A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Friday, December 21, 2018
Longwood Gardens Christmas tree decorated with live Poinsettia blooms!
"The Incarnate Word"
This week our messages have been on "The Incarnate Word".
Message summary: As we journey together here below let's look back to that wonderful first coming of Jesus Christ which is our focus during this season. Let us faithfully serve Him during our very short time on earth (relative to eternity) as we look forward to our glorious destination.
Listen to our message on your audio player.
"His name is the Word of God" (Revelation 19:13).
Yesterday in a footnote I shared about the GPS on my phone that blurted out directions during our visit to a children's Christmas program at an Amish one room schoolhouse on Wednesday afternoon, much to my embarrassment!
There are many stories of the proclivity of these devices to speak out at inopportune times. My favorite personal memory was at a meeting of Christian businessmen several years ago when the speaker was issuing a challenge to follow Christ. In a moment of silence someone's phone came alive with a pleasant female voice stating, "I am not sure what you want!". *
Another humorous story related to speaking phones happened to a man who had traveled to a meeting by using his phone's GPS for directions. He arrived for the meeting and needed to make a quick visit to the men's room. As he took care of personal business in the busy restroom his phone announced (again with a pleasant female voice) for all to hear, "You have now reached your destination". (Well, many of us have experienced the blessing of reaching that destination, especially as we get older!)
Admittedly, these are somewhat silly and lighthearted true stories but we want to delve into a deeper, more complicated and far more important subject matter. We're speaking of the book of Revelation. It has mysterious imagery leading many well meaning preachers, teachers, theologians and laypersons to giving various and differing interpretations over the centuries.
Last month our church concluded a long series on The OneStory, which was a survey of the Bible beginning in Genesis and of course concluding in Revelation. The final message highlighted the sense of eternal worship and majestic praise found within the texts of Revelation.
But there's another overarching theme in the book which we want to highlight. We, the redeemed, reach our final destination and the focus will be on the incarnate Word, Jesus Christ.
It's only a few days till we celebrate the first coming of Christ. Yesterday I was visiting with a carpenter who is a Christian and he told me He was excited about celebrating the most important birthday of all. I teasingly said, "Oh, so your birthday's coming up". Without hesitation in a voice loud enough for all to hear, he responded, "No, it's the birthday of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior."
John begins his Gospel with these stately words, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). On this birthday the Word (Jesus Christ) became flesh (John 1:14). In Revelation we have the glorious culmination of the Bible's story. Today's text declares this incarnate Word, "His name is the Word of God".
As we journey together here below let's look back to that wonderful first coming of Jesus Christ which is our focus during this season. Let us faithfully serve Him during our very short time on earth (relative to eternity) as we look forward to our glorious destination.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
We want to thank all who have financially supported our ministry this past year (and some for many years!). We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. Like many ministries, we typically see a spike in giving at the end of the year for which we are most thankful.
Our ministry labor is comprised of approximately half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive compensation. Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each would provide half of our ministry expenses and income.
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Stephen & Brooksyne
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Revelation Song" Video Calvary Church Choir and orchestra during the final service in our church's OneStory series last month.
* We told the story about the phone speaking during an "altar call" in this Daily Encouragement
Resources for Christmas Celebrations
(We will leave these resources posted below our daily messages through Christmas Day)
Each year we share several online resources that we have used over the years and that may be a blessing to families and churches during this Christmas season.
"In Remembrance of Me" pdf This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. For many years Brooksyne and I have used this reading with great receptivity during Christmas Eve services. We suggest, if possible, a musical background as the message is read. It is also a great lead-in to a Communion service. It should be thoroughly practiced and read with great feeling. It is suitable for a church or family gathering
"When Christ Was Born" pdf This is an adaptation to the tune of "How Great Thou Art". It's a great song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with and love the tune.
Responsive Christmas Scripture readings for church or family:
John 1:1-18 pdf
"O Come Let Us Adore Him" pdf
My First Christmas In Heaven This is a blessed reminder for all who lost a loved one this year. This is the poem that Brooksyne read and wrote about in this message.
Christmas Knowledge Test
"Christmas in Heaven" Video Scotty McCreery Probably a bit syrupy for some but a source of comfort for those who have lost a loved one this past year. I heard this song on Saturday on the Gospel greats with Paul Heil.
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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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