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Monday, September 10, 2018

Sunset 9/5/18 (photo by Ester)
Lancaster County Sunset
Photo taken by Ester
Click on photo for larger view without Scripture text

"The Ever-Enduring Trifecta"

Message summary:  Have you placed your faith in Jesus Christ and are you keeping it there?

ListenListen to our message on your audio player.

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love" (1 Corinthians 13:13). "Abram put his faith in the Lord, who attributed it to him as an act of righteousness" (Genesis 15:6). "And without faith it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews 11:6).

I'm undone by the mercy of Jesus
I'm undone by the goodness of the Lord
I'm restored and made right
He got a hold of my life
I've got Jesus
How could I want more

Donegal Springs Road 9/8/18We had another very rainy weekend here in rural Pennsylvania and it continues to rain even this morning. On Saturday morning Brooksyne left for choir practice and faced a flooded Donegal Springs Road. She took this photo and wisely turned around to another route.

According to our home rain gauge as of 8:00 AM Monday morning we have accumulated 8" inches through the weekend and it looks like another rainy day today!

Brooksyne heard an interesting description of the weather pattern as a "trifecta" although she didn't hear what the meteorologist meant in this case! In regards to weather we see the term trifecta meaning various things depending on the season. In the summer we often hear "hot, hazy, and humid' and in winter "cold, rainy, and windy".

Trifecta is a relatively recent addition to the English language. It first appeared in the early 1970s as a term for a horse-racing bet in which the first, second, and third place finishers are chosen in the correct order.

The word has since broadened in meaning: it can now refer to a group of three, usually desirable, things (such as “the trifecta of curing cancer, ending hunger, and putting an end to war").

Trifecta combines the prefix tri- (meaning "three") with the last element in perfecta, a word of American Spanish origin. My most memorable time of ever hearing the word "perfecta" was when I preached 25 years ago in a church in Fusagasugá Colombia using a translator. When I finished the national pastor of the church stood up and said "perfecta" which was pretty encouraging, though I'm sure the message was far from perfect!

Last year we wrote a message about "Christ's Glorious Trifecta"; His death, burial and resurrection. Let us consider for the next three days another trifecta in Scripture based on a fairly familiar passage from 1 Corinthians 13, often referred to as The Love Chapter. The chapter concludes with the first daily text, which describes an ever-enduring trifecta; "faith, hope and love".

Over the next three days let's consider each of these three words which are foundational to Christianity beginning with faith in today's message.

Faith and belief are essentially synonymous when used in the Bible (both use the same root Greek word). In John 3:16 "believe" is translated from "pisteuōn" and in Hebrews 11:6 "faith" is translated from "pisteōs".

The first reference to faith/belief in the Bible is our second daily text. "Abram put his faith in the Lord, who attributed it to him as an act of righteousness". Other versions render "Abram believed the Lord", or "Abram trusted the Lord". Years ago I recall hearing a teaching by the late theologian RC Sproul asserting that this is a foundational verse for all of Scripture and our understanding of God's plan of salvation.

This verse is quoted three times in the New Testament. "Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, 'All the nations will be blessed in you.' So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer" (Galatians 3:6-9).*

Nelson’s Bible Dictionary defines faith as a belief in or confident attitude toward God, involving commitment to His will for one’s life. Nelson also says belief is to place one’s trust in God’s truth. A person who believes or has faith is one who takes God at His Word and trusts in Him for salvation.

Perhaps the best known New Testament verse on faith is Hebrews 11:6, "And without faith it is impossible to please God".

Have you placed your faith in Jesus Christ and are you keeping it there?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Jesus, we place our faith in You because we believe Your Word to be true and because the Holy Spirit has drawn us to Yourself, convicting us of our sins. We are made right through repentance and placing our faith in You. We want to persevere like the saints of old and keep Your commandments as a testimony of our new life that began when we forsook our old nature and took on the nature of Christ. We seek to please You and to do so we must be people of faith, for without faith it is impossible to please You. Amen.

*Genesis 15:6 is also quoted in Romans 4:3 and James 2:23

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"I Got Saved"  Video  Selah

"Jesus Messiah"  Video   Gaither Vocal Band   

"This Is Amazing Grace"  Video   Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers

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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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