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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Yet Not I

"To This I Hold"

Message summary: To this I hold, my hope is only Jesus!

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses" (1 Timothy 6:11,12).

To this I holdWe've been enjoying a song by a ministry from Australia called CityAlight, titled "Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me" for several months and sang it for the first time in our church this last Sunday. (A link is provided below to hear the song). In the chorus it has a recurring line that especially blesses me and needs to be a constant focus in my life, "To this I hold".

To this I hold, my hope is only Jesus
For my life is wholly bound to His
Oh, how strange and divine, I can sing: All is mine!
Yet not I, but through Christ in me

Today's text is a charge from Paul to Timothy and as part of the Holy Scriptures to all of us. When I read it I accept it as a charge directly from Paul to me and it's every bit as relevant for our generation as when Paul first wrote it. In the context "flee from all this" refers to false teachers and the love of money, both applicable to all ages. However, it seems to me, that in our age the means by which false teachers can spread their destructive teachings has greatly increased as has materialism. After all there's so much more to be materialistic about!

We are all to "pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness and fight the good fight of the faith".

To this I holdBut today let us especially consider the last sentence. "Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses".

"Take hold of." Various versions render this sense as "Lay hold of." "Keep your grip on." "Get a good grip on." "Grabbing hold of the life that continues forever." (NCV). "Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you." (NLT) "Hold tightly to the eternal life that God has given you." (TLB). "Secure that life eternal to which you were called." (Moffatt) "Keep your grip on that life eternal to which you have been called." (Phillips) "Take possession of the eternal life into a participation of which you were called." (Wuest)

"The eternal life to which you were called."
We have been called not only to an abundant life (John 10:10) in the here and now but to eternal life that begins now but extends to the then and there.

"When you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses" is likely referring to Timothy's confession of faith when he was baptized. Many of us were baptized in a public setting in the presence of others and made a confession of our faith.

As we see what surely seems to be an intensifying of the groanings of creation (Romans 8:22) it is imperative that we daily renew our resolve to make our faith statement, "to this I hold".

To this I hold, my hope is only Jesus
All the glory evermore to Him
When the race is complete, still my lips shall repeat:
Yet not I, but through Christ in me!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man
Daily prayer: Father, because I have been crucified with Christ I now live by faith in the Son of God. It is to this truth that I hold: my hope is found only in Jesus, all the glory evermore to Him I give. When my race is complete, still my lips will repeat: Not I, but through Christ in me, I gratefully receive a glorious inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. I am forever thankful for Your undeserved love, kindness and generosity to me. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me"  Video  CityAlight  We have enjoyed this song through the pandemic and were so pleased to see it introduced in our church service this last Sunday.

CityAlight has its roots centered around their church in Sydney, Australia. Fifteen parishioners and also songwriters, wrote fifty songs in 2014, all of which contained a focus on Scripturally sound lyrics with simple music as its backdrop. Only ten passed the rigorous test of pastors, musicians, and lyricists who reviewed their songs. See here.

"Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me"  Video  Selah

"Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me"  Video  East Valley Chorale (Virtual Choir), Chandler Arizona.  We miss seeing the real choirs but these virtual choirs are amazing! What's more I see a singer that looks like my Aunt Mary with a huge smile!

"Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me"  Video  From the Calvary Church service this last Sunday.

Prayer MarchComing up this Saturday: We are joining a group from our area going down to Washington DC on Saturday, September 26 for a prayer march. See here for info. America is in deep trouble so letís call on Godís power and a movement of the Holy Spirit to bring Repentance and Revival to our land! You can do this wherever you live.

What Is the Washington Prayer March: The Washington Prayer March 2020 event is a dedicated prayer march that is focused solely on asking God to heal our land. It is not a protest or political event, and we are asking participants to not bring signs in support of any candidate or party.

What Will Happen: At each stop, we will pray silently using the focus and prompts for each location. There will be no microphones or audio amplification for the march. After a set period of time, we will move on to the next stop. Map with prayer focus

When: Saturday, September 26

Where: Along the National Mall, starting at the Lincoln Memorial and ending at the U.S. Capitol. Approximately 1.8 miles. See route map.

Start time: Noon. Gather at the Lincoln Memorial Plaza at 11:30 a.m. This site has access to bus drop-off from the south and access to the Metro (subway) from the north.

Duration: Approximately 2 hours

If you are unable to join the event live there are many simulcasting locations or watch the event on livestream here

Yesterday a reader wrote and expressed concern for us in light of the turmoil and violence in our cities. The organizers are aware of this. Please pray for all of us involved that our stand and our prayers will be a good witness for our Lord.

Exploding water heater
Why we need a TPR valve (follow-up to yesterday's message): Rick Masciantonio is a friend from our church in New England who is a plumber (and also a pastor!) He sent this video which rather dramatically demonstrates why you need a TPR valve on your water heater!

Tuesday afternoon following our morning chaplaincy visits we visited the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum in Hershey PA. It's an outstanding museum with many interesting cars. We shared several photos yesterday and we will share several more today.

AACA museum, Hershey, PA
1955 Flajole "Custom" Coupe, a forerunner design of the future corvette

AACA museum, Hershey, PA
What a color scheme!

AACA museum, Hershey, PA
The museum had a large collection of older buses on the lower level. Some may recognize this one since it was used in a very popular movie.

AACA museum, Hershey, PA
The model train layout was outstanding. See our video

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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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