A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Ester found this baby or doll stroller that was headed for someone's trash and brought it home for Sadie who seems quite happy riding in the seat. Today Brooksyne hooked up Mollie's leash to the stroller and she took Sadie for a beautiful afternoon stroll (with adult supervision, of course)!
"When Darkness Rejoiced"
Message summary: Our daily text was spoken when Jesus was arrested. To His disciples and those who loved Him the future looked grim. But we know the rest of the story!
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"This is your hour, when darkness reigns" (Luke 22:53).
Sunday following our Communion service we sang, "When Death Was Arrested", a song that we both really, really enjoy. It's popular now so many of you likely sing it as well. (link to song below)
We got to a line in the song that seems so full of despair and following it a full rest is written into the music, adding to the suspense.
We looked at each other and smiled because we knew the powerful line that came after the death-like pause. (See below!) It's our perspective now looking back on the events that define our faith.
But try to place yourselves in the shoes of those who didn't know what the outcome would be. We can get a sense with the disciples scattering, Peter's denial, the weeping women and so forth. It sure must have seemed that all was lost in a hopeless defeat.
When He was arrested Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, "This is your hour, when darkness reigns" (Luke 22:53). This hour of darkness, which we believe included the period of time between His arrest and resurrection, appeared to be a hopeless situation, an excruciating time in the cosmos. This was the period when our Lord Himself declared, "Darkness reigns"! During this period of time darkness rejoiced as though heaven had lost.
Pastor Grant Gunnink observes, "It must have been agonizing for Jesus – the Word of God made flesh – to acknowledge that in what was about to happen – the powers of darkness, which He could have no doubt thrown back with a single word – had been given free reign."
Although we believe Jesus was primarily speaking of spiritual darkness a physical darkness was also demonstrated at His death during His final three hours on the cross when "darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining" (Luke 23:44,45).
However, of vital importance is that although darkness seemed to reign during that short period as though heaven had lost, God ultimately reigns. Peter looked back on the day Of Pentecost and recognized, "This man (Jesus) was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge" (Acts 2:23)
It's so important to also realize that God ultimately reigns during the dark periods within our own life when darkness seems to cover the light.
In a much earlier time period evil was also present in the dark deeds inflicted upon Joseph by his brothers when they plotted his death. Consider the merciful perspective expressed in Joseph's response to his brothers after many years, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives" (Genesis 50:20).
This took on much greater fulfillment in the person and work of Christ, as He poured out His goodness on those who sought to do Him evil. Yes, surely God intended the cross for good. He even used evil hearts to bring about His set purpose. He was not overcome by evil, but He overcame evil with good. God's plan of salvation was divine in nature, but He also helps us every day to overcome evil with good. We walk in newness of life and in the power of His resurrection.
Let us be very intentional in praising God from whom all blessings flow as we remember the greatest sacrifice of all time. Let us give deep, heartfelt thanks to God for His incomparable love and the demonstration of that love as seen in the One impaled on a bloody cross.
Our daily text was spoken when Jesus was arrested. To His disciples and those who loved Him the future looked grim. But we know the rest of the story!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, the words that Jesus spoke to the chief priests upon His arrest, "This is your hour, when darkness reigns" would days later turn into the finest hour on the Christian calendar. Torture and death did not have the final say, for darkness dissipated and light broke through as Jesus rose from the tomb. We are joyful and victorious as we walk in this newness of life provided through the death and resurrection of our Savior. We are also reminded that evil and death have no permanent hold over us, for the former things have lost their power because Jesus defeated our greatest enemy. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift of salvation. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"When Death Was Arrested" Video Calvary Church Worship Team from this last Sunday's service.
"I'm Free" Video Lynda Randle, David Phelps
"Chainbreaker" Video Triumphant Quartet We are blessed to hear the challenging introductions that often accompanies southern gospel music. Have you surrendered your life to Christ?
A Proclamation Of The Gospel Do you ever weary of hearing the Gospel? We hope we never do. We want to be like those mentioned in the song "I Love To Tell The Story" that states, "I love to tell the story, For those who know it best, Seem hungering and thirsting, To hear it like the rest". We were both so blessed by our pastor's message this last Sunday. This video link is cued to the beginning of the sermon. We are blessed with his exposition, our favorite preaching method.
"I Love To Tell (and hear) The Story" Video Chuck Wagon Gang Dedicated to John Keefer, our pastor friend.
