A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Daily Encouragement on
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Farm in the far distance beyond the field across from our home that Ester captured using her camera zoom early yesterday morning.
(Click to enlarge)
"Our Great Redeemer"
Message summary: The atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross is the supreme demonstration of God's love resulting in:
• Our redemption from sin (yesterday's message)
• Our reconciliation to God (today's message)
• Our restoration to wholeness
This week we will be examining each of these three "r's".
Listen to our message on your audio player.
"And she tied the scarlet cord in the window" (Joshua 2:21). "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding" (Ephesians 1:7,8).
I am redeemed, You set me free
So I'll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I'm not who I used to be
I am redeemed, I'm redeemed
Today we want to especially consider those who feel they may have no hope. Among the saddest of human conditions is the sense of having no hope. And the most extreme sense of hopelessness is spiritual hopelessness while the greatest form of hope is spiritual hopefulness. We were blessed by this thought from Pastor Richard Dresselhaus' online devotional, "Tomorrow’s promise becomes today’s source of strength. This is the power of hope."
Rahab is introduced into the Scriptural record as a prostitute (Joshua 2:1). Both biographical references to her in the New Testament epistles (Hebrews 11:31 and James 2:25) forthrightly remind the reader that she was a prostitute. She was also a resident of doomed Jericho so what kind of hope did she have?
Pastor W.A. Criswell wrote, "Rahab the harlot is an example of the grace of God at work. Her salvation was not based on her character or merits: she lived in a doomed city, practiced a condemned profession, engaged in subversive activities, and falsified [lied about] her actions. Nevertheless she acted upon faith, and was spared the judgment of God which was executed at the hands of the Israelites."
Providentially she was a part of God's plan and provided the means of deliverance for the two spies whom Joshua had sent to look over the land. In recognizing the spies she acknowledged their God with a powerful statement of faith when she declared "The LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below" (Joshua 2:11). In exchange for providing protection for the spies she pleaded with them for her salvation and that of her family. They promised her, "We will treat you kindly and faithfully when the LORD gives us the land" (Joshua 2:14).
But there was a condition. She was to tie the scarlet cord in the window. The scarlet cord for Rahab was a practical sign of her faith and obedience and also identified her location at the time of the conquest so that she and her family might be saved. It is also a symbol of grace, for it certainly had absolutely no capabilities of saving her or her family from the destruction that befell Jericho. As early as the first century, commentators saw this scarlet cord as a symbol of the blood of Jesus.
Bible scholar W. Graham Scroggie calls this "the scarlet thread of redemption" which runs all through the Bible. He writes, "Christ is predicted in the OT, presented in the Gospels, proclaimed in the Acts, possessed in the Epistles, and predominant in the Revelation."
Our spiritual "scarlet cord" is the redemption provided by Jesus Christ. "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding" (Ephesians 1:7,8).
Our salvation is a matter of grace from start to finish. Rahab had no rights to God's favor and neither do we. But through the scarlet cord of redemption through faith we can also be in God's family. Now that's a hope we all need today and, in spite of all the other issues we are confronted with, it can provide us an assurance concerning that which matters most. Place your complete trust in the Lord today!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Today we share a selection of photos taken by Ester
The lead photo is a dairy farm across Colebrook Road about 3/4 mile from our home. This view includes the trees in our lawn. We thought the way the sun hit the trees with the golden color is interesting. I can't remember seeing the electrical wire next to our road ever being coated with snow quite like we saw today (as seen above).
(Click to enlarge)
Our snow-covered pink (currently white) Heartbreaker Weeping Redbud.
Our front yard dogwood
Many are following Ester's two month old puppy, Sadie Willow, through her Facebook page. She is growing daily, eating healthily, and is now able to climb the steps of our deck which helps with potty training. Admittedly, she can be a little sassy so Ester has her work cut out for her, but her cuddles make up for her mischievousness at the present.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Redeemed" Video Big Daddy Weave
"Chain Breaker" Video Gaither Vocal Band
Flash from the Past: Brooksyne posted this photo on Marvin Culajay's Facebook page to wish him a Happy Birthday Sunday. Marvin, six years old, lived with us in 1989 and again in 1990 when he was treated for his life threatening illness from which he is now cured. He is 36, I believe. In the middle is Tina Matangelo from who had recently been adopted by our long-time friends Mike and Kathy Matangelo. She is now in her 30's, lives in North Carolina and continues to be a good friend to Ester. Brooksyne is holding Heber, (two) who lived with us during and after his three heart operations at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA where Ester had her five heart surgeries. We traveled to Guatemala and returned Heber to his family after his last stay and his parents gave us Guatemalan attire which Brooksyne is wearing in this photo. All three of these precious children are now in their 30's about the same age as Brooksyne in this photo. Much to our disappointment, we have lost track of Heber and his family, and we pray that he continues to be well. They are at and Extended Care in St. Marys, PA where Brooksyne shared a Bible Study weekly with the elderly residents. We snapped this photo after Marvin had just quoted John 3:16 in his Spanish language and sang "At the Cross" in Spanish.
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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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