Daily Encouragement Net
The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Star Barn at Christmas
The magnificent Star Barn in Elizabethtown, PA

"The God Of Peace"

Message summary: This Christmas season may the Prince of Peace fill your heart and your homes with His peace. "Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen."

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6). “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among people with whom He is pleased” (Luke 2:14). "Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen" (Romans 15:33).

We are expecting our first major winter storm today with projections of 12-18 inches of snow here in South-central PA. We will get out this morning for several chaplain visits and hope to be home before the storm begins. The report does not state whether it will be the gently falling, "quiet" snow or the kind that comes in with a howling fury.

Sometimes the trials of life come in gently and at other times come in like a howling storm. It's during these times when we really appreciate the peace of God!

Advent themesToday we will consider peace, the second of the four customary themes during the advent season along with hope (yesterday's message), joy, and love. On so many fronts our world needs peace, from the geo-political to civil strife within countries such as we are experiencing here in the US. It grieves our spirit to hear that some churches face increasing strife along with many family members and couples within their marriages. Not only do individuals lack peace within their own heart but they lack peace with God.

Prince of Peace"Prince of Peace" is among the titles that the Messiah was prophetically given in Isaiah 9. We don't believe we will have "peace in our time" on earth in the political sense, not until Christ returns. However as individual followers of Christ we can have "peace in our time".

The peace that Jesus brings has several dimensions that are so needed in our world today and are of inestimable worth. May we receive the angelic word spoken to the shepherds,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among people with whom He is pleased” (Luke 2:14).

1. Peace with God (reconciliation) "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). Bible commentator Harry Ironside summarizes this peace: "Peace, as used in Romans 5:1, is not a state of mind or heart. It is a prevailing condition between two who were once alienated. Sin had disturbed the perfect relations of Creator and creature. A breach occurred that man could not mend. But peace has been made by the blood of Christ's cross. There is no longer a barrier. Peace with God is now the abiding state into which every believer enters. The sin question is settled."

2. Peace with each other (relational) "Live in harmony with one another" "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone" (Romans 12:16a,18). We believe this speaks of the local sphere in our lives, relational peace within our family, friends and church.

3. Peace within (spiritual/emotional) "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7). Peace in this context is a state without anxiety and worry about how and when our needs will be supplied. This peace is the result of going to Him and confidently committing everything into His trustworthy hands.

Peace within the heart is available to all believers, however there is no promise that in this present age there will be world peace in the geopolitical sense. In fact Jesus forthrightly declared in Matthew 24 that there will be wars and rumors of wars; nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. He said, "Such things must happen." Such news may not be very encouraging if we focus exclusively on this world's kingdom, but the Bible does promise a future time of peace when the Lord returns!

In the meantime, as followers of Christ, we should seek to be "peacemakers" (Matthew 5:9). "As far as it depends on us we are to live at peace with all men" (Romans 12:18). But even as we live among these and future days of growing tribulation may our hearts be filled with peace, peace that comes not from our surroundings, but the peace that flows from within through the abiding presence of the Spirit of God. Jesus reassures us with these words, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid" (John 14:27).

This Christmas season may the Prince of Peace fill your heart and your homes with His peace. "Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen."

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, knowing that Jesus is the Prince of Peace I pray for His peace to fall upon many hearts in our land and world. We pray that they will turn to You today and accept the peaceful reconciliation You freely offer, for it is the first step to all other types of peace. We pray for relational peace among citizens within our own country, for other countries, families, and churches. We pray for inward peace that comes from confidence in Your eternal plan, especially for our brothers and sisters displaced and greatly impacted by the brutality in war torn countries. It's an overcoming type of peace that will steady us until we reach our eternal resting place. But until that hour we serve You faithfully as we seek to be peacemakers for our own spiritual well-being and for Your glorious kingdom. Amen.

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Special Year-end Financial Appeal

We want to thank all who have financially supported our ministry this past year (and some for many years!). We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. Like many ministries, we typically see a spike in giving at the end of the year for which we are most thankful.

Our ministry labor is comprised of approximately half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive compensation. Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each would provide half of our ministry expenses and income.

If you would consider making a donation to our ministry see here for more information.

To donate directly online click here. This will open to a page that designates the offering to: WEBER,STEPHEN CHAP, Specialized Chaplaincy Ministry ID: 700001-237376

Make A DonationPlease Note: We also provide this easy option due to the convenience, for international supporters, and for those who may not be concerned regarding receiving an official tax deductible receipt. Click here to send an offering using PayPal. This will open to a page that states "Brooksyne Weber"

Thank you,

Stephen & Brooksyne

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Peace Has Come"  Video  

"I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day"  Video  Casting Crowns

"Glory (Let There Be Peace)"  Video  Matt Maher

"Peace On Earth"  Video  Austin French

We took the lead photo of the Star Barn last year. It has become one of our area's premier venues and currently has a drive-through Christmas tour. Another Christmas only attraction we visited several years ago is KOZIAR’S CHRISTMAS VILLAGE north of Reading, PA.

Resources for Christmas Celebrations
(We will leave these resources posted below our daily messages through Christmas)

Each year we share several online resources that we have used over the years and that may be a blessing to you, your family or church during this Christmas season.

"In Remembrance of Me" pdf  This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. Brooksyne and I have used this reading with great receptivity during Christmas Eve services over the years.  We suggest, if possible, a musical background as the message is read. It is also a great lead-in to a Communion service. It should be thoroughly practiced and read with great feeling. Here's a great Communion Hymn for Christmas (Video)

"When Christ Was Born" pdf This is an adaptation to the tune of "How Great Thou Art". It's a great song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with and love the tune.

Responsive Christmas Scripture readings for church or family:
John 1:1-18  pdf
"O Come Let Us Adore Him" pdf

My First Christmas In Heaven This is a blessed reminder for all who lost a loved one this year. This page was first posted in 2005 soon after my Mom passed away.

Christmas Knowledge Test

Finally today:

Nativity scene
One of our small nativity scenes. We have new phone cameras and were curious how it would take in a low light situation. The only lighting is a small LED candle in the background.

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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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