A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Christmas carolers gathered around the piano singing "Peace on Earth". Sadie Willow, the photo bomber, appears to be "howling" rather than singing with this group of carolers!
"Jesus Christ, The Everlasting Light"
Message summary: Let us all make it your prayer today, that Jesus Christ the everlasting light will shine through us, in both our words and deeds, and even in our countenance.
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness" (Genesis 1:3,4). "The LORD is God, and He has made His light shine upon us" (Psalm 118:27). "The LORD will be your everlasting light" (Isaiah 60:20). "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it" (John 1:1-4). "For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:6).
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in Thee tonight
(From "O Little Town Of Bethlehem")
We enjoy the Christmas lights inside our home and outside as well. Over the years we have been gifted several sets of figurines that Brooksyne places on top of her piano and window ledge when she and Ester decorate. We have a variety of places all through our home which have lights partly due to Christmas clearance sales. We store them all year and then have something new the following year at a greatly reduced cost!
Yesterday we pointed out that light is one of the great themes of the incarnation. Light can be glowing, beaming, piercing, twinkling, dim or intense. There are many sources of light; in nature the sun, moon and stars in their courses above. In our homes we may have light from electricity, candles, gas lanterns (our Amish neighbors), burning firewood or in our case from our coal stove. But there is only one source of Everlasting Light.
Our first daily text shows the origin of light on the first day of creation. The first designation of "good" in the Bible is light.
A wonderful truth is so simply expressed in our second daily verse: "The LORD is God, and He has made His light shine upon us." "The Lord is God" merely asserts the Biblical truth of the one true God revealed in Scripture.
"He has made His light shine upon us." All through history the redeemed have been able to proclaim this truth. The great prophet Isaiah in a Messianic prophecy declares, "The people walking in darkness have seen a great light" (Isaiah 9:2) and later declares, "The LORD will be your everlasting light" (Isaiah 60:20).
In the Apostle John's account of the incarnate Christ he writes, "In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men."
In this church age we look back on the full revelation of Christ and understand what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote, "For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:6).
Jesus Christ came to be the Light of the world, to reveal the knowledge and glory of God, and to shine brightly in a world darkened and dominated by sin. Is He your Lord and God? Today are you experiencing the penetrating power of God's light as it shines upon you? Are others seeing its revelation of truth and ray of hope as it shines through you? We sure hope so!
Let us all make it our prayer today, that Jesus Christ the everlasting light will shine through us, in both our words and deeds, and even in our countenance.
Hail the Heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, the radiance of Your holiness is revealed in the light of Your Son, Jesus, who came to dwell among us. We know that in Him there is no darkness at all. Satan, the prince of darkness blinds and deceives us, but Jesus, the Prince of Peace, illuminates us with wisdom and truth through His earthly life revealed by Your Holy Word. And now we have the light of Your Holy Spirit to guide us in a sin-darkened world as we sojourn below. May this light that burns within us brighten our countenance and be our power source for truth, holiness, and courageous witness to those who have been blinded by the darkness. Bring them into the light of Your salvation we pray. Amen.
Special Year-end Financial Appeal
We want to thank all who have financially supported our ministry this past year (and some for many years!). We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. Like many ministries, we typically see a spike in giving at the end of the year for which we are most thankful.
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.
To 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"
Stephen & Brooksyne
We enjoy the variety of sights we see here in rural Pennsylvania in the course of our local travels going about the course of our life.
Friday we passed through the heart of the city to make a hospital visit. Here's a view of Penn Square in downtown Lancaster. The Soldiers and Sailors Monument was built after the Civil War and had been at the very center of the road prior to motorized vehicle traffic at which point it became an obstacle. They had considered moving it but there was local opposition so they rerouted the road around it. (From our friend Jerry Smoker, a local historian.) Jerry points out they also had the foresight to place a tunnel under the monument to run utility wires which were not yet in use but could be foreseen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" Video Paul Baloche
Yesterday we shared a quiz about how so many of the Christmas songs we love that have the theme of light somewhere in the song. Here it is again. Can you identify the song by the posted line dealing with light?
"Disperse the gloomy clouds of night"
"Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light"
"Son of God, love's pure light"
"There shone a holy light"
"Yonder shines the infant light"
"Break forth, O beauteous heavenly light"
'And to the earth it gave great light"
"Light and life to all He brings"
"One small light from the flame of a candle"
"Led by the light of faith serenely beaming"
"With a liberating light"
The hymn titles are posted below.
Resources for Christmas Celebrations
(We will leave these resources posted below our daily messages through Christmas)
Each year we share several online resources that we have used over the years and that may be a blessing to you, your family or church during this Christmas season.
"In Remembrance of Me" pdf This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. Brooksyne and I have used this reading with great receptivity during Christmas Eve services over the years. We suggest, if possible, a musical background as the message is read. It is also a great lead-in to a Communion service. It should be thoroughly practiced and read with great feeling. Here's a great Communion Hymn for Christmas (Video)
"When Christ Was Born" pdf This is an adaptation to the tune of "How Great Thou Art". It's a great song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with and love the tune.
Responsive Christmas Scripture readings for church or family:
John 1:1-18 pdf
"O Come Let Us Adore Him" pdf
My First Christmas In Heaven This is a blessed reminder for all who lost a loved one this year. Brooksyne read and wrote about the poem in this message.
Christmas Knowledge Test
We have also posted two Christmas carol quizzes here (scroll down).
Answers to Christmas song quiz from above (Hymn titles in bold)
1. "Disperse the gloomy clouds of night" O Come, O Come Emmanuel
2. "Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light" O Little Town of Bethlehem
3. "Son of God, love's pure light" Silent Night
4. "There shone a holy light" Go Tell It On The Mountain
5. "Yonder shines the infant light" Angels From The Realms Of Glory
6. "Break forth, O beauteous heavenly light" Title same as this line!
7. 'And to the earth it gave great light" The First Noel
8. "Light and life to all He brings" Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
9. "One small light from the flame of a candle" One Small Child
10. "Led by the light of faith serenely beaming" O Holy Night
11. "With a liberating light" Praise The One Who Breaks The Darkness
Yesterday following our chaplain visits I had our car serviced in Lebanon, PA. I sat down in a big recliner in Boscov's while Brooksyne shopped. An off duty Santa walked by and I asked to see his shirt. We ended up conversing about 1/2 hour. Tim told me about his personalized approach to being Santa and the interest he has in children. He is a retired chocolate worker from Hershey Corporation who made Kit Kats!
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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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