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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Old Windmill Farm 6/17/17
Old Windmill Farm

"Hope In Christ"

Message summary: Life is fragile and unpredictable. Now is the day of salvation. Place your hope in Christ, in this life and the life yet to come.

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"The name of the LORD is a strongtower; the righteous run to it and are safe" (Proverbs 18:10). "If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men" (1 Corinthians 15:19).

Andraé Crouch, who passed away 2 years ago, was a popular Christian musician when we were young believers. He wrote "To God be The Glory" a song that we used in our wedding in 1976. Today I recall the words to another song as we reflect upon our daily text.

"But if heaven never was promised to me.
Neither God's promise to live eternally,
It's been worth just having the Lord in my life;
Living in a world of darkness,
He came along and brought me the light."

I am truly edified by the words of that song and have a link to a recording below. I know what  Andraé Crouch is trying to convey regarding the joys and blessings of the Christian walk in contrast to the dark void of living without Him. Crouch's thoughts expressed in this song are a sentiment that many believers would agree with.

When we were spinning out of control and had no real purpose for living, receiving Christ and His abundant plan for our lives turned our desperate situation into hopeful expectation. We are among "those who walked in darkness [who] have seen a great light!"
Christ truly makes a wonderful difference in earth's journey and indeed if this life was all there is His fulfillment and the order He brings is wonderful.

Having said all that, any allusion to heaven or eternity not being a part of God's future plan for the believer is contrary to Paul's statement in the daily text. In the greater context of 1 Corinthians 15 Paul is giving his great defense of the resurrected Christ.

If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied" because, apart from the resurrection, the very foundation of our faith would be fatally flawed. The literal physical resurrection of Jesus Christ is the very foundation of our faith. Our hope of salvation hinges on Christ's resurrection from the dead. In the very next verse Paul emphatically proclaims, "But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead" (1 Corinthians 15:20).

However it's not only for this life that we have hope in Christ! We all face death and loss, but what an astounding difference for those whose hope is solidly anchored in Christ. We do not grieve as those who have no hope because our hope is completely fulfilled beyond the grave (see 1 Thessalonians 4:13).

David Guzik writes, "If there is no principle of resurrection, then the whole Christian life is a pitiful joke! If we don’t have something beyond this life to look forward to, why hassle with the problems in being a Christian?"

Life is fragile and unpredictable. Now is the day of salvation. Place your hope in Christ, in this life and the life yet to come.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we thank You for Jesus and His obedience in dying for our sins that we might be forgiven and experience eternal life. We're so glad that You did not abandon Him to the grave, but instead You raised Him up on the third day so that we might have eternal salvation. We place our hope in You for all that concerns us in this life. We also look beyond the grave knowing that our greatest hope awaits us there. Keep us faithful in life's journey so that our hope on this side will be fully realized on the other side. In Jesus' name we pray.  Amen.

Tractor pulling trailer 6/17/17
Amish driving a tractor hauling a trailer with an advertisement for hunters.

Tractor pulling trailer 6/17/17
Our drive-by snapshots aren't always the clearest but we thought this precious "snapshot" would warm your hearts as it did ours.

Flowers in shoes 6/17/17
Young entrepreneur Amish children using their skills to raise a little money.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"If Heaven Was Never Promised"  Video  
Andraé Crouch

"To God be The Glory"  Video 
Andraé Crouch

"What's Wrong With Living Right"  Video  
The Cupps

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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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