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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Sunrise on Lakewood Lake, Lees Summit, MO (Janet Beebe)
Sunrise over Lakewood Lake, Lees Summit, MO
(Photo taken by Stephen's cousin, Janet Beebe)

"Follow In His Steps"

Message summary: Christ's call to the first disciples as He walked along the Galilean seaside indicated early in His ministry His desire to connect by means of communication.

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"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19). "To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps" (1 Peter 2:21).

Sunday, August 22, 1971 was a rather uneventful day according to the site "On This Day" which lists significant historical events on each day.* The "event of interest" was "J. Edgar Hoover and John Mitchell announce the arrest of 20 of the 'Camden 28'." But I am sure you already knew that!

But each of us have certain days that are personally significant to us such as our birthdays, anniversary, etc. For me today's date is significant because
forty-six years ago I accepted Christ at a convention in Kansas City Missouri with Evangelist Lowell Lunsdrom preaching. Today I renew my commitment to follow Christ!

There were a number of ministry experiences Jesus and his disciples had as they traveled on and around the Sea of Galilee, such as those times Jesus preached from the boat as others sat on the seaside.

Christ's call to the first disciples as He walked along the Galilean seaside indicated early in His ministry His desire to connect by means of communication. Peter and his brother Andrew were fishermen. When Christ called out to them and said, "I will make you fishers of men" He had their attention. Several years later Peter cast a wide Gospel net on the day of Pentecost and brought in a huge catch, demonstrating his Spirit-enabled proficiency as a "fisher of men".

Christ said to them, "Come, follow me". In his first letter Peter expresses the "follow" theme, calling his initial readers and all to "follow in His steps". This phrase was the basis for Charles Sheldon's Christian Classic, "In His Steps".

Now certainly I believe it's appropriate for us to heed God's call to be "fishers of men", but I want you to consider another element of the text today; how we communicate timeless truths to a spiritually blind and Biblically illiterate world. In calling Peter and Andrew, Christ used words and concepts they could understand.

Let us illustrate. Yesterday of course all the buzz was concerning the Eclipse. We noted on a friend's FaceBook page an interesting parallel that used the eclipse to prompt a consideration of a vital spiritual truth (see below).

Today we urge you to allow the Holy Spirit to guide you in finding ways to reach the hearts of those whom you meet as you "walk beside the sea". May He also give you the words to clearly communicate the message of Christ's salvation to all who will hear.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Jesus, just as You called the fishermen, tax collectors, and other commoners to be "fishers of men" You also call and equip us to reach the lost men and women of our day. May our hearts be filled with compassion and our spirits charged with faith as we prayerfully seek to make a difference in our own generation. It is not by our own might, our talents, or our power, but it is by Your Spirit that we can effectively reach the lost.  Help us to be faithful in doing so. We pray in Your name.  Amen.

Here's the repost we read on our friend Linda Trout's Facebook page yesterday:

There is so much excitement and anticipation around the eclipse coming up on Monday. I mean, what's not to love! The moon blocking out the sun and darkness in the middle of the afternoon! It's a phenomena that the whole country is anticipating (and hoping to have the right glasses to view).

But could I tell you about another day that the sun was darkened and refused to shine? It was the darkest day in history 2000 years ago when the Son of Man was hanging on a cross. The Scripture gives this account in Mark 15:33-34: "At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

The sun was darkened for three hours as the Father turned away from the Son. For the first time in all of eternity there was a separation of the Father and the Son. Our finite minds can't comprehend such love for us that God would sacrifice His Son. And why would the Son willingly give His life for the sins of the whole world? It's beyond our human comprehension. Darkness in the middle of the day. Creation mourning the killing and death of the Lord of Creation. But praise God it didn't end there...not in darkness! The darkest day in history was turned into a glorious daylight as the Son arose on the third day! Salvation was complete.

The eclipse on Monday will be an amazing event. Amazing, but not life changing. I pray that it is a reminder of that day so long ago when love eclipsed darkness and salvation became a reality for each and every person on the planet. That is life changing, but only if you receive it.

I hope you are careful on Monday as you look at the sun, but I pray that you are always careful to look AT The Son! "Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim. In the light of His glory and grace."

Note: As material gets posted and reposted on Facebook it can be hard to attribute the original author.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Follow Me"  Video  Kelly Willard

"I Will Make You Fishers Of Men"  Video  We probably recall this from our childhood days (or from teaching children).

"Rise And Follow Me"  Video  Rhonda Vincent  I tend to enjoy the Bluegrass sound!

"Power of the Cross"  Video  Gold City This coming Sunday evening "Gold City" will be at the final concert of the Lebanon Music in the Park summer series. For local readers info is here.

"If Church Pews Could Shout"  Video  Gold City  We enjoy the storytelling nature of southern Gospel music!

* "What Happened on August 22, 1971" from this interesting site "On This Day".  You can enter your birthday or any day and find out what happened!

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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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