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The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Friday, September 4, 2020

Mules cooling by fans in Lancaster County
Yesterday afternoon was very hot and passing a farm we observed four horses backed up to two barn-sized fans cooling themselves with their manes blowing wildly. Only a few seconds later a fifth horse joined them as seen in this photo though they're so closely squeezed together you can hardly make out twenty hooves if trying to count the five horses.
Click on photo to enlarge

"A Call To Responsible Living"

Message summary:  Today as you work remember the words of Scripture and see your labor as an act of faith, obedience, and personal responsibility.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘If a man will not work, he shall not eat’. We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12).

There’s a call going out, across the land in every nation,
A call to all who swear allegiance, to the cross of Christ,
A call to true humility, to live our lives responsibly,
To deepen our devotion, to the cross at any price.

Yesterday I spoke to a young engineer in his late twenties. His second daughter was born only a week ago and he is presently working on a major improvement to a chicken feeding system that will go into production soon. He is on a course of personal responsibility which is a way we glorify God.

When I was a teenager I worked one summer with my dad who, at that time, was employed by a company that installed and serviced air conditioning throughout the Kansas City area. There were hot summer days that exceeded 100 degrees with A/C units located on the roofs. That was brutal!

My dad was a big man in his mid-fifties at the time. As I have reached and now passed that age I now personally realize how grueling the work was for him but he had the classic work ethic his generation is well known for with a strong sense of duty in providing for his family. He lived his life responsibly and that’s a great heritage for a father to leave his children. Thank God there are still faithful fathers doing this.

Let’s consider how we can live our lives responsibly today in light of Scripture:

1) There are those who aspire to self-sufficient independence. A major goal of many in my generation (known as baby boomers) is "financial independence". This means working hard and planning ahead so that one is "set for life". Now there are commendable features to this outlook but this was the major goal of a man whom God called a fool in (Luke 12:16-21). Jesus teaches us to live one day at a time and, although hard work and planning is prudent, (consider the ant) we must be certain that our reliance is not on our own hard work, achievements or planning, but rather on God.

2) There are those who live irresponsibly in unhealthy and unbiblical dependence on others. Paul’s statements are needed today with so many having the entitlement attitude: "the world owes me a living". This is a dominant and growing sin of our time and leads to many other sins as well. Paul’s simple, straightforward rule to the Thessalonians, "If a man will not work, he shall not eat", flies right in the face of the current welfare state mentality. Perhaps even more blunt is his statement, "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever" (1 Timothy 5:8). Faithful preachers need to preach on these passages!

Such statements sound unkind and unsympathetic to many in a generation bred under the prevalent philosophical view of “cradle to grave dependency”. (Note however, that in other passages such as 1 Timothy 5:3, Paul advocates care for the genuinely needy).

3) The biblical teaching on this matter is the call to personal responsibility. Paul commanded and urged the Thessalonians to "settle down and earn the bread they eat". In other words God has ordained that we labor. We must be cautious about both an unhealthy attitude of independence that leads us to trust in ourselves rather than God, and that of dependence on others developing an attitude of laziness or personal irresponsibility.

Today as you work remember the words of Scripture and see your labor as an act of faith, obedience, and personal responsibility.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, all that we have is a gift from You, including that which comes to us through the work of our hands. You provide for us as you see beforehand all that we have need of. We’re confident that You bless people who work by the sweat of their brow, responsibly caring for those in their charge. For some who have lost their jobs and fear that their home or life savings is in jeopardy we pray that You would open a door of gainful employment. Until then it is reassuring to know that Your daily provisions come in the most unexpected ways when it is not within our own ability to earn an income. Help us to remember that no matter what our circumstance we are entirely reliant on Your benevolent kindness to us. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"The Mission"  Video  Steve Green (This is the song quoted in today's message)

As often seen we enjoy sharing photos of our very interesting area here in Lancaster County and were pleased to see this travel video just posted to Expedia: "Lancaster County Vacation Travel Guide"

Pear harvest in Lancaster County
Yesterday afternoon we stopped at a farm east of Ephrata hoping for peaches, but the spring frost eliminated this family's crop of peaches but they were overflowing with pears of all kinds!

Tractor and wagon in Lancaster County
After our chaplain visit we noticed lots of old-order Mennonite traffic coming from east to west, on tractors, trailers and mostly bikes which is their daily mode of transportation. We saw this family pull in with the father driving the tractor and mom and the kids all in the red box on the wagon!

Bike in Lancaster County
It didn't take us long to realize there was a big garage sale next door and the shoppers arrived with boxes on the back of their bikes or hitched wagons expecting to find some great bargains. A Mom drove on this bike with two little boys riding in the trailer.

Clothesline in Lancaster County
At the farm where we saw all the pears the long clothesline was for a large family, the large garden alongside their full size greenhouse (not seen in photo) and swings for the children. What a lovely, serene setting representative of family life and hard work.
Click on photo to enlarge

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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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