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The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Friday, January 12, 2018

Sguirrel (taken by Ester)
We have many squirrels on our property, mostly all gray in color. But yesterday Ester snapped this photo of one with a reddish brown face.

"Never Once"

Message summary: May the Lord give us all overcoming faith both in times of normalcy and in times when we especially face the heat of battle. May the Lord fill us with assurance that, "Never once did we ever walk alone".

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"This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith" (1 John 5:4).

Brooksyne has been singing a song titled, "Never Once" since her choir practice this past week. The choir will be leading worship this Sunday and "Never Once" is one of their numbers which has become one of our favorites. (We post a link to the song below.) The lyrics begin with a battleground setting:

Kneeling on this battleground
Seeing just how much You've done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Life is indeed a battleground as we struggle against the forces of evil (Ephesians 6:10ff) and "fight the good fight" (1 Timothy 6:12).

In ministry much of our impact comes in brief conversations when we have opportunity to share a
Scriptural perspective with those whom we encounter. Although I still occasionally preach and we have counseling sessions with some most of our people interface takes place in brief moments as we walk through companies as their chaplain. Two tools we often use are direct Scripture verses and allusions to music.

Brooksyne recently reached out to a friend who recently endured great loss. In addition to sharing some comfort thoughts she provided a link to this song, "Never Once" informing the recipient that this song brought tears during choir practice and prompted her to intercede for the family.

Life is really a sequence of overcomings. Most of the time life rolls along rather smoothly and predictably. We call that normalcy, a blessing we often take for granted. When our lives are disrupted a return to this normalcy is especially a blessing. It's kind of like how you feel after you've had the flu, instead of feeling good you feel extra good!

At other times the issues we deal with are more intense and out of the ordinary, but overcoming faith is always the "modus operandi" of the believer's life.  In fact the purpose of these daily encouragement messages is to encourage fellow overcomers who, in the words of an old hymn, are "overcoming daily by the Spirit's sword." In this real time perspective we periodically share with you from our own overcomings.

The daily text is a great source of encouragement. Interestingly the same root Greek word is used for both victory and overcome. It's the word "nike" from which the popular athletic shoe company derives its name. For those who have some knowledge of the Greek the phrase "victory that has overcome the world" translates "νίκη ἡ νικήσασα τὸν κόσμον". Even those who do not know the Greek can see the similarity.

Our faith enables us to overcome the world.  Our confidence is in the One of whom it is said, "He (Jesus) doeth all things well."

Bible teacher Alan Redpath wrote,

"There is no circumstance, no trouble, no testing, that can ever touch me until, first of all, it has gone past God and past Christ, right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with a great purpose, which I may not understand at the moment. But I refuse to become panicky, as I lift up my eyes to Him and accept it as coming from the throne of God for some great purpose of blessing to my own heart."

You might want to print out the above thought and post it on your fridge or another visible location. It's a stirring thought and may just help you to consider the bigger picture during times of testing.  May the Lord give us all overcoming faith both in times of normalcy and in times when we especially face the heat of battle. May the Lord fill us with assurance that,
"Never once did we ever walk alone".

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Father, we treasure the intercessory prayers of faithful believers when we undergo testing periods. Because we deal with the visible, we can easily forget that Jesus, invisible to the naked eye, is interceding for us in the heavenly realms, faithfully presenting our needs to You. He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, realizing the eternal purpose in all that we must deal with. Help us to trust You even when we don't understand Your plan, knowing in our hearts, that You do all things well for Your intended purpose and for our eternal good. Help us to look beyond our immediate need to see the spiritual fruit You are developing in our lives as we remain faithful trusting You to work out that which concerns us. Amen.

Squirrel (taken by Ester)
Another one of Ester's squirrel photos. Here you can see it's still mostly gray. In northern PA we had brown squirrels. Marionville, a small town in southwest Missouri near where we went to college has a colony of white squirrels!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Never Once"  Video  Matt Redman

"10,000 Reasons"  Video  Matt Redman

"Break Every Chain"  Video  Jesus Culture

"Faith Is The Victory"  Video  Congregational singing

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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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