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Thursday, January 25, 2018

York Barbell
York Barbell Sign

"A Strong Redeemer"

Message summary: Believing friend, God is working on your behalf today. Our Redeemer is strong. He is your advocate and vigorously defends your cause.

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"This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'The people of Israel are oppressed, and the people of Judah as well. All their captors hold them fast, refusing to let them go. Yet their Redeemer is strong; the LORD Almighty is His name. He will vigorously defend their cause so that He may bring rest to their land, but unrest to those who live in Babylon'" (Jeremiah 50:33,34).

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God

In neighboring York County, across the Susquehanna River from us, is York Barbell, a company that makes weightlifting equipment. It claims to be the industry leader in weight bar development and manufacturing for the last 85 years.

When I was about 14 years old and skinny as a rail I got a set of weightlifting bars, both barbells and dumbbells. I wanted to put on some weight and be stronger. Well, I suppose I got a bit stronger and without question have put on additional weight in the last fifty years. But I am pretty sure I would never be mistaken for a "bodybuilder", even in my prime!

Bodybuilding is popular among a certain subset and some develop to the point of being freak-like. I was scrolling through photos of bodybuilders but determined none were appropriate to post by way of illustration, especially a category known as "extreme bodybuilding".

Today let us consider our strong God. One of the great attributes of God expressed in theological language is His omnipotence. That is, He is all powerful.

Our Redeemer is strong! What encouragement to the devout believer the daily verse provides. "Yet their Redeemer is strong; the LORD Almighty is His name." The message here is to the Babylonians, who had conquered God's people and had taken them into exile. In fact Jeremiah lived at the time just prior to and during the destruction of Jerusalem and Judah's darkest days. The book of Lamentations was written during this time.

But in this chapter Jeremiah looks beyond that temporary period to God's judgment on the proud Babylonians and the return of the faithful remnant. History demonstrates again and again the powerful way that God works on behalf of His people. Yes, there were "bumps in the road" and evident in these "bumps" was God's judgment upon sin. Yet, for the remnant that holds to their Christian faith, God has always been faithful. That's still true.

2,600 years ago when the people of God were being taken into Babylonian captivity the prophet Jeremiah conveyed the wonderful truth found in our daily verse. God's long promised judgment was taking place because of the sin and idolatry of the nation. Yet some had kept their faith and commitment to God so Jeremiah was called to minister to this faithful remnant. They were oppressed and their captors held them fast refusing to let them go. Their situation seemed utterly hopeless with no end in sight. But note these glorious words: "Yet their Redeemer is strong" and "He will vigorously defend their cause."

Today we speak to those who, like the ancient Israelites, are seeking to hold firm their faith in God. Some are oppressed in various ways. (We particularly think of our brothers and sisters in places of great persecution.) But some of you undoubtedly are oppressed in other ways and your situation today may seem hopeless as well. 

Hear again this word from God our Redeemer who changes not, who is the same yesterday, today and forever. Believing friend, God is working on your behalf today. Our Redeemer is strong. He is your Advocate and vigorously defends your cause. Praise the Lord

Be encouraged today.

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Father, we trust You for You are worthy of our full confidence. No problem is too difficult for You since Your power is supernatural, unlimited in strength and scope. There is no request we bring to You that is too perplexing or hard for You to answer, no need too great for You to supply, no misdirected passion too strong for You to restrain; no temptation too powerful for You to deliver us from, and no misery too deep for You to lift us from, for You are the Strength of our lives. When we rest on these truths we are confident and trusting that there is no enemy force of which we should be afraid. We come boldly before Your throne of grace with Jesus as our Advocate. Amen.

Prayer adapted from this A.W. Pink's comment:

"Well may the saint trust such a God! He is worthy of implicit confidence. Nothing is too hard for Him. If God were stinted in might and had a limit to His strength we might well despair. But seeing that He is clothed with omnipotence, no prayer is too hard for Him to answer, no need too great for Him to supply, no passion too strong for Him to subdue; no temptation too powerful for Him to deliver from, no misery too deep for Him to relieve. "The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1).

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Our God"  Video  Chris Tomlin

"My Redeemer Is Faithful And True"  Video  The Nebblett Family

"Great I Am"  Video  Phillips, Craig & Dean

"The Great I Am Still Is"  Video  Triumphant Quartet

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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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