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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Pinnacle Overlook, Lancaster County, PA
Pinnacle Overlook, Susquehanna River, Lancaster County, PA
Click to enlarge

"A Blessed Cancellation"

Message summary: What a blessed truth that our certificate of debt has been canceled out. The cancellation stamp on the certificate of debt of the redeemed reads, "Paid In Full".

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in Him" (Colossians 2:13-15).

Keeping up with all the utter craziness going on in our nation and world can be a daunting task, especially as you get older. It's frankly just too nonsensical for me to even fathom. For most of my life the word  "cancel" was simple to comprehend, a word used primarily when an event was canceled such as a church service or school being canceled due to a winter storm.

But t
he last several years we have been hearing a lot about a new concept of "being canceled" which has a meaning "to dismiss something or somebody; to reject an individual or an idea". Essentially, this practice encourages others to shame, blackball, isolate and shun an individual from society. It is primarily an online phenomenon and can even extend to being canceled if you "like" something others may find offensive.

Wikipedia describes it this way: "The act of canceling, also referred to as cancel culture, describes a form of boycott in which an individual (usually a celebrity) who has shared a questionable or controversial opinion, or has had behavior in their past that is perceived to be offensive recorded on social media, is 'canceled'; they are ostracized and shunned by former friends, followers and supporters alike, leading to declines in any careers and fanbase the individual may have at any given time."

Now, it seems the "cancel" concept has been expanded to remove and even destroy any symbol of history that may be offensive to the self-proclaimed arbiters of political correctness! And it seems like there is no end in sight to this nonsense.

But today let us consider a very blessed form of cancellation as described in our daily text with these words, "canceling the record of debt".

Financial debt is a huge problem in America and in many other countries. A major source of many marriage problems often concerns finances and debt. But even those who have managed their own finances carefully are caught up in a debt mess since our various governments are also in debt and that means us!

However we all have a far greater debt problem regardless of where we live. Ellis Crum penned the lyrics of a song that describes the debt dilemma that each person born into this world deals with:  "I owed a debt I could not pay".  This is an overwhelming debt that leads to a hopeless situation.

We are of course speaking of sin's debt. So many live in ignorance and denial of this debt but it is a debt that every single human must deal with now or deal with later. In fact it is a far more serious situation than the national debt of any country or the personal financial debt of any individual. How we deal with this debt has eternal consequences.

But we are pleased to share today that the Holy Scriptures reveal a full payment and cancellation has been made for this debt! It is in fact the very heart of the gospel (Good News).

Colossians 2:13-15

The record of debt has been canceled out. The stamp on the record of debt of the redeemed reads, "Paid In Full".

So how do we respond? By placing our faith in Christ and receiving His free gift of forgiveness. Then we declare verbally and through our life, "Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe!" "In view of God’s mercy, we offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to Him, which is our spiritual act of worship" (see Romans 12:1).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Jesus, thank You for solving my debt problem by dying on the cross for me. I owed a debt I couldn't pay but, because of Your great love for me, You paid in full the debt of my sins. You made me alive together with You, having forgiven me all my transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against me. Your love is so amazing and so divine that it demands my soul, my life, my all. In view of Your mercy, I offer my body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to You, which is my spiritual act of worship. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Jesus Paid It All"  Video  Sovereign Grace

"O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing"  Video  Maranatha! Promise Band  "He breaks the power of cancelled sin!

"Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery"  Video  Matt Boswell and Boyce College Choir

"Awake My Soul (A Thousand Tongues)"  Video  Matt Maher

Our chaplaincy travels take us to different locations within Lancaster, Lebanon and neighboring counties here in Pennsylvania and even northern Maryland. Since our schedule has flexibility we often enjoy exploring while we are out and last Friday, following an early morning visit to JK Mechanical, we headed over to a more remote part of Lancaster County near the Susquehanna River where wildlife is especially visible. We had wanted to take a hike in the Tucquan Glen Nature Preserve but it was closed. So we went out to the Pinnacle Overlook.

Pinnacle Overlook selfie
Pinnacle Overlook offers an outstanding view of the Susquehanna River.
Here's our rather clumsy attempt at a selfie since we had no one around take our photo.

Martic Township farm
A spacious farm in Martic Township, Lancaster County, PA
Click to enlarge

Martic Township rolling farmland
Rolling hill farmland in Martic Township in southern Lancaster County
Click to enlarge

Martic Township Amish schoolhouse
This Amish schoolhouse has a nearby scenic view.
Click to enlarge

Martic Forge trestle
The Martic Forge Trestle carried a railroad line high over Pequea Creek and is now a rail trail. Here's a view from the top on a bike ride several years ago. (Photo)

This fawn just seemed frozen watching us until a car came from the other direction.

Finally today:

This is our fourth attempt to keep birds from building their nest on the framework of our gazebo where we enjoy eating throughout the summer. For some reason they're drawn to the peak where they like to construct their nests. Well, as you can imagine, their droppings on our table is not conducive to an appetizing meal. So the battle continues for who was here first!

Dodge tombstone
Brooksyne's Note:  As a follow up on yesterday's message dealing with Faithful, I was moved by a tombstone I saw during my morning walk yesterday at Donegal Presbyterian Cemetery just over a mile from our house. There are many Revolutionary and Civil War soldiers buried here along with pastors and lay persons over the years. Some of the inscriptions on these old tombstones date back as early as 1732, but the one that stood out today was that of REV. NEHEMIAH DODGE who was founder and principal of a female seminary. Born in 1794, he died in 1876 at 81 years of age. His epitaph especially caught my attention:

"He opened his mouth with wisdom and on his tongue was the law of Kindness." Erected to his memory by grateful pupils as an expression of their appreciation of his noble life work, Faithful.

Certainly, there's no one living nearly 150 years later that can recall this man personally, but to read about his life 144 years after his death and see that he was respected, kind, and known to be a faithful man speaks volumes generations after his body was laid to rest. His person may be forgotten, but his works still speak today of his godly character.

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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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