A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Thursday, May 7, 2020
A spectacular view of God's creation taken from a cottage on the west shore of Cayuga Lake, one of the Finger Lakes, in New York State. Tom, a longtime reader from that area, took the photo and shared, "We had a lot of rain the previous day and night. When we got up in the morning the lake was covered in fog and when the picture was taken the fog had just lifted but you can see it still obscures the distant shore. The lake is rarely dead still along with the right conditions to produce a photo such as this.
Click to enlarge along with Scripture
"The Haven Of Grace"
Message summary: Our past is forgiven, our present is abundant life in Christ, and our future is heaven, forever with Him. What could be greater than those blessings. And grace upon grace is the fact that it’s available to everyone including those whose lives are wrecked!
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and He brought them to their desired haven" (Psalm 107:30). “Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:12,13).
Last Friday we shared a photo of a "Beetle graveyard" in Utah taken by our friend Howard Blichfeldt. One response was from David, a reader who lives in Havre de Grace, Maryland, a town about 55 miles south of us. It's situated at the mouth of the Susquehanna River and the head of Chesapeake Bay. It is named after the port city of Le Havre, France, which in full was once Le Havre de Grâce. This is French for “Haven of Grace”.
Our first verse describes the blessings of a maritime harbor; quiet waters and desired haven. Spiritually, how we long for that haven of rest and peace which is surely an aspect of the gift of grace. In times like this it is an especially treasured gift.
In our second daily Scripture text the Apostle Paul is reminding the Ephesian believers where they came from before they entered their spiritual haven of grace. “Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.”
One commentator makes this observation based on the text: The Gentiles are characterized spiritually by five “less” attributes:
* Hope-less and
Due to our fallen human nature that’s a condition we all have by nature. Interestingly the phrase “without God” translates the Greek word “atheo” which is the foundation for the English words “atheist” or “atheism” and this is the only occurrence of the word in the New Testament.
A major theme in Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians is grace. A helpful acrostic explaining grace many of us have heard, memorized and repeated to others are these words: “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense”. Thank God that we can point people without hope in the direction of a haven of grace! “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.”
Consider our inheritance as a believer in Christ in the spiritual realm which is a result of God’s grace. Our past is forgiven, our present is abundant life in Christ, and our future is heaven, forever with Him. What could be greater than those blessings. And grace upon grace is the fact that it’s available to everyone including those whose lives are wrecked!
Now let’s all spread the good news of our caring, loving God to a broken, hurting world and tell them of this haven of grace! There is no vessel too broken that God’s healing touch can’t restore. That which is impossible with man is possible with God!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we limit our faith when we pray and then expect You to provide for our needs in the natural human way. But when we read the Scriptures we’re reminded that You are Omnipotent and You work in supernatural ways to restore broken lives and mend broken hearts. You do extraordinary things in ordinary lives who’ve plunged into desperate messes of their own making. We place our loved ones in Your hands and ask You to reveal Your immeasurable, not for sale grace to their lives, even as You have shown to us. Thank You for Your overflowing grace, God’s riches at Christ’s expense. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"He Stilled the Storm (Psalms 107:29-32 - NIV)" Video Integrity Music's Scripture Memory Songs We sure enjoyed this series in the early nineties when a variety of themed CD's came out with Scriptures set to music. We learned many verses this way and to this day one of the songs will come to mind if we consider a verse such as Psalm 107:30, today's first text.
"A Place Called Grace" Video Canton Junction
"Grace Upon Grace" Video Matthew West Just published!
"There is Nothing Greater Than the Grace of Jesus" Video Marshall Hall
Two weeks ago we were across the meadow at a distance when we saw a goat ringing the Old Windmill Farm bell (photo). Last week we saw him in action up close. I guess they get a kick out of the ringing sound!
The twin goats are growing and I got to hold them both! Brooksyne was not with me so I snatched them and didn't have to share them with her (she gets a little possessive with cute little goats).
I visited a factory this week and saw Janet, a hard worker and faithful employee, walking around with this cushioned stick. I teased her that she must use it to keep 6 feet separation! (Actually she was dusting off overhead lights.)
Monday we shared about our attendance on Sunday at a drive-in service here in Lancaster County. John Keefer, a pastor friend, shared about a church in rural Beavertown, PA that has been having these services all along and has built the stage with a plastic clear roof. They are having very good attendance as well.
Biking along our familiar path on Donegal Creek when it was a bright and sunny afternoon.
Wonder who the skinny guy is who took the photo?
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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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