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Monday, October 23, 2017

Horse-drawn hay ride on the Old Windmill Farm 10/22/17
Yesterday, following our church service, we drove over to the Old Windmill Farm for a pleasant afternoon visit with our Amish friends. Moses hitched up a team and took us on an old-fashioned hayride

"Magnificent Manumission"

Message summary: Today we consider a magnificent manumission from a glorious emancipator!

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"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36).

Glorious freedom, wonderful freedom,
No more in chains of sin I repine!
Jesus the glorious Emancipator,
Now and forever He shall be mine.

Mark is a man we visit weekly in the course of our chaplain work. He works as a Project Manager for JK Mechanical. Last weekend he went on a Men's Retreat with a group of men from his church and I inquired as to how it went. He shared a good report and told me the speaker had built his theme around "manumission". That is a word I don't recall ever hearing and Mark told me to look it up! Based on how the word sounds, and the context of it being used at a men's retreat, I thought it must have something to do with the mission men are called to. But that is not the case.

John Piper
An old article by Pastor John Piper (from 1992, link below) provides our title today. He defines manumission as "the act or process of formal emancipation from slavery". He begins the article with this succinct challenge:

"We are either slaves of sin or slaves of God. There is no third alternative. You can call it different things. But it boils down to this: we serve sin or we serve God. Sin reigns or God reigns."

When Jesus uttered the words in our daily Scripture text He was speaking of a captivity common to all humanity, our captivity to sin. What a glorious truth! "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." Are you free this day? If you aren't, Jesus is still at work in freeing people from their greatest bondage. Turn to Him today. If you are free from the bondage of sin, rejoice and be not enslaved again to the yoke of sin's bondage!

We are so blessed in our land to still enjoy political and religious freedoms though these are fading. Some of our readers experience few of such freedoms.

But today we want to share about a freedom that is available to all, infinitely greater than any political or religious freedoms we may or may not enjoy at the present time. One hundred or one thousand years into eternity, where we lived during our brief earthly sojourn will be of little regard, with the one exception of our decision to surrender our lives to Jesus Christ. We experience His freedom from sin and the future bonus of receiving our eternal heritance in heaven.

In John 8 Jesus confronted the Pharisees and religious leaders of His day who had challenged His authority. The encounter specifically began when Jesus asserted, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12). The Pharisees challenged Jesus and the validity of His testimony and of course that has been at the heart of resistance to God's redemption plan ever since.

Jesus taught that those who "hold" to His teaching are truly His disciples (v. 31). He spoke to them, "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32). This especially insulted the proud Pharisees who responded, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?" (v. 34).

John 8:36
But Jesus was speaking of a slavery that impacts the entire human race; rich or poor, powerful  or weak, intellectual or unlearned, politically free or oppressed. People, no matter their background, are slaves to sin! Yet this is the very slavery that Jesus came to free us from: "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36).

If you are a citizen of a free country don't take it for granted. Give thanks to God for this wonderful privilege and consider those who sacrificed for your freedoms. Pray regularly for our brethren around the world who do not have these freedoms. Above all, give thanks to God that Jesus paid the supreme sacrifice so that we might be freed from the slavery of sin. That's something that we can all rejoice in no matter the political persuasion of our country. It is a magnificent manumission from our Glorious Emancipator!

I'm no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, how glorious it is to enjoy freedom from sin, thanks to the sacrifice of Your Son on my behalf. My life, once enslaved to sin, now enjoys the freedom from that which once held me captive to Satan's bondage. I live in victory because You have set me free and I am now free indeed. Thank You, Father, for delivering me from the dominion of darkness and transferring me into the kingdom of Your beloved Son in whom I have redemption, the forgiveness of sin! Shake me from complacency and forgetfulness when it comes to this essential truth of the gospel. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Our glorious emancipator provides:
1) Freedom from the bondage of sin (Romans 6:18).
2) Freedom from guilt and shame (Colossians 1:21-23).
3) Freedom from fear of death (Hebrews 2:15).

Take the Daily Encouragement reader surveyDaily Encouragement Net Reader Survey Please take a few minutes to help us
improve this ministry by taking an online survey. Your response is completely anonymous and the survey only takes about five minutes. To take the survey click here. (Thanks to all of you who already took a few minutes to fill this survey out the last several days. I will leave this survey request up through the week and compile the results and share them next week.)

Some Scenes From Our Weekend

Faith Community Men's Group 10/21/17
Saturday morning a group of men from the Faith Community church in the Lehigh Valley joined us for breakfast. They were attending a men's conference near Harrisburg and crashed at our place Friday night. Though it was 7:00 in the morning they joined their voices in singing "Happy Birthday" to Brooksyne.

Pat Weber 10/21/17
It was nice to see my older brother Pat.
Consider this thought-provoking message on the back of his T-shirt!

Calvary Church children's choir 10/22/17
Sunday morning King's Kids Choir sang at Calvary Church. Ester took this photo from the balcony. Brooksyne shares a video on her Facebook page.

Birthday song on the Old Windmill Farm 10/22/17
Sunday afternoon the children sang "Happy Birthday" to us while giving Stephen a vigorous head massage! Ester shares a video of them singing to us on her Facebook page.

Sharing photos with children on the Old Windmill Farm 10/22/17
A highlight in each visit is sharing photos. We keep forgetting to take our tablet which would be a lot easier to see!

Pony rides on the Old Windmill Farm 10/22/17
The boys sure enjoy riding their ponies.

Daisy chewing shoelaces on the Old Windmill Farm 10/22/17
Daisy the goat chewing my shoestrings! Thankfully, I still left with my shoe lace in the shoe but the aglets (plastic tips) she took away with her in her belly.

Brooksyne and Zimbabwean friends 10/22/17
Later yesterday afternoon our Zimbabwean friends came over to share some cake and ice cream as we celebrated Brooksyne's birthday. Brooksyne asked them to gather around her for breath support since it was such a BIG number to blow out! Neville, Nathan and Tho Ncube joined her.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Glorious Freedom"  Video   Gaither Vocal Band 

"No Longer Slaves"
  Video  Voices of Lee

"Magnificent Manumission"  article by John Piper

Voice of the Martyrs: We remind you to pray regularly for those in persecuted lands, but it is easy to forget since most live in distant lands. We receive regular publications from Voice of the Martyrs that tell stories, feature individuals and give suggestions for how to pray for these dear persecuted brothers and sisters. They are a sound ministry and will add you to their mailing list if requested. (Website)

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Take the Daily Encouragement reader surveyDaily Encouragement Net Reader Survey Please take a few minutes to help us improve this ministry by taking an online survey. Your response is completely anonymous and the survey only takes about five minutes. To take the survey click here. (Thanks to all of you who already took a few minutes to fill this survey out the last several days. I will leave this survey request up through the week and compile the results and share them next week.)

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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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