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The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

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Monday, September 3, 2018

Rain and flooded front lawn 8/31/18 (Click to enlarge)
The view from our front porch during Friday afternoon's 4 hour rain deluge.

"Labor Day Message"

Message summary: Today as you work remember the words of the Scripture and see your labor as an act of faith and obedience, indeed recognizing the sanctity of work.

Note: Podcast not prepared for this message

"Six days you shall labor and do all your work" (Exodus 20:9). "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody" (1 Thessalonians 4:11,12). "For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10).

Here in America most are off work today although we call it Labor Day. The fourth commandment is best known for the commandment to rest on the Sabbath but actually it also has a command to work as seen in the first text: "Six days you shall labor and do all your work" (Exodus 20:9). In the course of our work as business chaplains we regularly affirm people who are hard at work.

God has ordained work in His created order. One of the great curses on our land brought on by misguided liberal "compassion" is the many who have become dependent on the government rather than taking responsibility for their own lives. Responsibility includes hard work, refraining from destructive behavior, and being patient in the process of delayed gratification. Efforts to address the problem by massive dependency were well-meaning (for some) but look at the colossal monster that it has created! Now we have several generations that have no clue as to how the economy works nor do they recognize their own personal responsibility in their need to work.

Our two texts from Thessalonians contain some essential teaching about work.  Paul began the church in Thessalonica and the record of this rocky start is recorded in Acts 17:1-9. The fledgling church survived and the Holy Scriptures contain two letters written by Paul to these believers. Both letters contain a thought somewhat unique in Paul's writings.

In Paul's second letter to them he develops this thought more fully in chapter 3:6-15. Possibly it was due to a problem that needed to be addressed in Thessalonica because of a mistaken view of the Lord's return. Some felt they no longer needed to work since they believed the return of the Lord was imminent.

Paul's statements are so needed today in today's culture where "the world owes me a living" mindset affects far too many. However, his views would surely seem to be lacking compassion by many, who have no problem with dependency on the government.  Today the concept of consequences is foreign to many, who have been conditioned to believe the government should intervene in every human condition and fix it. Indeed many of the immediate consequences of sinful, irresponsible behavior have been temporarily removed. But the Scripture warns us, "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows" (Galatians 6:7).

Paul reminded them of the value of work and the consequences of not working. Notice that in both portions Paul was merely reminding them of his teaching while he was with them. We believe this indicates that this teaching was an integral part of Paul's ministry. He modeled it himself when he made tents in Corinth for a time.

Read the text again. It's from God's holy Word and just as much a part of the inspired Scriptures as the rich "theological" portions. As you work (or return to work tomorrow) rejoice in this act of obedience to God. And pray that our country will return to its godly foundations, including a Biblical worldview of work. Today as you work remember the words of the Scripture and see your labor as an act of faith and obedience, indeed recognizing the sanctity of work.
  • View our work as obedience to a foundational commandment.
  • View our work as doing our part.
  • View our work as a means of how the church is distributed.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, help us to view work as a blessing from You that gives us opportunity to participate in gathering adequate provisions for our family as well as making a positive difference in our work setting. We seek to overcome challenges in the workplace and are able to do so because we do our work heartily, as for You, Lord primarily. We seek to be just and diligent in our work not just when we're being observed by our supervisors or fellow-employees, but we remain aware that You are always watching over us. We don't resent or dwell on the negatives of our work or workplace, but recognize how we serve You well when we work with a cheerful heart. And we can do so knowing that our reward is not just the weekly paycheck but most importantly the glorious eternal inheritance we receive in heaven. Keep us faithful we pray. Amen.

Rain, Rain, Rain!

Rain in 4 hours 8/31/18
We finished our final workplace visit Friday afternoon around 1:00 PM. As we left the company it began to rain. For the next four hours we had a pounding rain as a storm system hovered over our area. We snapped this photo of a news report about 5 PM reporting 10 1/2" rain.  Our rain gauge holds 7 inches and was empty when the storm started but was overflowing for several hours. The weather man reported that 14 inches registered on a digital rain gauge from one home owner's residence!

Rainfall contrast 8/31/18
This graphic really shows the disparity in rainfall

Video of heavy rain and flooding in front of our home 8/31/18  (30 seconds) Thankfully we, unlike many others in our area, had no flooding in our basement. We only had a little puddle, likely caused because that morning a Comcast crew had run a new underground cable into our home and forgot to attach a drain pipe next to our downspout which carries the water away from our home.

Mennonite disaster relief team 9/1/18
A small mobile home park was severely impacted. This is a Mennonite Disaster Relief team already out to assist with cleanup on Saturday morning.

Waterline from flood 9/1/18
You can see the high water mark on this mobile home which has been condemned.

Flooding aftermath 9/1/18
This area has no significant streams nearby, the flooding was entirely from the heavy rain which came down so fast over a 4 hour period it nowhere to drain. The sign is next to the mobile home pictured above and a reminder. May it bring comfort to the owner. The adults were cleaning up while the children were enjoying the streams of water.

Charlie and Cindy 9/1/18
Charlie and Cindy are friends through our chaplain work. Charlie and their pet border collie, Rebel, had to be rescued by boat as the water was up to his porch seen in the background.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"I'll Worship Only At The Feet Of Jesus"  Video  Gaither Vocal Band

Duke, a friend from Delaware sent this interesting resource: https://www.wordproject.org/bibles/

Finally today:

Martin gathering 9/1/18
On Saturday evening we joined our long-time friends Galen and Nancy Martin for an outdoor picnic which included a lettuce salad from the Martin's garden and Indian food prepared by visiting guests from India. Peter and Helen Silumula operate a ministry in India called DAWN ministries. It was a blessing to hear both the report of mission work currently taking place in India as well as some seventy year old letters that Galen read concerning the work at that time.

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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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