The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Monday, May 1, 2017
Last week we shared a photo of some beautiful yellow fields in Lebanon County to the north of us. Last Friday we passed this field on Flory Road about a mile from our house. It's a crop called rapeseed AKA Canola.
Click on photo for larger view
Message summary: Let us honor marriage. I find the statement "by all" interesting. If you're married I hope that it's a vibrant, joyful relationship, but even if yours is not, honor marriage. If you're single (by choice or otherwise) or if you're widowed and the deep grief still lingers, honor marriage. Indeed marriage is to be honored by all, regardless of your personal circumstances!
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"Marriage should be honored by all" (Hebrews 13:4).
Yesterday afternoon we attended a gathering honoring Jesse and Wilma Dourte, who recently celebrated their seventieth wedding anniversary. It was a joy to see their six children along with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren practicing the Fifth Commandment.
An extremely tiny percentage of married couples will make it to their 70th anniversary. According to this statistic: "Of all the married couples in the nation in 2011, 39 percent had been married for 25 years. Seven percent had made it to their 50th. And 0.01 percent had been married for 70 years."* To make it to seventy years requires a triad; marrying relatively young, both living a much longer than normal lifespan and staying married!
Several years ago there was a front page article in the USA Today newspaper titled, "We're Just Not That Into Marriage". It dealt with the declining interest in marriage and consequential drop in marriage statistics. The article surely reveals the increasing immoral state of our country.
Today's Scripture portion is a simple, straightforward command that is so needed for our times: "Marriage should be honored by all." This command is not referring only to a specific marriage such as the honor we and many others showered upon Jesse and Wilma yesterday but also to the institution of marriage itself. Today the institution of marriage is under severe attack through radical and ungodly efforts seeking to undermine and redefine it, contrary to its divine design and how it has been understood by the human race since creation.
Marriage is the oldest human institution, established by God Himself when He created Eve from Adam. It is part of the Creation Mandate. It was specifically ordained (ordered) by God, "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24).
Marriage is an ongoing expression of God's wisdom for humankind when He stated to Adam, "It is not good for man to be alone." He created a complimentary "helper suitable for him."
The Lord Jesus during His earthly ministry powerfully reinforces this view, "Haven't you read, that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?'" (Matthew 19:4,5). In another Scripture He pronounced, "Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate" (Mark 10:9).
Marriage is under terrific attack today by the evil one whose dastardly objective is to steal, kill and destroy the wonderful blessings God has for us during our earthly sojourn. The downward progression has gone from violating marriage vows (adultery) to broken marriages (divorce) to ignoring marriage (immorality), to redefining the fundamentally constitution of marriage (the homosexual movement). The last is unique to our age. Surely when God's fundamental human institution is so greatly violated judgment will soon come.
Let us honor marriage. I find the statement "by all" interesting. If you're married I hope that it's a vibrant, joyful relationship, but even if yours is not, honor marriage. If you're single (by choice or otherwise) or if you're widowed and the deep grief still lingers, honor marriage. Indeed marriage is to be honored by all, regardless of your personal circumstances!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, one of the greatest mysteries in the human experience is how You blend two individuals and make them become as one when they join together as husband and wife. The "me" becomes "us" in our shared interests and goals in life. Things are no longer "mine" but "ours." Our times of celebration as well as times of sadness and loss become shared experiences. We honor marriage, recognizing the sacrifices and blessings that come to those who are joined in holy matrimony. We also recognize that our archenemy, Satan, is intent on destroying the very foundation of marriage that You established from the beginning. We uphold the institution of marriage as defined in Scripture and honor it in the way we speak of it and the way we live it out with our spouse. Amen.
* Marriage longevity statistic
Friday afternoon we had the rye field across the road harvested.
With the huge harvester and four trucks hauling the haylage to the dairy farm it took a short time for the entire field.
Friday evening we took the Lapp family to the Green Dragon farmer's market and auction. Jesse is loading a billy goat for sale.
Billy wasn't too happy about being sold.
We left a goat but brought back a peacock they named "Stevie"! (I wonder where they came up that name?!)
Linda along with her dear mother, Etta Mae, celebrating with the Dourtes at their 70th anniversary gathering.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Stop Wishing for a Great Marriage" Article by David Penley This morning the latest post from David's blog "Simply One In Marriage" arrived and seemed fitting with today's message.
"Broken Together" Video Casting Crowns
The Mennonite Children's Choir of Lancaster (click for larger photo).
Yesterday afternoon the MCCL held their last performance locally and it was a tremendous concert. Approximately 150 children, grades 1-12, representing a variety of church denominations, schools and communities make up the MCCL. They meet weekly during the school year and present Christmas and spring concerts. The mission of the choir is to train children and youth to glorify Jesus through excellent choral singing.
"Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow" (Hadyn) Video The choir led the congregation in this beautiful doxology (often called "The Mennonite Doxology" in these parts). It's a beautiful arrangement. They started so quickly I missed the first two words, "Praise God" but otherwise the entire song is included in this video.
"This is My Father's World" (Shepherd) Video I recorded only one verse and chorus of the Chamber Choir performing this treasured hymn. Singers at this age are so well established in singing harmony that they purposely stand alone in singing their part rather than standing next to another singing their same harmony. It was very nicely performed.
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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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