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Thursday, January 9, 2020

Snowy afternoon 1/7/20
A snowy afternoon from our front porch.

"That You May Know"
The Blessing of Assurance

Message summary:
Do you "believe in the name of the Son of God"? That's life's most important question.  With this belief "you may know that you have eternal life"!

Note: A podcast not prepared for this message which was prepared Wednesday afternoon. Wednesday evening we are taking our Amish "grandchildren" to a Hershey Bears hockey game at the Giant Center in Hershey and of course will get home late and need to leave early Thursday morning for chaplaincy visits.

"But these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name" (John 20:31). "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life" (1 John 5:13).

We recently attended a funeral for an employee we have seen many years in the course of our chaplain work. He has been disabled for several years due to a stroke but his wife still works for the company and we have had steady follow-up and visits since he continued to work up until his second stroke. He was greatly respected for his very strong work ethic and we often commended him for that as well. They have both been receptive to our ministry in a caring sense over the years but as Laotian immigrants they still identify with their Buddhist background so it was a Buddhist funeral service, a new experience for us. The entire service was in Laotian and included chanting and other features peculiar to us.

This was last Friday afternoon before my knee was treated and it was getting rather long with no end in sight since we couldn't understand anything so I was in considerable pain and distress. After about an hour, not meaning to be disrespectful but I was almost in physical agony, I whispered to Brooksyne to query her smart phone, "How long is a Buddhist funeral service"" to which we received the encouraging answer of "49 days"! (see here). Well it did last at least another hour when we finally excused ourselves by exiting a back side door. Today we expect to see some others from the service and will probably learn just how long it did last if they stayed the entire time!

Buddhists believe that after death each person is reincarnated as another being. The new life is dependent on past actions and deeds. Karma plays a large role in determining what happens to people after they die. They have no assurance of eternal life.

What a blessing our two daily texts are teaching us about the great truth of assurance!

"But these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name" (John 20:31). John is summarizing his gospel and the main purpose for his writing:

"That you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God" That was his theme from the very beginning when he wrote "the Word (Christ) became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14).
"And that believing you may have life in His name" In John two types of life are taught; "abundant life" (John 10:10) and "eternal life" (John 3:16).

The second text states:

"I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life" (1 John 5:13). These things refer to his letter according to most commentators but we will find rich fulfillment when we consider all of John's writings.

Do you "believe in the name of the Son of God"? That's life's most important question.

With this belief "you may know that you have eternal life"!

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine;
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, there are so many things we are uncertain of from day to day, whether it's safety on the road, a troublesome health problem, a struggling marital relationship, worries about mounting bills, rebellious children, the instability of the world and so much more. But one thing which is the main thing that we can have assurance about is our salvation through Christ Jesus our Lord that provides us with eternal life. When we are born of His Spirit and washed in His blood the Spirit enables us to trust God for all that we are uncertain of in this temporal dwelling, that He will provide a way to cope or overcome.  For that we are thankful! Amen.

Brooksyne's Note: As Chaplains we befriend all who are employed at our companies, and and seek to show respect to their various religious backgrounds while hoping to witness for Christ and His Gospel. It's a bit tricky when we meet those from a different cultural and language background, but we've found most in that category responsive to our presence since they see us weekly year after year. Such is the case with the employee who passed away. One Christmas he said quite bluntly to me, "People ask me if I celebrate Christmas" but I tell them "I don't celebrate Christmas because I don't know what it means." It was a perfect conversation to share with me as I responded "Christmas is all about Christ Jesus. Would you like to learn more about him" to which he responded perhaps a little reluctantly, "yes". I told him about the Jesus Movie that I would try to get him in his own language. It took quite a lot of searching but I finally came up with a copy and gave it to him. I never got feedback but I have prayed many times over the years that the message of that movie touched his heart. We can only plant the seeds, pray for the person, and live an exemplary Christian life. The rest is up to the individual surrendering to Christ.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Blessed Assurance"  Video  Harpeth Gospel Quartet

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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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