A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
A fresh, field-picked zinnia bouquet for Brooksyne right from our own neighborhood!
Message summary: "You, however, did not come to know Christ that way" (Ephesians 4:20). Rather than having a continual lust for more wickedness we become seekers of God's Kingdom and desire more purity and righteousness.
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"Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. You, however, did not come to know Christ that way" (Ephesians 4:19,20).
I've been changed, healed, freed, delivered
I've found joy, peace, grace and favor
The first part of today's text is a description of the unregenerate. It was surely observable when first written in the first century and it is certainly observable today. Consider the harsh truth, "Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more."
This began in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. God had provided enough, absolutely all they needed. But in the midst of all the blessings of Eden stood the forbidden tree. The crafty serpent enticed Adam and Eve that this forbidden fruit was something better. Because they did not resist the temptation, their disobedience resulted in what theologians call "original sin". And ever since that time mankind has had a hard time resisting the forbidden!
Whatever level of wickedness appeases the sinful cravings for a time will eventually be insufficient.
The daily verse is a succinct description of fallen humanity. The pronoun, "They", is referring to the human race. It describes all of us apart from the redemptive work of Christ. But today especially consider the phrase "a continual lust for more". It began in the garden with a desire for more. It's at the heart of the sin problem. Whatever level of wickedness "satisfies" the sinful cravings for a time will eventually be insufficient. More will always be needed. The progression can be seen in so many of Satan's vices such as gambling, drugs and pornography.
The ungodly make big business out of every kind of impurity. Pornography, prostitution, vulgar media, and every other kind of impurity make up one of the largest industries in our country. The vast majority of it is open, shameless, legally protected and only a tap away. Some time ago a Christian leader observed that many of the books published in the United States today rival the drippings of a broken sewer. This preceded the massive availability through the internet and other modern media. Now the drippings have become a surging flood.
With the flood of evil, pornography and perversions sweeping through our land and around the world many who have partaken have "a continual lust for more". Deeper and deeper depths of depravity can be expected and the evil acts that accompany it. We should not be surprised by the continuing depth of depravity, although in another sense we should be.
"You, however, did not come to know Christ that way" (Ephesians 4:20). Those who experience the life transforming power of Jesus Christ are different. As a result of genuine conversion we are regenerated and the slide into decadence stops and the renewal begins (Romans 12:1,2). We are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Rather than having a continual lust for more wickedness we become seekers of God's Kingdom and desire more purity and righteousness.
As we conclude our message an old hymn comes to mind, one that we haven't heard for many years.
More, more about Jesus,
More, more about Jesus;
More of His saving fullness see,
More of His love who died for me.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, shape my thinking into that which will bring about growth and conformity to Your will. Teach me to not to go by my own human instincts but by Your truth and guidance as it is revealed in Your Word. It will keep me from lusting after deadly forbidden fruit if I plant myself into that which is holy and righteous. As the world continues to slide into decadence help me to delve deeper into Your Word and faithfully commune with You so that my heart does not grow cold or indifferent. Nor will I be drawn into every kind of impurity with a continual lust for more. I want to stand firm to the end so that I am saved from this world of sin and influence others to live a godly life. Through Christ's strength and my prayerful resolve I will remain faithful. Amen.
Today's study prompted a consideration of where, in addition to today's text, the phrase "You, however" is used in Paul's epistles:
"You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ" (Romans 8:9).
"You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance" (2 Timothy 3:10).
"You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:14-17).
"You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine" (Titus 2:1).
Today we will share some harvest photos from our neighborhood
Around the corner from our home we have a large commercial flower farm on Kraybill Church Road. Yesterday the workers were cutting the zinnias and arranging them in bouquets as they picked them. After taking their photo the field worker handed Brooksyne a bouquet about as fresh as possible!
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Across the road from the flower farm our Amish neighbor had finished bailing his alfalfa. The "horsepower" team is resting after the hard day of labor in the hot sun.
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He was wrapping the hay with this contraption.
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A close-up view
On Colebrook Road, in the opposite direction of our first pictures, we passed a team of migrant workers harvesting tomatoes on the Hirsch farm.
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After all the rain in our neighborhood these Amish boys had a "pond" to play in. Hidden behind the middle fence post the youngest was standing right in the middle of the big puddle.
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Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"More About Jesus" Video The Blackwood Brothers
"I Won't Go Back" Video Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
"Redeemed" Video Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
Tomato pie recipe. As per request from our readers, since I mentioned this pie in our photos on Monday, here is the recipe link from SimplyRecipes.com. I refer to it as Tomato Corn Pie because I added a cup of fresh corn and about 6 slices of crumbled bacon (both flavors enhance the texture and flavor.) If your mayo/cheese mixture for the top crust does not adequately cover the entire pie just make more of the mixture to spread since the mayo/cheese (sharp cheese is my favorite) blends so nicely to make it a juicy and tasty combo. Tomatoes can also be sliced rather than chopped, according to preference.
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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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