A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Hector Falls is right alongside the road east of Seneca Lake just north of Watkins Glen.
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"Devoted To Study"
Message summary: We hope our daily encouragement messages are one of numerous study components in your life and we make that our daily prayer when we prepare these messages. But we desire the greatest study source for all of us be the Holy Scriptures. We pray that God's people will know His truth and experience His freedom.
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"For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel" (Ezra 7:10). "Study to show yourself approved by God, a workman who need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15). "When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments" (2 Timothy 4:13).
I read an article this week and learned a new word, although I don't expect to use it much, let alone remember it beyond this message! Tsundoku is acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one's home without reading them. The term originated as Japanese slang.
The article begins with a question, "Do you have a habit of picking up books that you never quite get around to reading?" Most of us would probably not want to admit to tsundoku but we'd be surprised if there's anyone who has not ever done so!
At one time, during the pastoring phase of my ministry I had a rather large book collection, many which I had read, more than a few which I hadn't and of course many reference type books that generally aren't read from cover to cover. Has anybody really read Strong's Concordance cover to cover?
I am now at a point in life where I am disposing of most of my books. That's a hard decision and I want them to find a good home where they can be useful. The other day we were talking to Martha (whom we wrote about in Wednesday's message, "Martha, Martha"). She told us her son has just begun preaching so we packed some away for her to pass on to him.
I still study but find most of the material for the type of study I now do (mostly in preparing these messages) available and easily searchable on the internet.
Many Bible College or seminary students, or for that matter Christian students in any setting, know the verse, "Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body" (Ecclesiastes 12:12). We consider the intense times of study in this phase of life. But for too many, including Christians, study may essentially end following our formal education.
Yet study should be ongoing for the growing Christian, especially the study of the Holy Scriptures. It's not merely while we are young or perhaps while preparing for ministry or another career, but it should be a lifelong pursuit. The Scriptures is the Holy Book to which I appeal to no tsondoku.
The first daily text provides a great example of devotion for us all. "For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD." The NASV translates this, "For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD and to practice it." That should be said of all of us.
Among characteristics I want others to observe in my life is this, "Stephen has devoted himself to the study and observance of the Scriptures and to teaching its decrees and laws to others." (Having the entire Bible in our possession I believe it proper to expand the "law of the Lord" to mean the Scriptures.)
Our second text states, "Study to show yourself approved by God, a workman who need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15). The Amplified Bible renders the verse, "Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman [tested by trial] who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth."
Finally we are blessed, especially as we age, by Paul's request in what is likely the very last letter he wrote. As he recognized the time of his departure (death) was near, he wrote to Timothy: "When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments" (2 Timothy 4:13). He wanted to study right up to the end of his life on earth!
We hope our daily encouragement messages are one of numerous study components in your life and we make that our daily prayer when we prepare these messages. But we desire the greatest study source for all of us be the Holy Scriptures. We pray that God's people will know His truth and experience His freedom.
"No studying" may sound appealing but real growth takes place as we get serious in study and observe the truths of God's Word. The Spirit bearing fruit in our lives is a direct result of the application of the truths that we study, so let us resolve that we will keep studying!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we want to be diligent in our study of Scriptures, not only to receive Your approval, but to more fully understand Your plan for our lives. Thank You for the Bible that's like a road map showing us where to go and how to get there. And the greatest blessing is that Your Spirit illumines the path before us so that we do not walk in the dark, but we walk in the power of Your Holy Spirit who shows us the way to life everlasting. Keep us on the right path, we pray. Amen.
Note: Providing adequate exposition of today's first verse would take a series!
Like Ezra we need to devote ourselves to:
2) and observance
3) and teaching to others (See 2 Timothy 2:2)
Lancaster County produce stand
Lebanon County produce wagon
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Tsundoku: The art of buying books and never reading them
"Still" Video Legacy Five
"Still" Video Greater Vision (same title, different song)
"When He Carries Me Away" Video The Collingsworth Family
"Our Song Will Be Jesus" Video Lauren Talley (This coming Sunday afternoon we hope to hear Lauren Talley in concert at Roxbury Camp)
"If You Knew Him" Video The Perrys thoughtful song!
Joe is a marketing director in one of the companies we serve as chaplains. He is from New York City but for many years now has worked for a company that manufactures agricultural products. He does so with purpose and enthusiasm. Yesterday I saw this sign in his office and it gave me something to think about! If I can recall next time someone begins a joke with "Why did the chicken cross the road?" I need to reply, "Why are people always questioning the chicken's motives?"
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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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