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Thursday, June 20, 2019

Rock Hall Clam House
The Rock Hall Clam House has some creative building art!
(The windows are real)

"Profiting From Darkness"

Message summary: All are not joyful when the Lord of the universe comes in and cleans house! There are those who profit from darkness.

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region" (Mark 5:15-17). "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19).

Evidence of the spreading spiritual darkness and rebellion abounds. God's instruction manual for life, the Bible, continues to be ignored, mocked, violated and tampered with and this is leading to inevitable chaos and destruction. It will certainly get worse unless we have a revival. Sometimes it seems I can practically hear Satan's hideous laughter since he delights in destruction (John 10:10).

When writing a satire piece related to yesterday's message I considered how many profit from darkness. Some work for a "business" that is primarily evil and sinister such as Planned Parenthood. Others have work that is not necessarily evil but is a necessary consequence of rebellion and disobedience, such as social workers, who would be much less needed if marriages and families worked the way God intends.

So today let us consider a Bible portion that teaches about those who get upset when their dark enterprise was disrupted by the redeeming power of Jesus.

The daily verse ends a section that deals with one of the most remarkable and dramatic deliverances recorded in Scripture; that of the Gerasene demoniac. More detail is given to this deliverance than any other, with each of the synoptic Gospels recording it. You can read the full account in Mark 5:1-20 (the entire chapter) and I would encourage you to do so. In a nutshell Jesus frees a man who was horrifically bound by demons.

What a horrible condition the man was in, "This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained, hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones" (Mark 5:3-5).

But Jesus changed everything! (Mark 5:4-14) Brooksyne suggest this song for the man. "I Got Saved" (Video link below)

What joy such a deliverance should bring to see a fellow human being delivered from such affliction.

But all are not joyful when the Lord of the universe comes in and cleans house! The pig owners lost a great source of wealth, the chain-maker a steady repeat customer since he kept breaking the chains used to bind him, and the village novelty was now dressed and in his right mind. Those who had benefited from this man's demonic possession were afraid (v. 15).  Life had been interrupted and it seemed little regard was given for the man who had been delivered from years of demon possession. The daily verse is so indicative of the reaction of those lost in darkness. Notice the phrase, "and told about the pigs as well". It seems the focus was on the loss of the pigs rather than the redemption of the human. Our selection ends with these words, "Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region."

This happens today as well. Many would prefer to have a world void of the influence of Jesus and His followers. For most the miracle of salvation is not as outwardly dramatic as that of the Gerasene demoniac's deliverance; but inwardly, genuine regeneration is every bit as miraculous. Genuine conversion has many consequences; restored marriages, fathers assuming their God called duty, a high value of life, Smokey's Bar loses a steady customer; the gambling casino has one less patron to be entertained and swindled, the vile pornographic industry loses a source of profit. And the list goes on and on because so many profit from darkness.

When marriages and families are broken many profit as we demonstrated in the satire article we shared yesterday.

But when redemption occurs this world has one more little light to remind them of how dark the darkness really is. To those profiting in darkness that's scary. Those most accustomed to darkness don't want light. A powerful Scripture that teaches this is John 3:19: "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil." Today, as then, many unregenerate people profit from darkness and continue to plead with Jesus and His followers to leave.

Jesus did move on and the redeemed man wanted to go with Him but Jesus told him to stay and spread the message. And he did so! Today redeemed people all over the world continue to spread the message. And many still don't want to hear it. They'll still plead to those walking in the light, "Leave and take your Jesus with you." But until we are called home let us remain obedient to Christ and keep letting our lights shine in the darkness that surrounds us, lest we too be swept into the darkness!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You didn't command us to change the hearts of those walking in darkness, for only You can do that. But You did command that we let our light shine so that others will see Your work in our lives and glorify You, our Father in heaven. May the work of our hands and the words that flow from our lips be expressions of Your indwelling light that guides us day by day. We desire, along with multitudes of other believers, to be a sunbeam shattering the spreading darkness as we walk circumspectly in Your ways. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

Chesapeake Bay Fishing Trip
Yesterday the Old Windmill Farm was closed for a family fishing trip on Chesapeake Bay.

Fishing trip boat ride
The fast boat ride out to the fishing spot was half the fun!

Striped bass 6/19/19
No fishing trip is complete without a photo like this. I caught my limit as well as everyone contributing to the boat's limit. This is a striped bass or striper. We are sure the Lapp family will have a big fish fry this evening!

Chesapeake Bay beach
Following the fishing trip we stopped by a beach in Rock Hall, Maryland.
But alas, they had not brought their swimming suits.

Chesapeake Bay beach
Where there's a will there's a way!
Hint: We had some wet clothes in the van when we left the beach.

A walk through the Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge gave everyone a chance to dry out.

Striped bass on grill 6/20/19
I got in too late last night to have the fish for dinner, so we followed an idea Jesus gave us (see here) and had the striped bass for breakfast along with some rice and biscuits topped with Brooksyne's cherry jam. We hope to see some ripe sour cherries at the orchard stands today as it's that time of the year again.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"I Got Saved"  Video  Selah  This is the song Brooksyne thinks the redeemed man in our Bible story today would sing!

"Is He Worthy?"  Video  Chris Tomlin

"Thanks to Calvary (I Don't Live Here Anymore)"  Video  Gaither Vocal Band

"The Baptism of Jesse Taylor"  Video  Gaither Vocal Band

"Chain Breaker"  Video  Zach Williams

Finally today:

The children observed this creative location for a bird nest at a Royal Farms store just above the entrance. Yes there is a bird in there.

Dan King
I picked up the Lapp family mid morning yesterday after making three chaplain visits including greeting Dan King, a young carpenter with Smucker Home Improvement.

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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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