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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Roadside stand, Lebanon County, PA
Fall is even more visible with many pumpkin and gourd displays all over Lebanon County yesterday.

"The Boasting That Is Acceptable"

Message summary: Today, may God give us a growing understanding of His will so that we graciously make His will our own.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"This is what the LORD says: 'Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,' declares the LORD" (Jeremiah 9:23-24). "Therefore, as it is written: 'Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord'" (1 Corinthians 1:31). "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Galatians 6:14).

All I once held dear, built my life upon,
All this world reveres, and wars to own,
All I once thought gain I have counted loss;
Spent and worthless now, compared to this.

We live in a world where boasting is predominant. Entertainers boast. Athletes boast. Politicians boast. There's boasting in the business world and indeed even in the church and among ministers there's plenty of boasting. Today let us consider this phrase from our first daily text, "but let him who boasts boast about this".

In life we need to give our attention to that which matters most and, admittedly, it's a continual struggle. Above all, we should live characterized as one who "understands and knows" God. There's so much to know, and as Scripture declares, "knowledge will increase" (Daniel 12:4). In our day we have an explosion of knowledge with no end in sight. We expect this, particularly in regard to technology. But the main thing remains the main thing and is so powerfully expressed in our ancient daily Scripture text.

Jeremiah received the message in our first daily text from the Lord some 2,600 years ago, yet surely we can see how timely it is for each and every age, including our own generation! The three sources for boasting, so sought after by people of all generations, are mentioned here: wisdom, strength and riches. These are three perennial sources of human pride which leads to boasting, whether inward or visible to all. But God reminds us of that which matters the most; that we understand and know Him. May we be mindful of this today and order our lives in accordance to this foundational truth.

As those who love God, may we have a growing knowledge of Him as we seek to know His will for our lives through prayer and Scripture. Knowing God's will and understanding His plan may not come together on the same day. It's often in hindsight that we better understand how or why God has brought about circumstances and events in our lives.  At the time our insight is clouded in mystery but over time (sometimes years, though in some instances not even on this side of heaven) we more clearly understand and grow in our wisdom of God's ways when He is working His will in our life.

Today let's especially examine the phrase "but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me", and particularly the word "understand". The Hebrew word is "sakal". It suggests the process of reasoning through complex situations to a practical conclusion. This word is used in Psalm 14:2 where we read that "The LORD looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God". God is searching for those who take the data He has revealed in this material universe, who look beyond material reality to the supernatural realm. But the fact is, most have no understanding in this way. They see only the material. Very few "seek" Him but the truly wise still do.

Knowledge increasesIt is true that knowledge continues to increase and be more readily available with every passing day. There are also many modifications and debunking of information we once thought to be true but has been proven false in the light of further exploration and technological research. And that will continue to be true. But the ancient Scripture does not need modification and its message is ALWAYS relevant for every believer in every corner of the world in every age. Technology does not know the spiritual heart of man, but the Creator certainly does! We gratefully receive the blessings that come when we heed His warnings.

This understanding also has a moral aspect. It is a component of character and not merely intelligence. We all know people who are highly intelligent or educated but lack moral sense, which is reflected in their character and behavior. The ever growing understanding that God wants revealed to us will be reflected in our character. Those that understand God desire to do His will. Paul wrote to the Ephesians; "Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is" (5:17). Today, may God give us a growing understanding of His will so that we graciously make His will our own.

Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You,
there is no greater thing.
You're my all, You're the best,
You're my joy, my righteousness,
and I love you, Lord.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man
Daily prayer: Father help us to remember the only boasting that really matters is that we boast in this alone: that we truly know You and understand that You are the Lord who is just and righteous!  Our own pride and forgetfulness of Your wondrous works and miraculous provisions will eventually lead to defeat. Our self-confidence, based solely upon our own abilities or wisdom, leads to misplaced trust and compromise in our spiritual lives. We consider the Bible heroes and fallen Christians throughout history and in our present day who have allowed pride to master their thoughts and actions. The enemy they faced was not on the battlefield, but a stronghold within the confines of their own hearts. Wisdom, strength, and riches are providential blessings that we do not deserve, but gifts that You distribute with delight. May we always heed the warning from I Corinthians 10:12, "If you think you are standing strong, be careful, for you, too, may fall into the same sin." In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"All I Once Held Dear"   Video  Joe Garlington

"Except in the Cross Video  Haven  Brooksyne's thoughts about this song: If you  listen to this worshipful song by Haven two times through you will easily memorize Galatians 6:14 that is sung in the chorus: "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." Reciting a verse can become a chore, but when you can sing a Scripture it puts melody in your heart and becomes a meditation for your soul.

"I Will Boast"  Video  Paul Baloche

"I Will Boast In Christ Alone"  Video  New Song Cafe

"I Will Boast Only In The Cross"  Video  recording from a local church

A humorous response to yesterday's message about modern art: "Nothing new with art my friend. When I went to Moravian College in 1963 there was a modern art display and contest for people to see who may win a prize. A friend in the dorm bent a hanger and added it to the display and was amazed to receive 3rd place. It was already foolishness back then. Junk and not art. Of course now you can have someone throw a few cans of paint onto a canvas and then sell it for $50,000. "Imaginative and brilliant" an art critic would say. God Bless. Barry"

Amish family pulling garden cart
We never weary of seeing our Amish neighbors and their various means of conveyance and resourcefulness. This family has rigged their Vermont Garden Cart to use as a trailer to haul neck pumpkins behind their spring wagon. I came across this interesting article with photos explaining the different types of Amish Buggies in Lancaster County, PA

Turkey Hill cow
Turkey Hill Dairy cow in "Turkey Hill Experience" museum in Columbia PA where Ester and I
(Brooksyne) toured last week.

Turkey Hill cow with mask
The giant Turkey Hill cow practicing covid safety protocol at Turkey Hill Experience! We had the pleasure of being chaplains at Turkey Hill Dairy for several years and thoroughly enjoyed our unlimited access to their delicious ice cream and beverages in the plant break rooms.
Turkey Hill has three cows that travel thousands of miles to special events like state fairs and store openings. Each one travels on a trailer pulled by a truck. Read about how the cow's misadventure brought about a blessing to the Columbus, Ohio police department here.

Mount Joy autumn decorations
We saw this unusual decoration on the exterior wall of a Mount Joy business.

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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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