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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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Dogwood in backyard
The Dogwood tree in our backyard is blooming. We sort of wish it would stay this way!

"The First Thing"

Message summary: Andrew, although lesser known, is a great example for all of us. Today we considered the "first thing" he did after encountering the Messiah. Let us all be faithful in letting our light shine and making the most of every opportunity.

Listen to this message on your audio player.

"The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, 'We have found the Messiah' (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus" (John 1:41,42a). "Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:15,16).

Tom and Cathleen Michaels ZahradnikTom Zahradnik is a chaplain friend serving in New York. The other day I read a prayer request demonstrating his heart for spreading the Gospel asking prayer for, "Opportunities to share the Gospel with the police officers I serve as Police Chaplain in Port Jervis, NY and opportunities to open up for more positive connections and sharing the Gospel with employees at a heating/AC company I serve as chaplain in Middletown, NY." I interviewed Tom 13 years ago when he received his chaplaincy endorsement and am heartened at his faithfulness. The photo shows Tom along with his wife, Cathleen from a visit they made several years ago.

Robrt MorganPastor Robert Morgan (left) tells a story about a time when he had lunch with a friend. While they were visiting a lady stopped by their table to greet them. As she left Morgan's friend said, "This woman has been a Christian one day less than me". Morgan asked what he meant.

His friend told him, "I was selling insurance for a living, but I was pretty wild. One night my misery led me to contact a pastor who led me to Christ. The next morning I excitedly told some co-workers how my life was changed. The lady you just saw overheard me talking, approached me, and said 'I need that in my life". I took her to the pastor and she too was born again."

I wonder, would others at our workplace or places we frequent desire to know Christ as a result of merely overhearing our conversation in addition to observing our lives? Paul wrote that we are to "make the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil".

As we continue to live out our faith in the daily grind of life we should seek opportunities to communicate the life-changing truths of Christ to those around us. The Lord providentially places people in our paths and we do well to see ministry in this light rather than something we do compartmentally.

Andrew is one of the lesser-known disciples. Although he came to know Christ first and brought his brother Simon (Peter) to Jesus, he is quickly over-shadowed by his famous, rather outspoken brother. Yet we always find his name associated with bringing people to Jesus in the Gospel accounts. As far as I can determine this seems to be the only thing that distinguishes him.
  • During a hunger crisis he managed to bring a little boy to Jesus even though he didn't appear to have much faith that the boy's contribution would amount to much! (John 6:8-9)
  • Along with Philip, he brought Jesus a message concerning some Greeks who wanted to personally meet Jesus. (John 12:20-22)
Note two instructive points in the first daily text:

1) "The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, 'We have found the Messiah' (that is, the Christ)". Andrew had found the Messiah and wasted no time in declaring the message to his brother. It was obviously a priority. What an example for us!
2) "And he brought him to Jesus". That surely summarizes the best thing we can do for our family, friends and all whom we may encounter in life. Bring them to Jesus!

Let us all be faithful in letting our light shine and making the most of every opportunity.
Today we considered the "first thing" Andrew did after encountering the Messiah, bringing his brother Peter to Jesus. What opportunities will we have today to bring someone to Jesus?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, one of the ways we express genuine interest and compassion to others is by telling them of Jesus the Messiah, much like the disciple Andrew did. Right after finding who Jesus was the first thing he did was to tell his brother, Peter, of the good news. Their lives were forever changed. May we see the opportunities that you place before us today. May the words we speak, the lives we live, and the time we spend with others bring about a harvest of souls so that the kingdom of God is made known to those who would otherwise be lost. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"It Only Takes A Spark"  Video  This is a song it seemed we sang around a campfire in my earliest days of following Christ.                        

"Tell Them"  Video  Andrae Crouch

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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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