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June 20, 2018

Hay harvest on Kraybill Church Road 6/15/18
Hay harvest on Kraybill Church Road
(Click to enlarge)

"Quietly Faithful

Message summary: The Bible lists many qualities of a good person but today let us consider just one; being "quietly faithful".

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"I put Hanani my brother, and Hananiah the commander of the fortress, in charge of Jerusalem, for he was a faithful man and feared God more than many" (Nehemiah 7:2). "A faithful man will abound with blessings" (Proverbs 28:20a).

He was the kind of man that good men talk about
The way he showed his faith was how he lived it out
His hands were rough and calloused
and his shoes were old and torn
And the lines that framed his smile
were lines so well and deep and worn

Better faithful than famous quote
Theodore Roosevelt is attributed with a quote we have seen used effectively as a thought-provoking spiritual message on a church sign: "It is better to be faithful than famous".

Although there are some famous people who are also faithful many who are recognized as "famous" are certainly not faithful!

Merely consider so many of the famous names in sports, entertainment and politics. The desire for fame drives many to seek outrageous behavior to get attention such as the goal of creating something "viral". Others use evil means such as a mass murderer several years ago who left a suicide note which stated, "Now I'll be famous." *

Eldon Lehman
Eldon Lehman is a friend who departed this world after a long, fruitful life as a follower of Jesus Christ. Eldon was our Sunday School teacher many years ago and although I can't recall the specific lessons he taught I recall his studiousness as he had attended Lancaster Bible College while being a farmer in his middle ages. His pastor used an interesting phrase at his memorial service describing Eldon's life as "quiet faithfulness".

That's the best kind of faithfulness, not flaunted or promoted, but quietly demonstrated day after day, month after month, year after year in the long course of life.
We've met many "quietly faithful" people like Eldon and continue to meet them. If you stop and think about it, you can also think of many who are "quietly faithful" and most of them won't be famous.

In our first daily text Nehemiah refers to an obscure man named Hananiah, who was the commander of the fortress. His sole Biblical distinctive is that he was "a faithful man and feared God more than many". In considering this text I observe that being a faithful man and having a fear of God are so inter-related. We believe the massive breakdown in faithfulness we see in our own age is related to the loss of having a healthy, holy fear of God.

Faithful man tombstone

In previous generations families commonly imprinted portions of Scripture as an epitaph on tombstones and it's still practiced by some today. On my parent's tombstone we have, "For Me To Live Is Christ, To Die Is Gain".
A phrase from today's verse has been used on many tombstones, "He was a faithful man and feared God more than many". The above pictured epitaph is on the tombstone of Deacon Samuel Peck in Greenwich, Connecticut who died in 1793. Such an epitaph makes us want to hear his story.

Many believers came out of a life of sin but still deal with the consequences of their past and many will do so for the rest of their life. That surely includes some of you reading this message. In fact, the challenge of being found faithful may very well relate to the way you deal with those unwanted consequences.

The road to being faithful is a long steady slog, the accumulation of many small decisions made throughout life. You decide each day that you will live faithfully but the characteristic of being faithful takes time. Good intentions and reality too often do not present the same outcome.

Proverbs 28:20
The truth of the second daily Scripture is often most evident in the later years of life: "A faithful man will abound with blessings." Faithfulness has its rewards, both in this life and the one to come. If you know Jesus as your personal Saviour you are actually abounding in blessings right now, but you can become discouraged with present or recurring trials. God's Word is ever true. Perhaps you need to consider someone you know who has served God faithfully for many years and observe how they abound with blessings, even in the midst of their ongoing trials. But just remember the greatest blessings are yet to come!

Character qualities like faithfulness, steadfastness, and consistency might sound boring to many today, but they still matter to God. "A faithful man shall abound with blessings", and he does; both in this life and the life to come. Let us aspire to hear these wonderful words from the supremely Faithful One, "Well done, good and faithful servant".

So what will be remembered of what he left behind?
What will stand the test of time?
How to love your neighbor, how to love your wife
Wrap your arms around your children and pray with them each night
Thank God for all the good things 'cause the good things are enough
The ties that bind and leave behind a legacy of love

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, may my life be marked by faithfulness and integrity. I know that these character traits are not developed over a short period of time but over the duration of my life, most especially during the challenging times. Obedience does bring blessing and it does bring eternal reward. Help me not to become weary in doing good, for at the proper time that You have ordained, I will reap a harvest if I do not give up.  Amen.

Rhubarb harvest on Kraybill Church Road 6/15/18
Our neighbors harvesting their heirloom rhubarb on Kraybill Church Road, family project.
(Click to enlarge)

Mini-house at Hillside Acres greenhouse, Quarryville, PA 6/15/18
This looks like an aerial view of a local house, but it's actually a display at a nursery featuring a miniature house with flowers and succulents.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Legacy Of Love"  Video  David Phelps

* Omaha Gunman's Note: "Now I'll Be Famous"

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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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