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May 24, 2018

Pinnacle overlook in Lancaster County PA 8/8/15 (Click to enlarge)
View of Susquehanna River from the Pinnacle Overlook
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
(Click to enlarge)

"The Divine Search and Rescue"

Message summary: Do you want to be rescued?

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"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (Galatians 1:3-5).

You, oh Lord, have made a way
The great divide You heal
For when our hearts were far away
Your love went further still
Yes, your love goes further still

Jason, member of search team
In the last several weeks a double drowning in the Susquehanna River has been followed in our local news. A boat went over a dam near Harrisburg where a mother and her three-year old daughter lost their lives. An extensive search and rescue went on before both bodies were discovered. It is a tragedy on several fronts and has gripped our region.

Search and rescue teams provide a vital function during many types of disasters. In my role as a Civil Air Patrol chaplain I trained especially for accidents involving aircraft. However during my years of service we never had such an event, thankfully.

This week we were visiting with Jason who serves on a search and rescue team that was involved in the search operation. He joined several members of the search team in attending the viewing for the family. With all the bad stuff headlining the news daily it is encouraging to call attention to men like Jason who are serving their fellow man and making this world a better place.

Sight and Sound graphicThe Sight and Sound Theater here in Lancaster County is one of our premiere tourist attractions with Bible-themed epic dramas that draw huge crowds. The present show is "Jesus" which we have not seen yet. The graphic used to promote the show has a hand
extended down into the water demonstrating the greatest rescue of all time. This brief video clip (15 seconds) captures it well.

Today let us consider a successful search and rescue mission. Our first daily text points out to the very heart of the mission that Jesus "
came to seek and to save the lost.” He accomplished that mission. Now all who call upon the Lord in earnest faith will be saved.

He "
gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age" (Galatians 1:4). In virtually all search and rescue operations the one(s) being sought after are desperately wanting to be rescued. But in the divine search and rescue mission many choose to remain in their sins and lost condition. They essentially reject the outstretched Hand of rescue.

Do you want to be rescued?

You alone can rescue, You alone can save
You alone can lift us from the grave
You came down to find us, led us out of death
To You alone belongs the highest praise

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Loving Father, You rescued us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of Your Son in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Where would we be today without the redemptive work of Jesus who bore the pain and disgrace of our sins that we might be forgiven and receive eternal life. We give You praise now and forevermore through Christ Jesus our Lord in whose name we pray. Amen.

After writing yesterday's message on "The Peril Of Itching Ears" I read an article last night by Rev. Pierre Bynum who bluntly observes:

"We live in an America rife with hedonism, big government (not God and honest work) as provider, and efforts to make sexual perversion of every kind the law -- and now, to punish people who hold fast to biblical morals and values. Forty-five years of "legal" taxpayer-funded abortion has been planting the seeds for a harvest of violence in America. The school shootings should be no surprise to those who understand the Word of God. Prayer, the Bible, the Ten Commandments, godly discipline, and common sense have been removed from our schools. We now find explicit, pornographic and perverted "sex education" in schools, now to include instruction tailored to confuse children about their gender identity."

"Anyone who cannot see the existential threat of this convergence of the effects of a reckless culture and government-sanctioned pursuit of sin is spiritually blind. Who can save our people and cleanse America? Nothing but the blood of Jesus! We may be near the end of the Republic if the misguided policies born of these pathologies are not reversed. Many pastors and Christians were asleep at the wheel when this erosion began. Some were paralyzed by an unbiblical belief that Christians ought not be involved in politics for fear of the Johnson Amendment. We must wake up, now, and we must do our part."

"The shepherds God has raised up to lead must lead us. And we must cry out to God for them and on their behalf. Needed is a revival among the clergy -- a revival of courage, of focus, a breaking out from isolation, a uniting with others for prayer and co-laboring in Christ's mission, and a wholesale biblical awakening across America."

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"You Alone Can Rescue"  Video 
Matt Redman

"Rescue The Perishing" Video  Marshall Hall and Homecoming Singers
  Traditional with background story

"Rescue The Perishing"  Video  Billy and Cindy Foote  A slight, but well-done, update of the classic hymn

"Rescuer"  Video  Rend Collective  Ester and Brooksyne enjoyed hearing this song at a Rend Collective concert several weeks ago

"Rescue"  Video  Jared Anderson

"Forever Grateful"  Video   Hosanna! Music Praise & Worship series

And I'm forever grateful to You
I'm forever grateful for the cross
I'm forever grateful to You
That You came, to seek and save the lost.

"Saved, Saved!"  Video  Greene Mountain Men's Choir  This old song came to mind in the course of preparing today's message. There are a few old-timers who will also recall singing it!

News article about the drownings on the Susquehanna River

Finally Today:
In other local news we have a successful rescue: Boy, 3, rescued from manure pit in Honey Brook

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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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