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Monday, April 15, 2019

Front lawn view 4/13/19 (Click to enlarge)
Early Saturday morning a mist arose just beyond our front lawn and lifted soon afterward.
(Click to enlarge)

"For This Purpose"

Message summary: Thank God that Jesus knew His purpose and fully completed His mission!

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified" (John 12:23). "Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, 'Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name" (John 12:27,28).

This week we especially consider the most intense period in Christ's life on earth, beginning with the Triumphal Entry (Palm Sunday) through Resurrection Sunday. This is often called Holy Week or Passion Week. An astounding 30 of the 89 accumulative chapters in the four gospels cover this period beginning with Christ's Triumphal Entry through His resurrection and post-resurrection appearances. However the majority of this material covers just three days; the day before and the day of His Crucifixion and Resurrection Day.

Jesus knew His purpose was to die for the sins of the people. The inspiring song, "If That Isn't Love" states, "He left the splendor of heaven, knowing His destiny, 'twas the lowly hill of Golgotha, there to lay down His life for me."

Let's consider the Scripture portions that highlight His human redemptive purpose:

1) When He left heaven (the incarnation): "Therefore, when Christ came into the world, He said: "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You prepared for Me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings You were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about Me in the scroll—I have come to do Your will, O God'" (Hebrews 10:5-7).

2) During His childhood (when He was with the teachers of the Law): "Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?" (Luke 2:49).

3) When He began His ministry: "Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God and saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the Gospel' He said" (Mark 1:14b,15).

4) When He approached the end of His earthly ministry Luke records our Lord's resolve to complete His purpose: "As the time approached for Him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem" (Luke 9:51).

5) Throughout His ministry He regularly informed and reinforced to His disciples His stated purpose. However it seems they didn't really grasp it until after He was resurrected. This verse is so informative in this regard: "At first His disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about Him and that they had done these things to Him" (John 12:16).

6) In Peter's first sermon on the day of Pentecost he fully understood this purpose: "This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge" (Acts 2:23).

In the daily texts He is teaching at the time of the Triumphal Entry and forthrightly states, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified."  His heart is troubled and He asks aloud whether He should appeal to His Father to save Him from the hour. "No", He emphatically states, and with resolute resolve He declares, "
But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name."

Thank God that Jesus knew His purpose and fully completed His mission! 

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we are among the redeemed because Jesus accepted His mission on earth and wholly completed it. He drank from the bitter cup fully giving His all to provide forgiveness for our sins. We who have sought forgiveness are the redeemed and now have a mission to freely share the life-changing message of salvation with those who so desperately need to hear it. We do so in Jesus' name and through His power. Amen.

Cherry Hill orchards 4/12/19 (Click to enlarge)
Early Friday morning we passed Cherry Hill orchards. Such a short time to see the flowering trees!
(Click to enlarge)

Saturday night we went to a Gospel concert at the Good Shepherd Chapel at Lancaster Bible College. We heard two groups we have enjoyed for many years.

Brian Free and Assurance 4/13/19
Brian Free and Assurance

Karen Peck bus 4/13/19
The Karen Peck and New River touring bus sure grabs your attention.

Merle and Gayle, LBC concert 4/13/19
We only know a relatively small percentage of those who read or listen to our messages. It's always encouraging to be approached by readers we don't personally know. At the concert we sat in front of a reader who recognized us from the photos on our posts. Merle and Gayle were over from York County to attend the concert along with their young grandson. We are so grateful for those who find value in our materials!

Keith leading Kleen-Rite meeting 4/12/19
Friday morning we were at Kleen-Rite for a company meeting. It was nice to hear the good report but especially hear Keith (red shirt), who runs the company, express his encouragement, appreciation and love for the employees. Due to varying locations and the need to keep operations going they had three meetings. Kleen-Rite is the country's largest wholesale distributor of car wash equipment and supplies. It's based in nearby Columbia but has distribution warehouses in Texas and Las Vegas and a huge distribution center right here in Mount Joy. We have been serving as their company chaplains since early 2016.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

Today we will feature music from the two groups we heard on Saturday night. Brooksyne adds some notes:

"Say Amen"  Video   Brian Free & Assurance  This song is "impossible" to listen to without responding with "Amen." For example here's one line:  "Has anybody here found Him faithful. Say Amen." You can't just sit there, you've got to affirm those words with "AMEN!"

"I Want To Be That Man"  Video  Brian Free & Assurance (A wonderful song about a man dedicated to living a life sold out for God, we think a tribute to Brian Free's father.)

