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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Lebanon County bald eagle 5/17 (Janice Martz)
Bald Eagle along Little Swatara Creek in Lebanon County PA
(Photo taken by our friend Janice Martz)

"Not A Bargain Redeemer"

Message summary: This day let us faithfully serve Jesus Christ, our great Savior, who was sent as a gift of absolute first quality! We hope you have accepted His provision and can victoriously declare with us today, "I Am Redeemed!"

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"God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21). "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace" (Ephesians 1:7). "For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect" (1 Peter 1:18,19).

"Bargains, Bargains, Bargains" When we travel to the various companies where we provide chaplaincy services we have some flexibility in our schedule and will at times look for interesting things to do between the visits. Several months ago we started at a company in rural Lebanon County which has opened a whole new variety of exploration opportunity. Tuesday we were driving along and saw a large store with this sign along the highway, "Bargains, Bargains, Bargains". Brooksyne's eyes lit up and she said, "Let's stop!" So of course we did. After all, everyone loves a bargain, and this did turn out to be a bargain store. You never know till you have a look Brooksyne would tell me.

Bargains are good for certain items. For instance we have no problem buying seconds on some items like Hershey candy that may have packaging not up to company standards. However some things you really don't want to associate with a bargain such as "bargain heart surgery" or "cheap knee replacements".

The store did indeed have some interesting bargains such as greeting cards priced to go at three for a dollar if you don't care enough to send the very best. Of course many of us recognize "when you care enough to send the very best" is a slogan for Hallmark cards, based in Kansas City Missouri, near my stomping ground.

Hallmark logo
When C.E. (Ed) Goodman, a Hallmark sales and marketing executive, jotted down these words on a 3x5 card in 1944, he was trying to capture the essence of why Hallmark stood above the rest. It is more than a slogan for Hallmark, it is a business commitment.

God Cared EnoughMy Mom worked for Hallmark at that time in Kansas City Missouri. We recall her sharing how high the standards were in regard to the folds being just right and that became problematic for her. At that time they did it by hand but, of course, that is no longer the case.

I am afraid if we are all honest none of us always sends, gives or does the very best but years ago we recall a little saying based upon the Hallmark slogan that "God Cared Enough To Send The Very Best" referring
of course to the supreme gift of His only begotten Son who came and died to provide our redemption.

The greatest gift is of absolute first quality, that God sent His sinless Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins.

2 Cornthians 5:21"God made Him who had no sin." The only person who ever walked on this earth who had no sin was Jesus and He alone was a suitable sacrifice for our sins. When the Father wanted to solve our sin problem once and for all He sent His only Son to be the supreme sacrifice.

"To be sin for us."
God made Jesus to "be sin"; this is true in the sense of a sin offering, just as a lamb was offered for a meat sacrifice, the Lamb of God was the bodily sacrifice for our sins. "We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Hebrews 10:10). Peter wrote concerning this sacrifice, "For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect" (1 Peter 1:18,19).

"So that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." A great theological doctrine is known as imputed righteousness. Imputed righteousness is a theological concept directly related to the doctrine of justification. Justification is that step in salvation in which God declares the believer righteous which includes the imputation of Christ's righteousness (crediting it to the believer's "account"). Imputed righteousness therefore means that upon repentance and belief in Christ, individuals are declared righteous. This righteousness is not the believer's own, rather it is Christ's own righteousness 'imputed' to the believer.

This day let us faithfully serve Jesus Christ, our great Savior, who was sent as a gift of absolute first quality! We hope you have accepted His provision and can victoriously declare with us today, "I Am Redeemed!"

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I'll shake off these heavy chains
And wipe away every stain
Now I'm not who I used to be
I am redeemed, I'm redeemed

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, I am eternally grateful for Jesus who imputed His righteousness in me, just as You imputed my sin into the sinless Lamb of God who poured out His life for me on the cross. Through this merciful and selfless sacrifice of Christ I am justified. Jesus truly paid the highest price for my redemption and removed the penalty of sin for all who truly repent and believe. Thank You for this gift paid in full by the atoning work of Your Son, Jesus, in whose name I pray.  Amen.

Lebanon County bald eagle 5/17 (Janice Martz)
Here's a photo of the eaglet which hatched this spring in the Lebanon County nest.  Bald Eagles build the largest nest of any North American bird.

We find many regularly keep up with an eagle cam for a nest in York County to the west of us which live streams year round. (See here.) These eaglets hatched on March 20, 21 and are growing rapidly. Apart from the interesting video of the growing birds it's nice to have playing in the background for the live nature sounds!

Today's Suggested Music and
Supplemental Resources

"Redeemed"  Video  Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir I enjoy this version since I enjoy the sound of a large choir and consider the amazing redemption stories represented by its members. This version includes the lyrics. Listen and let it bless you!

"Redeemed"  Video  Big Daddy Weave with a very touching song background by Mike Weaver who wrote the song.

"Our Great Savior"  Video  The Talleys

"There Is A Redeemer"  Video  
Keith Green

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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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