Yesterday we mentioned that it was the 23rd anniversary of our Daily Encouragement ministry. We will continue to post this information all week long for those who may not read each message:
Here's some info about Daily Encouragement Net
Daily Encouragement Ministry Chronology
October 21, 1996 - First email sent to Nigel and Laifong Lee a married couple and developed into a list (which was merely a group list added to manually one by one.)
1999 - Website developed by Andy Larrimore, a friend in the church we served at the time in New England.
2002 - Began one minute radio spots extracted from Daily Encouragement messages and in recent years original messages written by Brooksyne that may not be featured in one of our DE messages.
2004 - Resigned from full-time job with chaplain agency.
2005 - Developed html email (formatted with photos as opposed to just plain text), began podcasting daily messages, set up blogs/RSS feeds, Brooksyne "officially" joined in the message preparation.
2006 - Received official endorsement as the first "internet chaplain" from chaplaincy endorsement agency. (I already had endorsement for corporate chaplaincy and Civil Air Patrol chaplaincy.)
Each of these messages since the very first one are stored in a single WORD document which currently has over 4,000,000 words and over 6,500 pages (10pt type). However even this total is probably significantly understated since, as many writers know, you tend to type many words that get chopped as you go along or are eliminated in the editing process! Plus we prepare a lot of extra material on the html posts such as photo captions, music descriptions and so forth that aren't even in this archive.
Although we are thonkful for spellchick we still need to poofread carefully to see if we any words out.
Ministry update: For those interested we direct you to a revised ministry update in light of our 23rd ministry anniversary. http://www.dailyencouragement.net/ministryupdate.htm
Survey: If you would care to do so we have prepared a short survey (it takes about five minutes). Since we know little about many of our readers and podcast listeners we find this helpful in having sense of who you are and how you are using our materials.
Support: We are thankful for those who support our ministry with their financial offerings. Some give monthly, others periodically or one-time. We generally each spend about 1/2 day preparing these messages, managing the technical details and responding to email feedback (some days more, some days less). Our prayer has been that offerings would be essentially 1/2 of our family income since we work together. We also receive income from our corporate chaplaincy ministry. If any reader would like to consider an offering to our online ministry information is here: http://www.dailyencouragement.net/support.htm
Make an offering using PayPal
Future plans: Essentially we look for strength to continue to prepare these messages each weekday and for the foreseeable future intend a ministry mix between internet and chaplaincy. Essentially the chaplaincy gets us out regularly to the real world for a fresh perspective!
Brooksyne's Note: As we share the history of this web ministry I am reminded of our Lord's faithfulness and the diverse giftings He gives to those He has called. It is extremely humbling to us that God's Spirit speaks to the hearts of men and women all around the world through our daily messages. When we got our first computer Stephen and I would never have imagined the medium of computer technology giving us "a voice" to reach people all over the world. Your prayers, feedback, and support spur us on and challenge us to remain faithful in this writing ministry. Join us in continually giving thanks for His abundant blessings that far outnumber the grievous burdens one endures over a lifetime.
Here's the very first daily Encouragement message from Monday, October 21, 1996:
"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25).
Hopefully each of you were in church yesterday and received fresh strength from the Lord and His Word. Unfortunately, then, even as now, some had forsaken this important element of growth and discipleship. As we see the Day of Christ's return drawing ever closer may we be encouraged. Whatever you do today remember the main thing: "Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might" (Deuteronomy 6:5).
Kind of makes you want a kitten again! If you're looking for one these free kittens are our neighbor's kitties. There's about six of them living on an Amish farm entertaining the seven children who live there along with their parents, as well.
To receive the "Daily Encouragement" each Monday-Friday through email see this page to subscribe to our email list. You can also subscribe to the Wordpress rss feed or through a Wordpress email subscription. (See the email subscription on the right side after opening this page.)
We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners.
Our ministry labor is comprised of approximately half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive compensation. Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each would provide half of our ministry expenses and income.
If you would consider making a donation to our ministry see here for more information.
Donate directly online here. This will open to a page that designates the offering to: WEBER,STEPHEN CHAP, Specialized Chaplaincy Ministry ID: 700001-237376
Please Note: We also provide this easy option due to the convenience, for international supporters, and for those who may not be concerned regarding receiving an official tax deductible receipt. Click here to send an offering using PayPal. This will open to a page that states "Brooksyne Weber"
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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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