A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Daily Encouragement on
Friday, July 5, 2019
Quite a few workers were busy yesterday in this field building shocks of wheat. If you enlarge you'll see the young man who is at the very top of the wheat wagon.
(Click to enlarge)
"A Lesson From Yeast"
Message summary: Let us determine today that sin will not be our master and let us live our lives to glorify God.
Listen to our message on your audio player.
"Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough?" (1 Corinthians 5:6). "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace" (Romans 6:13,14).
Our region is now active with the wheat harvest. We see the combines working the fields using the most modern farming methods and we pass views of living history as our Amish neighbors harvesting methods are practically from the Bible times.
Wheat is a "staple" meaning "a main or important element of something, especially of a diet". Yesterday we had a rather huge 4th of July meal with our dear friends, the Schmidts, and had wheat in a variety of items such as hamburger buns, cupcakes and cherry/rhubarb/blueberry cobbler.
Wheat is the first food listed in Deuteronomy 8:8 as a valued divine provision for the people of God. The basic manifestation of this provision was bread, the best-known product of wheat, often synonymous with food. Jesus taught us to pray "Give us this day our daily bread".
A tasty compliment to wheat is yeast, which is a fungus. Yeast microbes are probably one of the earliest domesticated organisms. In making bread it only takes a tiny portion of yeast in relation to the other ingredients to have dramatic effect.
This tiny but significant portion is used in the Bible for illustrative purposes and that's just how the Apostle Paul uses it in our first daily text. "Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough?" (1 Corinthians 5:6).
In 1 Corinthians 5 the Apostle Paul is addressing a situation in the Corinthian church regarding a rather bizarre form of sexual immorality, "a kind that does not occur even among pagans".
Incredibly, the Corinthian believers were proud about the situation! Perhaps they reasoned that being open-minded and non-judgmental was virtuous, kind of a "different strokes for different folks" outlook. That's sure a lot like today's attitude toward sin where "tolerance", has been elevated to a virtue.
But Paul doesn't excuse it or brush it aside as insignificant. He commanded the church to take prompt, decisive action. Actually his words seem harsh and unloving in this age of toleration. "Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord" (1 Corinthians 5:3-5). Wow, how mean-spirited and hateful this sounds to modern ears. Lighten up Paul, try to be more understanding of the times, most would say today.
But Paul's action was loving. Sin leads to destruction. Unchecked sin destroys the individual, the family, the local church and mars the testimony of the church community worldwide.
But confession and repentance leads to redemption. In the powerful song "I'd Rather Have Jesus" is this poignant line, "I'd rather have Jesus than to be held in sin’s dread sway". So many are held in sin's dread sway because they have chosen sin over obedience!
Redemptive love means confronting destructive sin head on, which is what Paul did, because a sin is a big deal. "Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough?"
Two challenges to sum up today's message:
* God has provided a means to deal with specific sin in our lives. Don't make excuses or procrastinate but confess, repent, (turn away from it) and live to please the Lord.
* The true church will be increasingly unpopular in standing up for Biblical standards. We will be labeled mean, hateful, narrow-minded and ignorant. In fact that is already happening. If you are mocked, scorned or laughed at for believing and adhering to Scriptural teaching pray that you'll have the same attitude as the disciples in Acts 5:41. When they were severely beaten they "left rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the name of Christ".
In a one verse parable Jesus illustrates that yeast, though its presence is but a fraction of the whole, also has power to do good. "He (Jesus) told them still another parable: 'The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough'" (Mathew 13:33).
Let us determine today that sin will not be our master and let us live our lives to glorify God.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Yesterday this team was busy at work with the wheat harvest near Paradise, PA
(Click to enlarge)
I decided to make Tomato Pie and add fresh corn kernels. I discarded the cobs, but Sadie found them and was quite excited at her find. But after I read that corn cobs are not good for dogs I forcefully took it from her - what a nuisance I was to take away her tasty treat!
We had Tomato Pie for supper which is so tasty, especially in the summer, and a perfect dish when you have extra tomatoes. I posted my own recipe here on September 1, 2017 which I prefer over this recipe I made on Wednesday. It was equally tasty but a bit soggy on the bottom and who wants a soggy crust!
Finally, to go with the theme of the 4th of July, I made a cherry-rhubarb-blueberry cobbler. I had no star cookie cutter for the flag cobbler so I just used leaves in place stars. I made a Cherry/rhubarb filling for the majority of the cobbler and blueberries in the upper corner under the leaves. It was a very nice sweet ending to our enjoyable afternoon with the Schmidts. I wonder if Betsy Ross would approve?
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"I'd Rather Have Jesus" Video Selah
I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold
I'd rather be His than have riches untold
I'd rather have Jesus than houses or land
I'd rather be led by His nail pierced hands
Than to be the king of a vast domain than be held in sin's dread sway
I'd rather have Jesus than anything this world affords today
The new: New Holland Agriculture smashes the current GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for most wheat harvested within eight hours with the CR10.90 combine Video
The old: Amish farmer with 4 horse hitch binding wheat Video
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