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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Conewago Lake, Lebanon County, PA 2/26/19 (Click to enlarge)
"A Good Reputation"

Message summary: God calls us as His followers to have a good reputation that is truly a witness for Him.

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap" (1 Timothy 3:7).

Sears closing signThis weekend the Sears store at our local mall will close it's doors. We are sad to see this for economic reasons and in consideration of the effected employees. We also wonder how the closing of another anchor store will impact our still healthy mall. but we are also sad for sentimental reasons. Growing up we both recall our families shopping at Sears and all through our marriage have purchased numerous items together at Sears, including appliances we still use such as the microwave oven over our stove we purchased in 2004.

Craftsman toolSears had a good reputation, especially their Craftsman brand, which famously had a lifetime warranty. I still have Craftsman tools my Dad, who passed away 20 years ago passed on to me such as the vice grip to the right.

Early in our marriage we purchased an old 48”x48” oak dining table for $50.00 at an estate sale that had five 12” leafs. It was covered with vinyl. Our friend Jeff Worrall helped us to restore it and we've used it for over 30 years. The table can extend to nine feet long which we have often used. (see photo) We later found the table advertised for $10.50 in a 1906 Sears catalog, so our table has actually appreciated in monetary value over the past century! In our estate sale it may even get more!

Reputation is defined as the overall quality or character as seen or judged by people. The word usually needs an adjective such as good or bad. But when you hear the phrase "he has quite a reputation" you usually know what that means!

Committed Christians are raised up to be leaders in the church. Today's text is part of a listing of qualifications for church leaders, which includes "a good reputation with outsiders." Paul writes that this must be used to qualify the fitness of a church leader.

Sadly in our day the attempt to establish a "good reputation" is often more a result of spin or illusion than real substance or true character.  The Greek word for reputation used here is 'marturia', from which we get our English word 'martyr'. It is often translated testimony, witness, reputation or evidence. God calls us as His followers to have a good reputation that is truly a witness for Him.

Our character is to reflect the standards of Christ and Scripture. The word "outsider" in the text most certainly means those outside the faith (unbelievers) or as the KJV puts it, "them which are without".

An excellent Biblical example of this type of reputation with outsiders is Daniel. Even though "the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally these men said, 'We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God'" (Daniel 6:4,5).

Today, what kind of reputation do you have with the "outsider"? Most of you work around "outsiders" every day. Are you demonstrating a good, steady witness? Do your fellow workers see the character of Christ in your life daily? Do your children and spouse witness the character of Christ exemplified in your life at home?

Now certainly this may include a Christian symbol at your desk, but it's so much more. Are you honest? What about your temper? Your language? Your diligence? Your promptness? Are you following through? Do you honor Christ with your lips as well as your life? Do you speak well of your family and church?

Remember, daily, you are developing a reputation; let it be one that builds your character and honors Christ at the same time!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, Your Word indicates the way we interact with those outside the faith will have a positive or a negative influence on whether they choose to follow You. There appears to be no neutral mode in our lives, for we do not live unto ourselves, but regularly give account for our actions and attitudes daily. Inconsistency and double standards have long been a trap Satan has set so that the world will point their accusatory finger and cry, "Hypocrite!"  Sadly, it is often a true characterization. May we, as Your disciples, be faithful in our walk and consistent in our talk as we serve You at home, in the workplace, in our churches, and in our sphere of influence. We do not want to bring disgrace on the holy name of Jesus, but we want to honor His name as we glorify You in all we do. It is in Jesus' holy name that we pray. Amen.

Pond waterfall on PA Rt 117, Lebanon County, PA 2/26/19 (Click to enlarge)
A lot of work went into making this boulder-lined pond with a waterfall on a hill along PA Rt 117 east of Mount Gretna.
(Click to enlarge)

Pond on PA Rt 117, Lebanon County, PA 2/26/19 (Click to enlarge)
The entire pond is lined with large stones
(Click to enlarge)

Snitz Creek railroad bridge, Lebanon County, PA 2/26/19
The Lebanon Valley Rails to Trails path crossing Snitz Creek.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

Craftman tools are now owned by another company

""  Video 

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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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