A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Musser and Anna Forry shortly before their 65th wedding anniversary.
"Leaving Evidence Of Our Faith"
Message summary: In what way are we leaving evidence of our faith and commitment to Jesus Christ? May memories of our words, actions and even handwritten notes leave plenty of evidence and influence for the kingdom of God!
"See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!" (Galatians 6:11).
Last Saturday afternoon we went to the Memorial service for Musser Forry, a friend of ours who went home to be with the Lord at 91 years of age. Shortly after moving to Lancaster County in 2001 we had dinner at Musser and Anna's home and observed their steady commitment to the Lord and to each other. Last fall they celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary.
Musser was a lifelong farmer and early agripreneur, a term describing a new breed of entrepreneurs combining their love of farming and agriculture with business. People came from all over the world to observe Musser's agripreneur methods, with the Forrys often hosting their guests; a glimpse of the Forrys we had not known about until reading about it in Musser's obituary.
Musser and Anna were very active in their church and had a real heart for missions, especially the Jesus Film project.
The service included opportunities for giving a tribute to Musser and we were blessed when Galen stood up and shared how helpful and encouraging Musser had been to him when he was a young farmer. Musser was a quiet man who demonstrated his Christian faith more in actions than words. It was a blessing to hear the tribute Galen shared about one of his elders.
But we recall a funeral service about 15 years ago when Musser also gave a tribute to one of his elders, Menno Brubaker who lived past the century mark and died at 102 years of age.
At that funeral service Musser, in his mid-seventies at the time, stood and held up a book that Menno had given him as a teenager. He read a handwritten note from the inside cover dated 1944 (some sixty years earlier) in which Menno urged Musser on to spiritual growth and faithfulness to God. That sure speaks of the value of a personal note!
I wonder how many long-time Bible readers have paid much attention to today's Scripture text? "See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!" In my personal study I often need to slow down and ask the text questions. There's a tendency to kind of gloss over seemingly inconsequential texts like this.
We often begin by asking how the text applies to our own life. But sound interpretation begins with asking what was the initial writer seeking to convey and how would the initial readers (or likely hearers) receive it and put it into application.
In the daily text it seems that most of the book was dictated by Paul to an associate, technically called an "amanuensis". But Paul was letting the original readers know that he had handwritten today's portion himself. "See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!" It has been speculated that Paul perhaps had some type of eye malady and thus the greater significance to his statement.
But as I ponder the matter further I consider just how meaningful having the beloved Apostle's very own handwriting must have been to the initial readers. It was not only a mark of authenticity but also a very personal expression of care. (Only the original handwritten document would have conveyed this since, as the document was copied, it would have all been in the same handwriting and of course no distinction is made in the text type in our printed Bibles.)
The point that came to me is the power of our personal notes in leaving a lasting blessing on others, such as Menno's handwritten note in the book that he gave to Musser in 1944. Do you suppose that it occurred to an earnest 41 year old Menno at the time when he wrote the note to Musser, who was in his teens, that it would be referenced at his own funeral some 60 years later!
Let's ask ourselves, "In what way are we leaving evidence of our faith and commitment to Jesus Christ?" May our words, actions and even handwritten notes leave plenty of evidence and influence for the kingdom of God!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart overflow through the works of my hands, the causes that I support, and the spiritual encouragement that I give to others. As I meditate upon Scripture and apply it to my life, it gives me a firm foundation upon which I remain steady when the surges of doubt and fear soar upon me and it is from this firm foundation that I draw wisdom and biblical experience to share with others and challenge them in their faith walk to follow you wholeheartedly. I have been given so much because of Your benevolent kindness, therefore I have much to give in turn to those who observe my life. I want to leave plenty of evidence that You are doing a great work in my life and will not be finished until I draw my final breath. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
In a message we shared last week "The Peril Of Complaining" we used a common expression an aged Menno Brubaker used when you greeted him, "We have so much to be thankful for".
What a blessing the first several years we lived in this area to sit in the pew in front of Menno Sunday after Sunday. After hitting the century mark he lived to be 102 years old. He had the incredible distinction of being born and dying in the same farmhouse (which he lived in his entire life). We once shared a memorable meal with him and his daughter in that house. He was a life-long member of the same church. He was carried to this church as a baby, attended all his life and we attended his funeral in the very same church! One thing is for sure, he wasn't a church hopper!
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Faithful Man" Video Johnny Minick This is specifically a tribute to Howard Goodman but listen and apply it to a faithful man in your life.
"I Want To Be That Man" Video Brian Free & Assurance A tribute to the songwriter's father but hopefully many of you have had a similar experience.
Finally today: (a bit of humor found on one of our company's team Facebook page)
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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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