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Monday, June 1, 2020

Safe Harbor trestle, Lancaster County, PA
The Manor Township section of the Enola Low Grade rail trail ends at the non-passable Safe Harbor Trestle spanning the Conestoga River where it empties into the Susquehanna River. The rail tracks below are still active Norfolk Southern lines. Plans call for eventually restoring the trestle for rail trail use connecting two trails. See below for a photo of the trestle from below.
Click to enlarge

"This Corrupt Generation"

Message summary: We still live in a "corrupt generation".

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, 'Save yourselves from this corrupt generation'" (Acts 2:40).

Yesterday was Pentecost Sunday when Christians recall the birth of the Church on the Day of Pentecost and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It's a reminder of the source of the power the early church had and still is available for today.

How ironic that this day would fall at a time with so much distress in our land, essentially highlighting the need of the final appeal in Peter's sermon, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation". So many voices and opinions abound on this matter but we concur with a former football player who laments the loss of the fear of God. The lack of fear of God is evident from the merciless killing last week that sparked the outrage to the scores of rioters and looters over the last few days taking selfies as they proudly displayed their stash of stolen goods or posed in front of established businesses they helped demolish.

Peter's sermon on the day of Pentecost surely set the standard for apostolic preaching. His Spirit empowered message focused on Jesus Christ. He warned and pleaded with His listeners, and the results brought about a remarkable surge of growth in the new church and set the early pattern for life as a community of believers (2:41-47).

"With many other words". Peter's entire message contained more than the selections recorded in Acts 2. This summary of the sermon by Luke (who wrote the Book of Acts) takes less than 5 minutes to read, but this description suggests a much longer message!

"He warned them; and he pleaded with them." Peter's appeal ended with warning and pleading which is much less visible in today's preaching. So tempting to the preacher, particularly here in America, is to lovingly explain how Jesus can make your life better. But we all need hard preaching calling us to repentance inviting the Holy Spirit to deal with the hearts of mankind.

The final phrase contains Peter's challenge (if you will the very first altar call), "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation". These words sound harsh and unloving today.

The word used for "corrupt" is skolios in the Greek (from which we get the English scoliosis, abnormal curvature of spine). It is also translated perverse, wicked, unjust.

Peter, of course, is using skolios figuratively to refer to conduct or lifestyle which deviates from God's standard, which is turned away from the truth. Skolios refers to those things that are morally or spiritually corrupt. We speak of someone's behavior as "crooked" or dishonest. Here Peter is exhorting them to be rescued from outward perverted conduct which characterizes every unregenerate person (and in this case a generation), all of whom are crooked in mind, heart, and action, bent ethically in every depraved way imaginable! (Precept Online Commentary)

Indeed we still live in a "corrupt generation". This sermon would preach in any generation but it sure seems that, with the intensity of the corruption escalating year by year, it's especially fitting today.

Today let me, using the very same words of the apostle Peter, warn and plead with you, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation". We do so by repenting of our sins and placing our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter said many years later, "not living the rest of our earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God" (1 Peter 4:2).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Father, we're so thankful that You did not leave us without a Comforter after Christ's ascension to heaven, but You sent the Holy Spirit to give power to believers on the day of Pentecost and for all who surrender their lives to Christ until His return. In response to Peter's sermon regarding a corrupt generation such as ours where confusion abounds, where postmodernism is embraced and proven historic truth is rejected, where people seek to please themselves rather than You I choose to guard the basic spiritual principles presented in Scripture and exhorted by teachers of the Word. I choose to be faithful in my calling to live for You today and for all of eternity. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Heal Our Land"  Video   Michael Card   Pray with us: In light of our very troubled nation where lawlessness, criminal behavior, and racial strife exists especially in our major cities, join us in praying that Jesus would bind our wounds, heal our hearts, and thereby heal our land.

Safe Harbor trestle, Lancaster County, PA 6/1/18 (Click to enlarge)
Here's a view of the Safe Harbor trestle from below. It is located here (google map)

Rock climbing along the Enola Low Grade rail trail, Lancaster County, PA
Rock climbing along the Enola Low Grade rail trail. It's a dangerous sport, as anyone can see, but surely those participating would wear proper attire. As Brooksyne was riding by on her bike she was shocked to see the man preparing to climb the rocks was wearing flip flops. We used to call them thongs but they're more commonly called "flip-flops" these days because of how they're made, the rubber soles slap against the bottom of your feet as you walk, making a flip-flop, flip-flop sound. Good for walking around the house or yard, not so good for needed traction climbing up a large rock.

Funks greenhouse, Lancaster County, PA
Saturday morning following a bike ride on the Enola Low Grade rail trail we stopped by Funk's Riverview Greenhouse right along the Susquehanna River. The place was packed maybe because they offer free ice cream cones in May which made an unplanned sweet breakfast for us!
Click to enlarge

Funks greenhouse planter, Lancaster County, PA
Any idea what this planter originally was?

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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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