The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Home About Us Free email subscription Listen to these messages
Daily Encouragement on Facebook Twitter Wordpress LinkedIn
<Previous Message Next Message>
Friday, November 24, 2017
Yesterday afternoon following our Thanksgiving meal we took a long walk along Donegal Creek and passed one of our favorite 1800's stone farmhouses.
(Click on photo to enlarge)
Message summary: Annually there are just two Fridays that most give special attention to. (We do not pay any attention to Friday the 13th!) Those Fridays are Black Friday and Good Friday.
Listen to our message on your audio player.
"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.' So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?'" (Hebrews 13:5,6).
Tuesday morning I was sharing a brief devotional with a group of employees when I noticed Brooksyne discreetly shaking her head back and forth with a slight anguished smile on her face, even as I heard a soft chuckling among the employees. I figured it must not be that serious so I just went on. Later in the van as we left the company she asked me if I knew what I had said. Well, I did remember what I said but couldn't think of anything I said that was off topic. Then she told me that when I to referred to "Black Friday" I had misspoke and said "Good Friday" instead.
Well that got me musing. (Regular readers may observe it doesn't take a lot to get me musing.) Annually there are just two Fridays that most give special attention to. (We do not pay any attention to Friday the 13th!) Those Fridays are Black Friday and Good Friday.
Our longtime friend Dave Zuchelli, whom we met shortly after beginning our ministry forty years ago shared about Black Friday in his blog article today (link below). Dave explains the standard reason given for why it's called "Black Friday" is that "it's on this day the retailers begin to turn a profit--going from red ink to 'being in the black'". So in this sense for retailers it's also potentially a good Friday!
Black Friday is a prime day for materialism. Whether we're buying gifts for others or for ourselves (although nobody probably really does that!) Black Friday is all about stuff and more stuff. All month long we've been seeing TV ads, newspaper ads, email ads, etc. about Black Friday deals too good to pass up. Of course for some stores Black Friday began on Thanksgiving and even before for some specials. Just this morning a selection of subject headers in my email were, "Ready. Set. BLACK FRIDAY!", "Black Friday Online Shopping Deals Start NOW", "Hurry! Black Friday Sale Ends Tonight" and many more.
How much is enough? Just a little more! It's human nature to want just a little more. It goes back to the very beginning. Adam and Eve had so much, but they wanted just a little more. They wanted what they weren't allowed to have. They weren't content with the multitude of blessings God gave them in the Garden and that's a condition that has afflicted the human race ever since.
How contemporary the daily verse is! Although, surely applicable to the initial readers and to believers of all generations, it seems to especially fit our prosperous age as our lives are loaded with stuff. Putting a positive spin on such matters there are many Resale and Thrift Stores that raise support for good causes due to our excess material goods being deposited at their redistribution centers. Brooksyne enjoys shopping at these stores and indeed has gotten some very good deals on slightly used stuff. Our local Mount Joy Thrift store is having its won Black Friday special with items 1/2 off.
The writer of Hebrews calls us to, "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have." The real issue is being content with what we have, which is really one of the greatest blessings in life (being contented). This command is followed by a promise that frankly this does not read as I would expect it to or even necessarily desire. I would expect the basis of contentment to be something along the lines of a verse many of us have memorized from Philippians, "For God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus" which of course is a very valid promise (Philippians 4:19).
But here in Hebrews the call to contentedness is based on this foundational promise; "God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you' So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?'". The basic foundation of contentedness is the realization that God's presence in our lives is enough and He is our helper. Isn't that great! If we really understand this promise and embrace its truth we will experience ongoing blessed contentedness. May the Lord help us all to do so today, this season, and all through life which will help us to overcome the tyranny of discontent so prevalent on many levels.
Finally today, the other famous Friday is "Good Friday", the prime day for remembering the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the Cross to redeem all who place their faith in Him. That's a gift that far exceeds any other gift.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, far too many live in a state of discontent where we find ourselves loving things and using people. It distorts our priorities and gives us temporary excitement with things, but leaves us with long-term dissatisfaction in ourselves and our relationships. Help us to enjoy and make useful material things but to place a higher value on greater pursuits such as growing friendships, solid marriage relations, growing godly character, giving without receiving and other worthy goals. We will be content as we rejoice in the fact that whether we are in want or whether we have plenty You have promised that You will never leave us nor forsake us. What a treasured promise for the believer both in times of need and in times of prosperity. We are content when we realize our all-sufficiency is in You, Lord. You will meet all our needs according to Your riches in glory. And we thank you for that other well-known Friday when Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Amen.
Stephen's brother Pat and his wife Laverne joined us for our Thanksgiving meal yesterday afternoon.
We had a beautiful day and a pleasant walk following our meal. Here's a photo of our house and barn from across the farm field. The rye grass they planted after the corn harvest is growing well and we have two oak trees that hold their leaves through much of the winter adding a splash of color during the bland days of winter.
A view of our colorful front yard oak taken this morning.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"The Lord Is My Helper" Video Scripture Memory Songs In the nineties we appreciated a series of CD's from Integrity Music that took Scripture verses and set them to music (contemporary at the time). We learned a lot of verses that way that we still recall. This song has a country style.
"How Dark Can it Be?" Dave Zuchelli's Black Friday Edition blog article
Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne
To receive the "Daily Encouragement" each Monday-Friday through email see this page to subscribe to our email list. You can also subscribe to the Wordpress rss feed or through a Wordpress email subscription. (See the email subscription on the right side after opening this page.)
We want to thank all who financially support our ministry. We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. Our ministry labor is comprised of half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive a fee (of course this percentage of time varies week by week). Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each phase would provide half of our ministry expenses and income. If you would like to make a donation to our ministry see here for more information. Donations through my chaplaincy endorsing ministry are tax deductible and will be receipted directly by them. Thank you!
Please Note: Our chaplain agency is unable to provide a receipt if the donation is made through PayPal. However we provide this option due to the convenience, international supporters, and for those who may not be concerned regarding receiving an official receipt. Click here to donate using PayPal.
Permissions: Please feel free to pass on, reproduce and distribute any material on Daily Encouragement Net, in part or in whole, in any format, provided that you do not alter the wording in any way or charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. It is our desire to spread this material, not protect or restrict it. We do request that you keep the contact, copyright and subscription information intact.
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."
© Copyright 2017 Stephen C. Weber - All Rights Reserved
Daily Encouragement Net - 495 Kraybill Church Road - Mount Joy, PA 17552 USA
"Living securely today anchored in God's solid foundation"