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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Mount Joy lamb on cow 2/19/19 Click to enlarge
"Ultimate Accountability"

Note: We have snow storm today with snow through the afternoon then sleet and freezing rain. We are thankful our schedule keeps us home with our coal stove cranked up on high!

Message summary: Today and every day let's be mindful of our ultimate accounting, make sure that our record is clear, and rejoice in Christ's atoning blood.

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God" (Romans 14:12). "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (2 Corinthians 5:10). "Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you" (Hebrews 13:17).

Rich Landis 6/19/14This is a very busy season for accountants with all the work involved in tax preparation. We know several CPA accountants, including my niece Heidi. It's very hard work requiring attention to detail and preciseness.

Rich Landis is a CPA friend whom I met shortly after moving to Lancaster County through our association with a Christian business group called CBMC. Several years ago he had a brain tumor requiring major surgery at Johns Hopkins. Now fully recovered since that critical health crisis he continues to honor God in his accounting business.

This last weekend we drove past a office building along Lititz Pike (PA Route 501) here in Lancaster County. The Walz Group is an accounting firm with an interesting motto below the firm name on their sign stating, "Ultimate Accountability". Now that's an expression of their diligence in doing their accounting work well just as we expect from competent accountants.

But it also got me thinking about another ultimate accounting we all have coming.

For many years we used a pocket calendar to keep our schedule, although now Brooksyne and I use a calendar app. We use it not only for appointments but tasks such as "Change air filter". Since we share the calendar Brooksyne finds reminders exclusive to me a bit annoying. In a sense, on a repetitive task, there's a tendency to zone it out due to familiarity.

But in a solemn sense we would all do well to always be aware of our ultimate accounting with an entry each day of our lives reminding us "Ultimate Accounting - I will give an account of myself to God"
Ultimate accounting calendar
The first two daily texts speak of this ultimate accounting, "So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God". "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ".

Bible teacher Henry Morris observes,

There is only one thing that is absolutely sure to happen to every person—each one will have to face God some day. Not even 'death and taxes' are certain for everyone, but meeting God is (Amos 4:12; Hebrews 9:27; etc.). Believers will meet Christ at His judgment seat to receive rewards or loss of rewards (2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Corinthians 3:13-15), while unbelievers will meet God at His great white throne for consignment to the lake of fire (Revelation 20:12-15).

The third text is a solemn word to those in ministry. There is a greater sense of accountability for those who shepherd God's flock. Note especially the phrase, "who must give an account". This is expressed in a somber teaching in the pastoral epistle in 1 Timothy 4:16. "Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers."

Now of course we don't literally save anyone, including ourselves. Salvation is a gift from God. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8,9). However, in our role of influence, we can go astray and then lead others astray (John 6:66). Thus we must watch our life and doctrine closely and persevere. Another version states, "Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right."

Today and every day let's be mindful of our ultimate accounting, make sure that our record is clear, and rejoice in Christ's atoning blood.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, all who come to You come as sinners. But we can be cleansed of all our sin because You provided Jesus to atone for any who call upon Your name to be saved. When we place our trust in You, we can be assured of peace in our hearts here on earth and a future eternal inheritance in heaven. If we should live a hundred years here below, up there we'll not regret it, for we settled our account long ago. Thank You for being such a gracious, forgiving, and loving Ultimate Accountant. Amen.

Mount Joy lamb going to MaMa 2/19/19 Click to enlarge
I wasn't satisfied with just taking the photo from the car this time, so Stephen dropped me off for a close up photo. Of course, quiet as I tried to be, you can see by my long shadow that I frightened the little lamb so he jumped down off the cow and ran toward his mother (on the left). Mama rose from her lying down position so she could move in quickly if needs be to protect her precious lamb from the approaching stranger.

Mount Joy lamb with MaMa 2/19/19 Click to enlarge
As you can see, the lamb made it safely to his mama where he found protection, comfort, and nourishment.  (These photos were taken as we passed the "Breakaway Farms" on Valley View Road north of Mount Joy yesterday on the way to our first chaplain visit.) (Google map)

Lebanon County farm and school 2/19/19 Click to enlarge
We passed this sprawling farm in Lebanon County yesterday morning with a one room schoolhouse to the right in the photo. The "pond" is actually slow-draining rain water in which the resourceful ducks have decided is a good home for them!
See this photo from a Google map.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"What A Beautiful Name/Agnus Dei (Live)"  Video  Travis Cottrell along with his daughter Lily (Brooksyne is looking forward to singing this song with the choir leading our congregational worship this Sunday.)

Brooksyne's Note: Three different genres and time periods of "The Old Account Was Settled" which reinforces our message today, at least in my mind. I included an adapted line from this hymn in my prayer which was one of my favorites as a child. We sang it from hymn books whose covers no longer existed, just the staples holding the songs together. Not only did I like the men echoing in the chorus, but the words of the song spoke to my heart even as a child. It reminded me that I needed to get right with God before He called me home and surely this song was a seed planted in my spirit regarding my decision to give my whole heart to Jesus at 14 years of age.

"The Old Account Was SettledVideo  Homecoming Friends

"The Old Account Was Settled" Video Small Church Recording, not sure of the accompaniment but it has a definite rhythm. Notice the overhead projector rarely seen these days. We recall how exciting it was in our first church to get our first overhead projector! (Hi-tech at that time)

"The Old Account Was Settled"  Video  Ebenezer Baptist Church Gospel Choir in 1998

Finally today:

Romans 8:28 laser cut plaque (from Audrey's)
Yesterday we visited the employees at Audrey's and I shared a brief devotional based on yesterday's Daily Encouragement which had the command "Write them (the commandments of God) on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates". Audrey's is a wholesale distributor of home decor items. Walking through the warehouse, prior to sharing the message, I found this neat laser cut portion of Scripture I used as a demonstration. Janice is holding it, you might otherwise think it is a stencil.

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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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