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Friday, February 7, 2020

Lapp farm
We live in a region hardly ideal for collecting the sap necessary for making maple syrup. It takes really cold days through the winter which we haven't had this year. However Moses has a small operation harvesting from a maple stand on his farm and has managed to get enough sap (40 gallons) to make a gallon of syrup.

"Keep Holding On!"

Message summary: Let us renew our resolve to hold on and remain steadfast.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" (Proverbs 4:13). "Test everything. Hold on to the good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21). "I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown" (Revelation 3:11).

Many issues drain us of spiritual vitality; troublesome personal matters, the state of our nation and world, moral decline, fears etc. We see this in the course of our work as chaplains. People can grow weary and the attacks can shake our faith.

But we must press on daily in our walk with the Lord and we must hold on to His truths if we are to be victorious. Today we consider the spiritual concept of "holding on."  We often hear this expressed in the phrase, "I'm hanging in there." In some instances it can be a very trite saying but at other times, when talking to one who is going through a very difficult trial, I am blessed to hear them repeat these words with a resolve to stay faithful especially in the midst of adversity.

Let us consider the "hold on" in our three daily verses:

1) "Hold on to instruction" We feel this is best understood as the instruction we have received based upon the Holy Scriptures from godly people who have gone before us; people we know personally (2 Timothy 3:10) where we are able to witness the outcome of their way of life (Hebrews 13:7). We hear this expressed in the New Testament by the apostle Paul: "You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them" (2 Timothy 3:14a).

2) "Hold on to the good" We respond to this command today with a resounding AMEN, as evil increasingly abounds and permeates our world. We find out what is good by learning the Scriptures. The Lord spoke through Jeremiah 6:16: "This is what the LORD says: 'Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls'." Romans 12:9 puts it so succinctly, "Hate what is evil; cling to what is good".

3) "Hold on to what you have" We believe this is foundationally a call to hold on to our faith in God. This is a command from Christ to the church in Philadelphia
Φιλαδέλφεια, "the city of him who loves his brother" (ancient Philadelphia of course). This is an actual city in present day Turkey presently named Alasehir (see here for map). At the time of John's writing the church had remained faithful to the Lord during a time of persecution, receiving this wonderful commendation from the Lord, "I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept My word and have not denied My Name". He goes on to state, concerning these ancient Christians, "You have kept My command to endure patiently" (Revelation 3:10).

Let us hold on and remain steadfast as we maintain and indeed grow in our faith in God! God is strategically planning a future date when conflict will be vanquished, righteousness will prevail, and the everlasting crown will be awarded to those who patiently hold on to their faithfulness to God.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, help us to contend with those obstacles that are a part of our strict training so that we will receive an everlasting crown. Help us to patiently endure and prayerfully endear the important truths You teach us in our spiritual training. We want to hold on to Your unchanging hand as we build our lives not on the shifting sands of time, but on that which will never perish! Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Hold On To Jesus"  Video  Steven Curtis Chapman

"When Trials Come"  Video  Keith & Kristyn Getty

Finally today:

Maple syrup from the Lapp farm
Maple syrup from the Lapp farm!

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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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