A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Lebanon County farm in morning fog.
"A Consideration Of Spiritual Veterans"
Message summary: Let us remember our leaders, the spiritual veterans of faith, who spoke the Word of God to us. Let us consider the outcome of their way of life and let us imitate their faith.
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"Remember your leaders, who spoke the Word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith" (Hebrews 13:7).
Today we commemorate Veteran's Day here in the United States, a day in which we properly remember military veterans and honor their service for our temporal freedoms. Many veterans read these messages, including several we know personally, and we have other readers who are in active service. We thank you for your sacrificial service. My dad, Eugene C. Weber, was a World War 2 veteran and trained as a pilot. Brooksyne’s father, Brooklyn Sherrell, served in the Army during the Korean War.
Veterans have been around as long as wars have been fought going back to the very first recorded war in the Bible in Genesis 14.
But today we focus this encouragement message on spiritual veterans, those who enlisted in service for the Lord on their day of salvation who have been in the good fight of faith for many years. Yesterday I spoke to Jim Smith, who I met about 15 years ago at a Roxbury campmeeting. He began his faith journey with the Lord in his mid-thirties after being an educated agnostic. He's in his eighties but still seeking to exert his influence on any who will listen. "To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The word of the LORD is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it" (Ezekiel 6:10).
Many spiritual veterans have fought the enemy valiantly who have received their eternal reward and joined with others in the great cloud of witnesses. And yet there are those who remain on this side in their senior years of life. They have faithfully served God in their generation and, even as they endure the pain and complications of aging, they faithfully await the Master's call home and continue to serve Him, offering their life's example, wisdom and prayers to succeeding generations (see Job 12:12), including those who are increasingly uninterested.
Today's message is based on a passage in Hebrews 13. It does not specifically address veterans as we use the term today but has a very needed lesson. Let me try to squeeze some juice out of our daily verse and outline it in three parts:
1) "Remember your leaders, who spoke the Word of God to you." Without a doubt the Apostle is referring to spiritual leaders. Certainly not political leaders! He's writing of those "who spoke the Word of God to you". Among all the qualities we may value in our spiritual leaders: administrative skills, compassionate care, vision casting and so forth, the writer of Hebrews singularly highlights the spiritual leader’s major duty as one, "who spoke the Word of God to you". This is consistent with Paul's challenge to Timothy, "Preach the Word" (2 Timothy 4:2).
What a blessing to honor those who have been faithful in preaching the Word of God which enables us to understand and assimilate Scriptural teaching into our lives. Each day we receive a brief spiritual challenge from Richard Dresselhaus who in his eighties and long "retired" continues to speak the Word of God through his blog, "One For The Road".
Hopefully, for most the face and name of a pastor(s) comes readily to mind when you recall a spiritual leader who spoke the Word of God to you. We consider our now retired former Pastor John Keefer, our present Pastor Beau Eckert and many others. But the application surely also applies to a godly parent or another close relative, a Sunday School teacher or other church leader. For some it will be a camp counselor, a youth leader or another individual along life's journey who has impacted your life for Christ.
2) "Consider the outcome of their way of life." The Amplified Bible elaborates here that we are to, "Observe attentively and consider their manner of living". I am so thankful for those whose lives I have personally observed as I witnessed the transforming change Christ makes over the course of one's life. In some cases we observe the outcome in the sense of those who now reside in heaven after a life of faithful service to the Lord. In other cases they are still living on this side and we can consider the present outcome of their way of life as they demonstrate a steady, mature and disciplined life. The leaders whom our text refers to were real people who were known personally by those whom they served. Now especially we are hearing about the "virtual church" but we must always seek to be a part of the real local church.
3) Finally we are called to "imitate their faith." The word for "imitate" is a Greek word from which we get "mimic". For those of us in spiritual leadership this is an awesome call and ongoing responsibility. In his pastoral epistles Paul addressed this. To Timothy: "Set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity" (1 Timothy 4:12). To Titus: "In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us" (Titus 2:7,8).
Today, let us indeed remember our leaders, the spiritual veterans of faith, who spoke the Word of God to us. Let us consider the outcome of their way of life and let us imitate their faith.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we are grateful for the men and women who are willing to lay down their lives to protect our freedoms here in the United States. We are indebted to them for their daily sacrifice and we pray for their safekeeping, including godly chaplains who serve as spiritual leaders among them. We also consider our many spiritual warriors who have taken on added responsibility and assumed difficult duties leading us, as believers, to victory in this war against sin and strife, as we steadily march in the army of the Lord. Bless these who have poured themselves into our lives and set for us an example to follow; in their conversation, their lifestyle, their faith, their doctrine and in their purity. We honor and bless the previous generations who passed onto us the Living Water and Bread of Life. We now extend the same message to our present generation, for with our mouths we make known Your faithfulness to all generations. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Soldier Fighting to Go Home" Video Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
"There is A King" Video Church of the Highlands We first heard this song last Sunday and continue to be blessed by the powerful lyrics.
It won't be long, we will behold him
And every tear He'll wipe away
We'll be at home, the war will be over
Soon we will meet our Savior face to face
And every burden will be lifted in His presence
Every trophy will be laid down at His feet
There is a name that reigns above all others
Jesus Christ, the king above all kings
The beautiful weather in our area continues with some nice foliage in Lebanon County early yesterday morning as we headed to our first chaplain visit.
Lebanon County farm pond
Tulpehocken Manor Plantation is an historic property near Myerstown, PA.
The horses are made of concrete!
Lebanon Balogna - We were in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country and ate breakfast at the Dutchway Farm Market in Myerstown. This matronly Dutch woman is slicing up Lebanon Bologna which was developed by the Pennsylvania Dutch of Lebanon County prior to the 1780s and was a common item by the early 1800s, reflecting the slow-cured and smoked sausage traditions of Western Europe. Still produced primarily in Lebanon, it is found in markets throughout the United States and typically served as a cold cut or appetizer. In addition to the original recipe, a sweet version is made, which is our family's preference.
Last week we posted a photo of sheep our friend Phil Huber saw during his hunting trip in Colorado. Yesterday he shared this video of the sheep. This is one site you will never see in Pennsylvania!
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