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August 21, 2018

Northumberland County, PA Road 8/15/18
We enjoy driving down a heavily forested winding mountain road such as this shortcut our GPS took us through on our trip to Knoebels Amusement Park last week!

"Perhaps Today"

Message summary:  For many years I had a small wooden plaque on my desk that simply stated, "Perhaps Today". The apostle Peter warned about scoffers who will say, "Where is this 'coming' He promised?" (2 Peter 3:4). The Apostle John, referring to the hope of seeing the Lord writes, "Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure" (1 John 3:3).

Note: Due to busyness and weariness a podcast was not prepared for this message.

"As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately; 'Tell us,' they said, 'when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?'" (Matthew 24:3). "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And He will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other" (Matthew 24:30,31).

One of the great questions of life is "When?" This is certainly true in our personal and family life. If we are going through a trial we wonder, "When will this be over?" Fifteen years ago I had a lengthy physical affliction with several disappointing setbacks. I was confident of God's care but sure didn't have any idea how it was going to work out or when it would finally "be over".

Many of you reading this today (really all of you in one way or another) have questions like this in your own life. It may be in regard to a relationship, job, financial situation, physical need and on and on the list goes.

But we all have another question of "When?" similar to the one the disciples had in the first daily text. We look at the world around us; the downward spiral of immorality, the increasing tensions among nations, the desperate and diabolical ambitions of many in false religious systems. We consider the Bible promises and prophecies and wonder, like the disciples in our first daily text, "When will this happen?" 

In high school I first learned about the concept of the rapture and recall, in the zeal and joy of youthful behavior, having "rapture practice" where we would kiddingly jump up, as if we needed to assist Christ in taking us home! By the way, we did this in the hallways of a large public high school, Truman High School in Independence Missouri, where we had a very active campus group affiliated with Campus Crusade for Christ. Now in my early sixties I am glad this type of practice and preparation isn't necessary! My knees hurt just too much for it. And I'm afraid my attempt to jump would barely get both of my feet off the ground. In college I used to jump across the hood of Brooksyne's orange Maverick and land on the other side without a great deal of effort.

Nearly fifty years have passed and we are still here! There has never been a shortage of those who claim to have the answer to, "When this will happen?" Predictive teachings are titillating, get a following and sell books and cd's.

In regard to this matter I find myself needing to keep a focus of God's call on my life and avoiding two tendencies: 

1) On the one hand we can get caught up in specific predictions, scenarios and analyses of current events and how they relate to prophecy and the coming of the Lord. I've seen people get so wrapped up in this that their life and ministry gets all out of perspective. Some then become disillusioned when things don't work out as predicted.

Perhaps Today2) On the other hand we must not lose the healthy sense of anticipation and expectation at Christ's coming. The apostle Peter warned about scoffers who will say, "Where is this 'coming' He promised?" (2 Peter 3:4). The Apostle John, referring to the hope of seeing the Lord writes, "Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure" (1 John 3:3).

The main thing is to accept and daily serve the Lord. We all face an ending of this earthly existence, whether at our death or at the rapture. We simply don't know when. Let us stay faithful until the day God calls us home!

Until Then

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, each new day I am led by Your sovereign will.  In the midst of life's winding trail I can't always see what lies before me, but step by step You lead me and I follow. There are so many questions that go unanswered and events that are beyond my control.  How reassuring it is to realize that You know all things and no event, person, or force can thwart Your overall sovereign plan to bring all things into divine order. Help me to remain faithful during the journey and keep my focus and hope on the soon return of Christ, in whose name I pray!  Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Until Then"
  Video   David Phelps

"Until Then"
  Video   Jason Crabb

Finally today;

Last month I purchased a new computer and have essentially been using Dropbox to do my daily work. Yesterday I managed to transfer all the data from my former computer to the new one, mostly thousands of photos we have taken through the years. All three of us enjoy taking photos so we have a lot. I had an opportunity to examine some of the old photos, some which have been on Daily Encouragement but many others never made it.

Barnloft kittens
As we were visiting the Old Windmill Farm six years ago we heard some meowing above us. Looking up we saw these kittens calling for our attention from the hay loft. Some "well meaning" person dropped off a mom and three kittens, presumably assuming a farm can always handle a few more cats.

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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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