A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Lancaster County Farm Scene
This distant view of a farm setting highlighted by an early pink azalea and forsythia bush.
(Photo by Lamar Dourte)
"What Fools Say"
Message summary: "He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy" (Job 8:21).
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God'" (Psalm 14:1).
Today is April Fool's Day, a day of pranks and playing practical jokes on others. This is a custom in many countries all around the world. A rather obscure statement from Bildad the Shuhite, one of Job's friends, is a fitting promise in these very hard times. It was originally given to Job in the very midst of his suffering, "He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy" (Job 8:21).
I wonder how many of our readers have played a prank on a family member or co-worker already today? Or were you the butt of a joke? If not, the dayís not over! Iím the big tease in our family most of the time, but Brooksyne is usually the bigger teaser on April Foolís Day so I'll share a memory from over ten years ago.
We were nearing the end of a considerably disruptive ten week kitchen renovation project and expected the carpenter in the late morning to put on the finishing touches. I showered early in the morning and just as I stepped out of the shower, Brooksyne called out to inform me the carpenter was waiting at the door.
His early arrival sent a little shock, the kind that makes your heart race quickly Ė you know the feeling. She then told me (on the other side of the bathroom door) that she was still in her robe and could not answer the door and that heíd been standing at the door for quite a while so I dressed myself quickly (though obviously half-dressed) to get to the door. APRIL FOOLS! she gleefully yelled as I ran out of the bathroom and of course no one was at the door! The shivers on my spine were all for nothing, only for the pleasure Brooksyne got out of making me look and feel very foolish.
Perhaps youíve seen the bumper sticker that states, "April 1, National Atheistís Day". When I first spotted the sticker I was intrigued and a bit annoyed, but not necessarily surprised. They now seem to have a day to commemorate just about everything. Then I moved my car in closer to read the small print. It was actually an attempt to be a witness for the Lord, as it quoted the daily verse (Psalm 14:1). It was then that I made the connection, "O yeah, Foolís Day is April 1"!
Now certainly there is a relatively small but growing segment of the population that is avowedly atheist, which is seen by some to be intellectual and reasonable, even cool. But atheism has existed at least since the time of David as is conjectured from our verse today.
An atheist would scoff at faith but actually atheism requires a great deal of faith! Itís not unbelief but belief in something altogether different. It certainly takes faith. In fact the title of a book is, "I Donít Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist".
The daily text is a great passage to use in illustrating the importance of context as we study and interpret the Bible. Ask someone, "Did you know the Bible says there is no God"? They might look at you as though youíre crazy or youíve lost your faith in God (or if theyíre an atheist they may smile assuming youíre finally see things their way!). However, in context the passage means something entirely different than I conveyed in the question.
However a far more common threat to Christís call to genuine discipleship, particularly here in America, is not atheism but ambivalentism. Now I coined this word and itís not in a standard dictionary or spellchecker. But it really describes so many people. They are ambivalent toward God. This means they are irresolute, indecisive, weak-willed and wishy-washy. If pressed they would say they believe in God and deny being an atheist. Many have some religious affiliation or attend church, but God is really not a living reality in their lives. In fact I feel this is a more accurate description of lifeís outlook for many people rather than the more common term "agnostic".
This coming Passion Week we will especially focus on the cross. The deadly virus continues to overshadow our days but the living Christ who overcame death prevails through sunshine or clouded days, and that will be our focus in the coming week. As Oswald Chambers observed, "All heaven is interested in the cross of Christ, all hell terribly afraid of it, while men are the only beings who more or less ignore its meaning".
On this first day of April, putting foolish things aside, let us declare as people of godly wisdom that there is a God and I am created bring Him glory. Through His Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my lifeís goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, if it takes a fool to say there is no God, then I want to be numbered among the wise who early on believed this statement from You, "I am God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other." This is a declaration of my faith thatís been thoroughly tested throughout the centuries. During this universally hard time I confidently pledge my allegiance to You, an invisible God, but a visible power in my life, in the lives of others, and in the world. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"We Believe" Video Newsboys Likely not everyone's musical style (what is?) but a great declaration of belief!
"In Christ Alone" Video Taryn Harbridge violin instrumental (suggested by Marsha Neizmik, a long time friend from northern PA who points out this musician is from that area and presumably the background scenes are as well)
"Stand" Video Booth Brothers This song really ministered to me this morning and strengthened my resolve!
Today's Focus on the Family program features Doctors David Hager and Bill Lile provide a pro-life perspective on the growing national controversy about whether abortion should be considered essential healthcare during the coronavirus crisis. Outstanding perspective regarding unborn life! Listen to audio
By the way, who is the shortest man in the Bible? The shortest man in the Bible is Bildad the Shuhite (Shoeheight)
Our local Costco, like many stores, is out of toilet paper. However a local farmer has generously donated a truckload of corn cobs which Costco is providing at no charge in several large bins in the aisle where the toilet paper is normally sold. (That's my attempt at an April Fool's joke!)
But here's a true story heart-warmer: Ohio man uses his company's bucket truck to visit mom quarantined on 3rd floor of nursing home
We are pleased to see Ester continuing to develop her photography skills with creative composition and appropriate use of Scripture. This is a close-up of an LED light on our deck.
Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne
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 want to thank all who financially support our ministry. 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.
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".
Permissions: Please feel free to pass on, reproduce and distribute any material on Daily Encouragement Net, in part or in whole, in any format, provided that you do not alter the wording in any way or charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. It is our desire to spread this material, not protect or restrict it. We do request that you keep the contact, copyright and subscription information intact.
Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLEģ, 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."
© Copyright 2020 Stephen C. & Brooksyne Weber - All Rights Reserved
Daily Encouragement Net - 495 Kraybill Church Road - Mount Joy, PA 17552 USA
"Living securely today anchored in God's solid foundation"