The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Wednesday, December 20, 2017
We passed this nicely decorated barn yesterday on Colebrook Road.
"Good News Of Great Joy"
Note: This week we will be considering joy, our theme for the third Sunday in Advent.
Message summary: Real joy is mine, it's Jesus in my heart!
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“In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord'" (Luke 2:8-10).
Happiness is to know the Savior,
Living a life within His favor,
Having a change in my behavior,
Happiness is the Lord.
Happiness is a new creation,
Jesus and me in close relation,
Having a part in His salvation,
Happiness is the Lord.
Look around you today; this week; this season. Do some people-watching at work, at the mall, the post office, or even the faces of the drivers you share the road with. It's likely that you'll see more impatience, signs of stress or lack of consideration than people who demonstrate a deep, expressive joy! Greed, anger, jealousy, fear and other destructive attitudes have filled the hearts of people since the fall of Adam and Eve.
But on the other hand the Christmas season also brings out the best in people regarding generosity, kindness, the sharing of our resources and our time with others such as shut-ins, and others who have particular struggles in life.
Just last Saturday I, Brooksyne, experienced an outpouring of generosity from Hershey Medical Center on Friday after Ester was resting quietly from being cardioverted from atrial flutter. I went to the hospital dining room expecting to buy soup for dinner and instead management from the foods department were all dressed up in suits and greeted guests one by one. They invited us to freely eat from the sumptuous buffet (prime rib, shrimp cocktail, the works) that was prepared for hospital employees but freely shared with all guests. It was the second time I'd experienced such generosity from HMC as Ester was hospitalized on Thanksgiving about ten years ago and all family members were invited to an amazing buffet without charge.
Joy is the deep-down sense of well-being that abides in the heart of the person who knows all is well between himself and the Lord. That can and should be our experience.
The very heart of the gospel is the message the angel proclaimed to the shepherds as expressed in Luke 2:10, "I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people". Just consider the aspect of "great joy" these lowly shepherds received in the message of the Gospel. It was certainly a night unlike typical night watches where shepherds move about in the dark, gathering stragglers and keeping watch for predators and other dangers.
This event had none of the normal trappings we associate with joy today. It wasn't available to just the Hollywood elite, the intellectual, the wealthy, or the big name politicians. The joy the angel spoke of wasn't related to flashy consumer goods; there was no big sweepstakes giveaway, no great buy at the mall.
Instead the angel spoke of joy that originates from an entirely different source. This great joy is the result of the birth of Jesus who came to save all people who ask forgiveness for their sins. The angel's message went on to proclaim, "Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord."
The joy we have in Christ is:
1. A great joy.
2. A lasting joy.
3. A pure and holy joy.
We encourage you to look to the genuine Source of enduring joy. Let us express deep abiding joy daily as a testimony of what Christ has done for us, what He has done in us, and what He wants to do through us. May God bless each one of you with great joy!
Real joy is mine,
No matter if the teardrops start,
I've found a secret,
It's Jesus in my heart.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, how marvelous that an announcement made by an angel some 2000 years ago would bring great joy to the lowly shepherds and the people of that generation, but it continues to resound even to our generation and those that will follow. Your coming to earth brings great joy and provides eternal hope to all who believe on You. Today I will not walk under the cloud of bad news but I will soar above the clouds because my steps are ordered by You, rather than the news of the day. You are my strength, my hope and my deep, abiding joy! Therefore I will praise You all the day long and rest in You during the night hour! Amen.
Special Year-end Financial Appeal: We want to thank all who have financially supported our ministry this past year (and some for many years!). We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. Like many ministries, we typically see a spike in giving at the end of the year for which we are most thankful.
Our ministry labor is comprised of approximately half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive compensation. 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 would provide half of our ministry expenses and income.
If you would consider making a donation to our ministry see here for more information.
To donate directly online here. This will open to a page that designates the offering to: WEBER,STEPHEN CHAP, Specialized Chaplaincy Ministry ID: 700001-237376
Please Note: We also provide this familiar option due to the convenience, for international supporters, and for those who may not be concerned regarding receiving an official tax deductible receipt. Click here to send an offering using PayPal. This will open to a page that states "Brooksyne Weber"
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Happiness Is To Know The Savior" Video As one commenter notes, "A childhood memory!" In my earliest years as a new Christian teenager I was involved with "Youth For Christ" and it seems we sang this song at the monthly citywide rally in Kansas City.
On any number of occasions the Lord has given a song to a songwriter when he or she least expected it. Such was the case of Ira Stanphill one afternoon after he left the church office where he was pastor in Fort Worth, Texas.
The car radio was on, and as he rode along he listened to some commercial programs. Some were sponsored by establishments that advertised their happy hour and their alcoholic beverages. He also heard cigarettes being advertised in terms of how they bring happiness.
The word happiness was used several times in the ads. Ira related to me that he thought at the time that happiness does not come with these things, but with knowing Christ. He continued, As this thought really took over my mind I began to sing. I sang a new song, composing words and melody as I drove along. I sang it almost as it is published today.
"Joy To The World" Video David Phelps
"How Great Our Joy" Video Haven
Resources for Christmas Celebrations
(We will leave these resources posted below our daily messages through Christmas)
Each year we share several online resources that we have used over the years and that may be a blessing to families and churches during this Christmas season.
"In Remembrance of Me" pdf This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. Brooksyne and I have used this reading with great receptivity during Christmas Eve services many years. We suggest, if possible, a musical background as the message is read. It is also a great lead-in to a Communion service. It should be thoroughly practiced and read with great feeling.
"When Christ Was Born" pdf This is an adaptation to the tune of "How Great Thou Art". It's a great song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with and love the tune.
Responsive Christmas Scripture readings for church or family:
John 1:1-18 pdf
"O Come Let Us Adore Him" pdf
My First Christmas In Heaven This is a blessed reminder for all who lost a loved one this year. This is the poem that Brooksyne read and wrote about in this message.
Christmas Knowledge Test
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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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