The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Thursday, June 28, 2018
Message summary: One early lesson I learned in life and have sought to practice is to "end well".
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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!
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".
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).
Daily 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 over the Susquehanna River on the White Cliffs of Conoy
(Click to enlarge)
Shocks Mill Bridge
(Click to enlarge)
Crossing Conoy Creek
The corn is growing vibrant in the long fields between the railroad tracks and the river.
Bottom land is notoriously rich.
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"!
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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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