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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Country church in Lebanon County 7/9/17
Country church in Lebanon County, PA

"Walk In The Light!"

Message summary: We want to hear and heed the words of the prophet Isaiah today, "Let us walk in the light of the Lord". How about you?

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"Do not practice divination or sorcery" (Leviticus 19:26). "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!" (Isaiah 5:20). "Let us walk in the light of the LORD" (Isaiah 2:5). "I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life" (John 8:12). “Now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8).

A favorite church memory we still chuckle about 20 years later took place when we had a musical group in from Canada. They selected a hymn about deliverance and asked for volunteers to share in a word or two between each verse what God had delivered them from. One responded "alcoholism". Another, "spiritual darkness". "Anger" might have been among the responses as I don't remember all the answers. But the one I clearly remember was when a young boy about five raised his little hand and blurted out "drugs". His response amused the congregation and certainly jolted his mom who sat next to him with a beet red face. Of course he never had a drug problem in his brief past five years on earth but had likely heard others testify to being delivered from drugs and probably thought that was something neat to be delivered from!

Another memory I have of the same little boy is when he asked me what I thought about some popular toy at that time that I really wasn't familiar with. He was developing some spiritual discernment and was properly seeking to do what honored the Lord so he asked his pastor. I shared with him that we need to be very cautious about any activity that might involve demons and sorcery. He went on to ask me what demons and sorcery were!

Spiritual darkness is pervasive now and also very popular. Books dealing with the dark side sell very well. Music and the entertainment industry are full of it. Other institutions, such as government, media and education, having rejected God's truth, and have seen darkness increase.

But we do well to go back to the Bible and heed its counsel.  In the Law of Moses this specific prohibition is made, "do not practice divination or sorcery". If there is any question I choose to stay away from it. Pastor Richard Dresselhaus,
commenting on Ephesians 5:3, writes,

"Some people get as close as possible to these forbidden behaviors…but stop short of full indulgence. It’s just this that Paul addresses. There should not even be a hint of such conduct."

We often refer to Isaiah 5:20 in these Daily Encouragement messages usually focusing on the first phrase, "
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil" which seems to address our own age as understanding of what comprises good and what comprises evil is topsy-turvy.

But the second phrase is equally informative, "Woe to those ... who put darkness for light and light for darkness". Other versions render the passage "who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness" (Amplified), "who think darkness is light and light is darkness" (New Century Version),

We want to hear and heed the words of the prophet Isaiah today, "Let us walk in the light of the Lord". How about you?

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, I'm easily drawn to Bible passages of comfort but passages of warning and pending judgment are equally important.  Over 100 times "woe" is referenced in the Bible, seven times in Isaiah 5, and Jesus also used this expression to speak of Your displeasure and grief over sin and eroding moral and spiritual values. Just like loving parents who warn their young children of danger You also warn us of the dangers that come from the enemy of our soul. Satan disguises himself as good and as light, and tragically the world accommodates such deception. But we must heed the repeated cautions in Scripture such as Paul's warning, "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ". Our authority and outlook is not based on the views of this topsy-turvy world but on the words of Christ and the inspired writers of Scripture. Keep me faithful in reading, believing and applying it. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

See Isaiah 5, Colossians 2:8

Yesterday our chaplain duties took us through Lebanon County where we saw several interesting scenes.

Silo in Lebanon County 7/11/17
We noted this interesting silo with a dormer at the top.

Union Canal Tunnel in Lebanon County 7/11/17
The Union Canal Tunnel in Lebanon County is the oldest existing transportation tunnel in the United States. We had a nice little walk down to the canal from the ridge and a more strenuous walk back up.

Turtle in Lebanon County 7/11/17
On a rural road we stopped to warn this turtle, who was resting in the sun in the middle of the road that he was in a dangerous spot. As we drove off we noticed he didn't heed our warning!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Not Even A Hint"  Teaching from Pastor Richard Dresselhaus (This retired pastor, provides an excellent massage each day on his "One For The Road" blog)

"Trust and Obey"  Video   Twila Paris

"Let Your Light Shine In The Darkness"  Video  New Scottish Hymns

"Light of the World"  Video  Matt Redman

Finally today a photo Farmer Jesse sent last night:
Old Windmill Farm team mules 7/11/17 (Photo by Jesse Lapp)
Yesterday, after a long day of field work in the hot Pennsylvania summer sun our Old Windmill Farm team mules were ready for good drink!

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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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