"He Will Carry You"  Video  Brian Free & Assurance (Brian shared his own story of a major health difficulty he is currently facing, so I'm sure when he sings this song the message hits him very personally. "He will carry you when you can't go on")

"He Can Take It"  Video  Brian Free & Assurance

"I Know I'll Be There"  Video  Karen Peck & New River (I have several favorites of Karen Peck & New River, and this is among them. She wrote this song so people wouldn't wonder where she'd be when she died. Karen told her 85 year old mother, "Mom, if I go before you, I'll be there." Her mother responded, "Oh, I'll be there. You can rest assured I'll be there!" Even as a young teen-ager, upon learning of an individual's death, I would sometimes hear, "I don't know if he was a Christian or not." Not knowing that person would spend eternity with God bothered me a lot. As I grew in my faith I wanted to make sure that people would never have to guess where I'd be after I departed. I wanted my words and life to reflect Christ in such a way that people would say upon my death, "Brooksyne has gone to glory!" Ester doesn't like for me to talk about it but I grow more excited about heaven everyday.  I hope and pray that you have the same kind of assurance today.)

"Finish Well"  Video   Karen Peck & New River   (Another favorite! We sang this at our spring choir concert, "Until Then". The words are so appropriate for those of us who have been on our spiritual journey for a long time. We want to "finish well".

"That's Why They Call It Grace"  Video  Karen Peck & New River

"Four Days Late"  Video  Karen Peck & New River (A blockbuster, if that's the right word! This song will fill your heart and excite your spirit as you listen to the words about Lazarus rising from the dead. Jesus was four days late but He was right on time!)

Border collies are amazing dogs! See this brief video.

(This week is known by many as Passion Week or Holy Week which covers the events in Christ's life from the Triumphal Entry to His resurrection. We will leave the following materials up throughout the week.)

Major Events of the Passion Week

The four gospels cover the life of Christ, a period of about 33 years. Most of this material deals with the 3½ year period of His ministry. However an astounding 30 of the 89 accumulative chapters in the gospels deal with the period from Christ's triumphal entry through His resurrection and post-resurrection appearances. Mathematically this means that approximately 33% of the written material in the gospels deals with a mere .05% period of His life! In the providence of God we have a much greater proportion of material dealing with God's greatest act of mercy in providing our redemption.

Here's an interesting chart from a Study Bible that may be helpful as you study the Bible this week. It helps us to have a sense of when the events took place and is inspiring to read these Scriptures in the daily sequence leading up to Easter.

  • Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem: Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-40; John 12:12-19
  • Jesus Clears the Temple: Matthew 21:12,13; Mark 11:15-17; Luke 19:45,46
  • Jesus' authority challenged in the temple: Matthew 21:23-27; Mark 11:27-33; Luke 20:1-8
  • Jesus teaches stories and confronts the Jewish leaders: Matthew 21:28-23:36; Mark 12:1-40; Luke 20:9-47   
  • Greeks ask to see Jesus: John 12:20-26
  • The Olivet Discourse: Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21:5-38
  • Judas agrees to betray Jesus: Matthew 26:14-16; Mark 14:10,11; Luke 22:3-6
  • The Last Supper:  Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20
  • Jesus speaks to the disciples in the upper room:  John 13-17
  • Jesus struggles in Garden of Gethsemane: Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46; John 18:1
  • Jesus is betrayed and arrested: Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:2-12
  • Jesus is tried by Jewish and Roman authorities and disowned by Peter: Matthew 26:57-27:2, 11-31; Mark 14:53-15:20; Luke 22:54-23:25; John 18:13-19:16
  • Jesus is crucified and buried: Matthew 27:31-56; Mark 15:20-41; Luke 23:26-49; John 19:17-30
  • The glorious resurrection: Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-11; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-18
(This material is developed from an outline in the Life Application Bible)

"It's Still The Cross!"

(A selection of Scripture verses focusing on the Cross for personal, family or congregational reading.)

Worship leader: Here they crucified Him, and with Him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle. John 19:18

Congregation: This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross. Acts 2:23

Worship leader: For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18

Congregation: May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6:14

Worship leader: By abolishing in His flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility.  He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.  Ephesians 2:15-17

Congregation: He made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name.  Philippians 2:7-9  

Worship leader: For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross. Colossians 1:19,20 

Congregation: When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:13,14

All: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  Hebrews 12:1-3

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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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