Daily Encouragement Net
The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Thursday, April 1, 2021
Photo of "Sin of the world" mural (click to enlarge)
"He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins,
and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world."
(1 John 2:2)
I took today's photo many years ago at the Rainbow's End Christian Youth Center in Mount Joy, PA. It is painted on the entire block wall of the gym!
Click here for larger photo.

"The Tree Of Life"

Message summary: The tree of life is the ultimate demonstration of God's power and the only hope we have for salvation.

Listen to this message on your audio player.

“They killed Him by hanging Him on a tree" (Acts 10:39). "He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree" (1 Peter 2:24).

Weaber LumberYesterday I shared some photos from a visit I made Tuesday afternoon to Weaber Lumber, a large sawmill in Lebanon County
. (Weaber is pronounced like my name, Weber). Over fifteen years ago I served for several years as a chaplain at this company when I worked for a national chaplain service company. It was among the most interesting and dangerous places I have served as a corporate chaplain. A hard hat is required, along with eye and ear protection. It's very loud, very busy and very dusty!

A huge pile of logs await their turn to go through the extensive, highly automated process to make lumber products. A massive amount of trees are processed every year and yet the resource is renewable. Most of their raw material is harvested from trees here in south central Pennsylvania and a steady supply is available due to nature or foresters, who regularly plant new trees.

Weaber has been managing forests for private woodland owners and providing quality timber harvests for 80 years. As a certified participant of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) program, this ensures that the forests are managed to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the future.

O mighty cross
Love lifted high
The Lord of life
Raise there to die
His sacrifice on Calvary
Has made the mighty cross a tree of life to me

“They killed Him by hanging Him on a tree" (Acts 10:39) This "tree" is undoubtedly the most significant single tree that ever grew, that was ever cut down, and that was ever processed into a finished product. Normally in Scripture this tree is known as the cross (describing its finished appearance), but in both of our texts the apostle Peter speaks of the raw material the cross was made of.

O mighty cross what throne of grace
He knew no sin yet took my place
His sacrifice on Calvary
Has made the mighty cross
A tree of life to me

Cross"He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree" (1 Peter 2:24). Peter was surely aware of a statement made in the Law of Moses written some 1,500 years earlier, "Anyone who is hung on a tree is under God's curse" (Deuteronomy 21:22). The apostle Paul is clearly referring to this statement when he wrote, "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: 'Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree'" (Galatians 3:13).

The cursed tree of death became the blessed tree of life. Only God can turn ashes into beauty, curses into blessings. This tree is a reminder of the place where Jesus sacrificially laid down His life for our sins. A time honored and beloved hymn poignantly describes the cross of Christ as, "the emblem of suffering and shame".

As we shared in yesterday's message Paul acknowledged in his time that the message of the cross was "foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" (1 Corinthians 1:18).

Over one hundred years ago in 1912, "The Old Rugged Cross" was written by evangelist and song-leader George Bennard. Even at that time he wrote "The old rugged cross so despised by the world". Today many still consider the very notion of the cross foolishness and despise even the subject matter. It's our observation that the despising of the cross is rapidly increasing!

But we write to those, who like us, view the cross as the ultimate demonstration of God's power and the only hope we have for salvation.

O mighty cross, O Christ so pure
Love held Him there such shame endured
His sacrifice on Calvary
Has made the mighty cross
A tree of life to me

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer:  Father, we thank You for Jesus who redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming the sin curse for us. The nails bore His body to the tree, and yet our sin condition bore His Spirit to the cross of Calvary. He who knew no sin became sin for us – what an unsurpassed substitutionary death our Savior sacrificed for us so that sin's curse could be removed and God's blessings might overflow in our lives; the blessings of forgiveness for sins, a home established in heaven, healing of body, mind and spirit, and the freedom from condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. What unspeakable joy fills our hearts today as we rejoice in God's goodness to us through Christ Jesus, the sacrificed Lamb. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"O Mighty Cross"  Video  Integrity's Hosanna! Music

"Mighty Cross"  Video  Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

"It's Still The Cross!"

(A selection of Scripture verses focusing on the Cross for personal, family or congregational reading.)

Worship leader: Here they crucified Him, and with Him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle. John 19:18

Congregation: This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross. Acts 2:23

Worship leader: For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18

Congregation: May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6:14

Worship leader: By abolishing in His flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.  Ephesians 2:15-17

Congregation: He made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name.  Philippians 2:7-9 

Worship leader: For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross. Colossians 1:19,20

Congregation: When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:13,14

All: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  Hebrews 12:1-3

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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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