Daily Encouragement sunrise logo
The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Home  Archives  About Us   Free email subscription   ListenListen to these messages
Donate to Daily Encouragement Net
Daily Encouragement on Daily Encouragement on FacebookFacebook Daily Encouragement on TwitterTwitter   Daily Encouragement on LinkedInWordpress   Daily Encouragement on LinkedInLinkedIn

<Previous Message                            Next Message>

June 28, 2018

Sunset from Bainbridge, PA 6/26/18 (Click on photo to enlarge)
Sunset over the Susquehanna River from Koser Park in Bainbridge PA.
(Click to enlarge)

"Ending Well"

Message summary: One early lesson I learned in life and have sought to practice is to "end well".

ListenListen to our message on your audio player.

"And now, behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face" (Acts 20:25). "When he (Paul) had said this, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship" (Acts 20:36-38).

David and Sabra Penley 5/4/14
David and Sabra Penley are friends we met through Daily Encouragement about ten years ago. Although they currently live in Texas they served a church in Pennsylvania early in their marriage and had grown to love our region's beauty. In searching for photos of Pennsylvania he came across our site!

Since that time we've had fellowship with them both here in Pennsylvania and in Texas. David is a professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with a special focus on assisting couples in strengthening their marriages. Several years ago they began a blog titled "Simply Marriage" with weekly teaching designed to strengthen marriages.

Last week I received a post from David titled, "
Our Final Post – A Time for Everything", informing readers that he was suspending his blog and seeking God's direction for other ministry opportunities. It was a nicely written post and example of ending well.

But one line especially gripped my attention, "We may not be in contact with you again on this side of eternity. But remember that if you have placed your faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord, we will meet with you again in heaven." Of course that's true, in a sense it's always true, for we never know when our time with those we love will be over.

It also brought to mind Paul's words in our daily text. He is saying farewell to the Ephesian elders after his ministry among them in a very moving sermon (Acts 20). Early in the message he informed them,
"And now, behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face".

Paul's farewell to Ephesian elders
As Paul prepares to finally leave we have these words, "When he (Paul) had said this, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship" (Acts 20:36-38).

One lesson I learned early in life and have sought to practice all the years following is to "end well". I believe this should apply to all our relationships in life, especially our spiritual ones. Our daily verse may seem a bit unusual without its fuller context. Paul had just preached a dynamic sermon to the Ephesian elders, a moving and challenging farewell before his trip to Jerusalem. (I have used this portion of Scripture in bidding farewell on our final Sunday to each church I've pastored.)

After his message they knelt and prayed together and "they all wept as they embraced him and kissed him." Can you picture the emotions of those gathered with Paul in this setting? Have you had similar experiences in life? I hope so.

What really moved the group to tears was a statement Paul had made in the sermon that he would never see them again (v. 25). Consider how we would react in the fellowship transactions of life if we knew we would never see someone again. Normally, except in the case of gathering around a deathbed, we anticipate that sometime in the future we will meet together again, especially in our day of modern communications and transportation.

I'm sure we would go to extraordinary means to express our love and to show how much that person has meant to us if it was a final good-bye. The fact is, we really don't know when we bid a loved one "farewell" whether we will see them again (at least on this side of eternity). I don't want to sound morbid, but it's a fact of life. Live in such a way that those who mean a great deal to you will know of your love and appreciation, not just during farewells.

Thankfully, Paul did keep contact with this church through his letter to the Ephesians!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Jesus, thank You for the dear friends who've brought vibrant color to our lives in various ways; those who simply warm our hearts, others who've taught us by their example and still others who've helped carry our burdens along the way. So many of them were a part of our lives for only a season, but the duration of their influence is ongoing. Though we've had to bid "farewell" to so many through death or separation I'm heartened by Your promise that You will never leave us or forsake us. No matter what season or calamity we may face, Your enduring presence and provision will see us through to the other side. Thank You for being a friend that sticks closer than a brother. Amen

Brooksyne's note: As I consider the depth of Paul's relationship with the congregations he served it makes me think about the character traits Paul offered as a friend to his fellow believers and as a servant of God. He was a person who did not tell the people just what they wanted to hear, but he did speak forth what God wanted them to hear.  He held fellow believers accountable for their actions and attitudes. He also identified with their weaknesses rather than quickly condemning their behavior. And most importantly he began his letters and weaved throughout each chapter his love and affection for the people of God. No wonder they were grieved that they would no longer be in the presence of such a powerful teacher, role model, and loving servant of God.

Further exposition and personal reflection: Today's message is a bit long so I will add this as a footnote. The chapter ends: "They (the Ephesian elders) accompanied him to the ship" That's really an interesting detail that I can identify with. When we departed after a visit to my folk's house my Mom and Dad always went to the car with us and we hugged us (again) before we climbed in the car. We would then wave to each other till we were completely out of sight.

Tuesday evening we took a beautiful bike ride along the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail
between Riverfront Park near Marietta and Bainbridge.

Sunset from White Cliffs of Bainbridge 6/26/18 (Click on photo to enlarge)
Sunset over the Susquehanna River on the White Cliffs of Conoy
(Click to enlarge)

Shocks Mill Bridge 6/26/18 (Click on photo to enlarge)
Shocks Mill Bridge
(Click to enlarge)

River trail over Conoy Creek near Bainbridge, PA 6/26/18
Crossing Conoy Creek

Corn field along River trail near Marietta, PA 6/26/18
The corn is growing vibrant in the long fields between the railroad tracks and the river.
Bottom land is notoriously rich.

River trail moon view 6/26/18
Riding underneath the Shocks Mill Bridge heading back to our parking spot in Riverfront Park near Marietta, PA we had a nice view of the moon.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Finish Well"  Video  Karen Peck & New River

"Our Final Post – A Time for Everything" David and Sabra's final blog post

Northwest Lancaster County River Trail

Visiting the White Cliffs of Conoy: Lancaster County’s Strangest Outdoor Adventure

Yesterday's "Finally today" photo was a "scarecrow"!

Finally today:
Oregon Pike Canada geese crossing 6/27/18
You might see deer crossing and recently we even saw a cow crossing. But Oregon Pike needed a goose crossing since we waited for about 15 geese to cross the road at this major intersection to join with the rest of their party of about 50 geese.

Contact Us
Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne

To receive the "Daily Encouragement" each Monday-Friday through email see this page to subscribe to our email list. You can also subscribe to the Wordpress rss feed or through a Wordpress email subscription. (See the email subscription on the right side after opening this page.)

Permissions: Please feel free to pass on, reproduce and distribute any material on Daily Encouragement Net, in part or in whole, in any format, provided that you do not alter the wording in any way or charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. It is our desire to spread this material, not protect or restrict it. We do request that you keep the contact, copyright and subscription information intact.

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."

© Copyright 2018 Stephen C. & Brooksyne Weber - All Rights Reserved

Daily Encouragement Net - 495 Kraybill Church Road - Mount Joy, PA 17552  USA


Contact Us

"Living securely today anchored in God's solid foundation"