A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Monday, December 16, 2019
The Christmas tree in the lobby of Lancaster General Hospital is completely made of living Poinsettia plants in small pots. It is one big splash of red visible from ground floor to the second floor!
"A Savior, What We Need The Most"
Message summary: God provided what we need the most, a Savior.
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11). "But when he (Joseph) had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.'" (Matthew 21:20-21). "Therefore He is able also to save to the uttermost (completely, perfectly, finally, for all time and eternity) those who come to God through Him" (Hebrews 7:25 Amplified).
Yesterday Pastor Beau reminded us of a vital point concerning the coming of Christ. In the birth announcement from the angels to the shepherds we read, "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11). Beau emphasized that God sent a Savior, "not a life coach, not a personal trainer, not a financial advisor, not a therapist, not a talk show host, certainly not a politician, not a genie in the bottle. He sent us what we need the most."
The angel's announcements to Joseph prior to Christ's birth and to the shepherds after His birth (Luke 2) both focus on this main reason for His coming. Joseph, although not getting as much attention in the narratives as Mary, also plays an essential role in caring for the Christ Child. It included much travel and travail as he followed the guidance of God sent through angels and dreams. His young life was fraught with many change of plans as God chose to use Him in caring for the Christ Child.
Matthew 1:20-21 contains the angel's announcement to Joseph concerning Mary. The message of the angel in verse 21 is an assurance to Joseph that Mary’s baby would be a "Son" whose name would be "Jesus". The Greek name "Jesus" comes from the Hebrew name Joshua which literally means "Jehovah saves," or "God is salvation." Even before Christ was born the angel revealed to Joseph the unique nature of His primary purpose in coming, "He will save His people from their sins".
The Gospels and Apostolic teaching reveal this was accomplished by His sinless life, atoning death, and resurrection from the dead. The term "His people" should be understood to include both believing Jews and Gentiles (see Gal. 3:13,14; Romans 3:21-25; Titus 2:13,14; 1 Peter 2:4-10) whom Christ would save "from their sins" by means of His perfect life and substitutionary sacrifice. (from "Explore the Bible")
Two thousand years after His first coming and mission accomplished we are among those who experience the blessing of the Savior. "Therefore He is able also to save to the uttermost (completely, perfectly, finally, and for all time and eternity) those who come to God through Him".
Have you come to God through Jesus? We urge you to do so today.
Oh what a wonderful child
So lowly, meek and mild
New life, new hope, new joy He brings
Won't you listen to the angels sing
Glory, glory, glory, to the newborn king
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, the wonder of Your love is that You sent Your beloved Son, Jesus, the Holy Child of Bethlehem, in answer to our need for salvation. And in answer to our prayer You cast out our sin and entered in to be born in us, making all things new in our spiritual transformation. Because we come to You through Christ we are saved completely to the uttermost: perfectly, finally, for all time and for all eternity. All we have need of You provide through Christ Jesus our Savior and Lord. And we are forever grateful! 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
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Calvary Church Choir
Click to enlarge
While most of our praise bands are younger folks, what I enjoy about the choir and orchestra is the variety of ages represented. If you enlarge this photo you'll see me on the far left end of the second row. The man sitting just one over to my left in a blue shirt is Bill who's 94 years old, soon to be 95. He has sung with the choir for many years. Some of these folks have been in choir or orchestra for 40 years or more. There's a lot of middle aged, seniors, and older seniors but there are a number of young people who also sing or play in the orchestra as well. Few choirs exist in churches these days.
"Jesus, What A Wonderful Child" Video Calvary Church choir and orchestra
Here's the portion of the sermon yesterday quoted above which is followed by a powerful presentation of the Gospel Video
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).
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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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