult grandchildren, and 27 great-grandchildren. You'd think by now she might just respond to the birth of another great grandchild like this, "Well, that's nice!" But, no, she was so excited she had to call and report the excitement she and her husband Jesse are feeling today as they enjoy the blessing of yet another descendant in their family tree.
Wilma's call brought to life the excitement family members feel when considering the worth and value of each additional birth within the family tree. When we read the genealogies in the Bible that happened thousands of years ago we often glance over it as a historical record and rarely stop to think of how each birth affected the family line.
Today we have the fourth detail presented in Matthew's genealogy regarding great grandmothers of the Messiah. Once again Matthew reminds us of an event in the genealogical record of Christ that points to moral failure. The first three references specifically mention the proper names (Tamar, Rahab, and Ruth) but here we only have the cryptic identifying description, "whose mother had been Uriah's wife".
Well, we know who she is. Her name is Bathsheba and the story can be found in 2 Samuel 11 & 12. This woman, whom the record describes as "very beautiful" took a bath in view of the wandering eyes of King David. The rest is classic sin (adultery) and the attempt to cover-up (deception and murder). Finally, David is confronted by the courageous prophet Nathan which resulted in his confession of sin and restoration.
Prior to this moral failure David had shown much evidence of his spiritual walk and maturity in the Lord. While still a young boy he had by faith conquered Goliath and patiently waited until it was his time to ascend to the throne. Under his leadership the kingdom was doing very well. Many of the Psalms had been written by this time and he was referred to as "a man after God's own heart". Yet the Bible records David's fall into sin and Matthew reminds us that this is indeed part of the story. Not only did he collapse morally but he also engaged in criminal behavior.
What lesson is in this for us today? There are many lessons regarding the nature of temptation and the progression of sin.
But today we want to highlight this one lesson: God is still in the forgiveness and restoration business. David's sin was not excused, but it was forgiven, as David finally confessed and sought reconciliation with God.
God's nature is to forgive. Are you burdened down under a load of sin today? Have you sinned even as a believer? Of course you have. We all have. Is your sin a "big one" like David's? I don't read any restrictions in God's offer to the earnestly repentant. His Word is very unambiguous: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). Why don't you accept this gracious offer of forgiveness today?
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we praise You because there is no dreaded sin in our life that surpasses the all-sufficient grace You freely grant to all who believe. It is through no merit of our own for we are deserving of death and eternal punishment. But through the tremendous sacrificial death of Your Son, Jesus, we are freed from all our guilty stains of sin. No greater love can we know this side of heaven. In the precious name of Your Son, Jesus, we thank You. Amen.
Special Year-end Financial 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. 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 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.
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Some scenes from our journey yesterday
Rain or shine, warm or cold, when we pass an Amish one room schoolhouse we can always expect to see the children outside for recess.
These large hale bales are stacked up near New Holland using modern agricultural technology, likely a hay baler made by the New Holland Agriculture.
These corn shocks are in a field north of New Holland on an old-order Mennonite farm. They are "living history" of farming methods from a bygone era, possibly similar to methods used in the Bible times.
A new citizen! We have been praying for Lee as this was her second time to be tested for citizenship. She entered the U.S. from Vietnam 16 years ago so it was definitely time to become a citizen. As we walked through her company yesterday she was glowing with the news that she passed her citizenship test. Now Lee, along with her husband and son are all American citizens, something that those of us natural born citizens take for granted. We know in part the excitement Lee feels since our daughter, Ester, was born in Guatemala. Due to some odd circumstances with her passport it took us many years to finally get Ester's certificate of citizenship. What a huge load was lifted when that happened!
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Create In Me A Clean Heart" Video Keith Green A song based on David's confession of sin in Psalm 51.
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.
"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. Here's a great Communion Hymn for Christmas (Video)
"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.
Christmas Knowledge Test
We have also posted two Christmas carol quizzes here (scroll down).
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We want to thank all who financially support our ministry. We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. 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. Donations through my chaplaincy endorsing ministry are tax deductible and will be receipted directly by them. Thank you!
Please Note: Our chaplain agency is unable to provide a receipt if the donation is made through PayPal. However we provide this option due to the convenience, international supporters, and for those who may not be concerned regarding receiving an official receipt. Click here to donate using PayPal.
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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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