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Monday, February 19, 2018

Pinetown Covered Bridge 2/18/18
Pinetown Covered Bridge

"I Have Overcome The World"

Message summary:
Our key to living a life of overcoming and victory, even in the midst of tribulation, is to stay in Him who has overcome the world and wears the Victor's Crown.

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"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

You have overcome, You have overcome
Jesus, You have overcome the world

Yesterday Brooksyne joined the choir in singing a powerful song with a moving message of truth titled, Victor's Crown. (Link to video of song below). Later, in the message the pastor shared a series of verses concerning victory and overcoming (which are based on the same Greek word)*

One of the verses he shared was our daily verse, a passage we both memorized as young Christians. This verse is so rich in meaning and has often brought us assurance when we especially needed it. We have quoted it often in our ministry to others. However, in examining our use through the years, we have often focused on the earlier phrases in the verse:
  • "These things I have spoken to you" This was a message Jesus shared with His disciples during the hours just prior to His arrest, trial and death. In fact this verse is Jesus' last recorded words before His high priestly prayer recorded in John 17.
  • "so that in Me you may have peace". Jesus said this just before the disciples would enter into one of the most excruciating periods of their lives, a time absolutely unconducive to peace!
  • "In the world you have tribulation". What a forthright statement, hardly a source of encouragement it would seem! It occurs to me how often we speak of tribulation in regard to relatively trivial matters. Last week I had a leaking toilet and had quite a time fixing it and frankly was a bit out of kilter in regard to having a proper perspective. The types of tribulation the disciples encountered, along with millions of believers throughout church history and in our own age, has included suffering and death.
  • "but take courage". Various versions translate this, "be of good cheer" (KJV), "but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]" (Amplified), "Be courageous!" (HCSB). What a blessed word this must have been in fortifying the disciples' faith (and ours).
However, I realize I have not given much consideration to the final phrase in this text. I have sermon and study notes from early in my ministry and each daily encouragement on file since 1996 when I first began writing them. But I don't believe I've ever placed a focus on this final phrase, "I have overcome the world".

Note that Jesus is speaking in the past tense. Although His suffering and death were imminently before Him He states "I have overcome the world". What tremendous assurance in His Father's redemptive plan that brought about His eternal purpose.

Our key to living a life of overcoming and victory, even in the midst of tribulation, is to stay in Him who has overcome the world and wears the Victor's Crown.

At the cross the work was finished
You were buried in the ground
But the grave could not contain You
For You wear the Victor's crown

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Father, there are many trials and tribulations that we face here on earth. It seems we get over one hurdle only to face another, but we are comforted when we remember that we are not alone in our trials, nor are we the only ones to face difficulty. The greatest test and the greatest triumph were both present at the death and resurrection of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ who overcame death and the grave. Help us to remember there is no triumph if there is no test. We take courage when we undergo testings and tribulation when our minds are focused on Jesus, not the trouble at hand. Keep me true, Lord Jesus, keep me true. There's a race that I must run and victories to be won. Give me power, every hour, to be true. Amen.

We had a beautiful snowfall overnight on Saturday and awoke yesterday to some of the prettiest snow scenery of the season. Following our church service Brooksyne sang in the choir during the second service followed by a meeting, so Ester and I took scenic routes home and went through five covered bridges which we will share this week.

Donegal Springs Road 2/18/18
Leaving home heading on toward Mount Joy on Donegal Springs Road.
(Click to enlarge)

Pinetown Covered Bridge 2/18/18
Built in 1867, the Pinetown Covered Bridge crosses the Conestoga River. It was washed off its base by the flood waters of Hurricane Agnes in 1972. The following spring, nearby Amish workers rebuilt the bridge, raising it to 17.5 feet above the average water lever to avoid future damage. The bridge was severely damaged in floods in September 2011, rebuilt, and raised yet another time.

Amish young couple 2/18/18
After going through the bridge we passed this young Amish couple likely going to Youth Group.

Mollie ready to catch frisbee 2/18/18
Arriving home yesterday afternoon Mollie was ready to play frisbee catch. She can't get enough time to play in the snow before we call her in for fear of frostbite which she had one time. Her favorite winter sport: bury the frisbee in the snow and then dig it out, over and over and over again.

Mollie catching frisbee 2/18/18
Got it!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"The Victor's Crown"  Video  Calvary Church choir

Here is the point in the message where Pastor shared selected verses on victory and overcoming.  Video

"Defender"  Video  Another song the choir sang yesterday.

"Keep me True"  Video   Jabu Hlongwane

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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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