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 27, 2021

Field work
Last night just before sunset the farmer raked the rye into windrows in the field across the road from us.

"Remember Your Creator In The Days Of Your Youth"

Message summary: Whenever you may be reading this; whether you are young, middle-aged or old, we encourage you to “Remember your Creator".

Listen to this message on your audio player.

“Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, ‘I find no pleasure in them’” (Ecclesiastes 12:1).

We have some friends on our hearts that are both enduring the accumulative impact of aging. Actually we know many going through this aging process in various phases. Either you are at this stage or you surely know many who are. What a blessing to hear testimony of the strength they receive from the Lord and in many cases from their long-term relationship with Him.

When we began our ministry, while I was still a student at Central Bible College, I pastored a small church in the Ozarks about 20 miles from Springfield. An elderly couple attended our church, Tracy and Beulah Sutherland, who were in their late eighties which seemed utterly ancient at that time (it doesn't seem nearly as ancient now)! Brooksyne was only twenty and I was twenty one at the time of our marriage. We were only married for a week before we began our pastorate in Fair Grove where we became very dear friends with this precious couple.

Tracy and Beulah Sutherland
Tracy and Beulah Sutherland with a very young Brooksyne
(during the "big hair" days.) 

They lived their entire lives in rural southwest Missouri and had been sustenance farmers (that is essentially living off what they grew on their small farm). They were devout followers of Christ and had some dress standards even more conservative than ours though by most people's standards we were quite conservative in our attire as Bible School students. But they loved and accepted us and to this day we treasure our memories of visiting in their home, dining with them at their table. Tracy went on to be with the Lord shortly after we left that area but Beulah lived to be over 100. We expect a glorious reunion with them one day!

Tracy had begun following Christ as a teenager and I recall how this was so amazing to a fellow student from Chicago who also attended our church. He had come to faith only a few years earlier after living in the ways of the world. He said, "Man, can you imagine knowing Jesus for 70 years!"

But it grieves our heart as we consider those who enter their senior years who don’t know Jesus personally; who’ve never communed with God or perhaps has possibly forsaken a prior relationship with Him. Their hearts are not warmed by hymn tunes like “Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus” or “In the Garden” where the hymn writer described communion with God as,

“He walks with me and He talks with me,
and He tells me I am His own.
And the joy we share as we tarry there
none other has ever known.”

Solomon writes about the changes that come to those enduring old age with the colorful description when "the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, ‘I find no pleasure in them’”.

Essentially Ecclesiastes 12 speaks of a life with and without God. CS Lewis wrote: "There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done’." *

The Life Application Bible study notes make this interesting observation concerning this passage:

“A life without God can produce a bitter, lonely, and hopeless old age. A life centered around God is fulfilling; it will make the "days of trouble" – when disabilities, sickness, and handicaps cause barriers to enjoying life – satisfying because of the hope of eternal life. Being young is exciting, but the excitement of youth can become a barrier to closeness with God if it makes young people focus on passing pleasures instead of eternal values. Make your strength available to God when it is still yours – during your youthful years. Don’t waste it on evil or meaningless activities that become bad habits and make you callous. Seek God now.”

Indeed let us, “Remember our Creator in the days of our youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when we will say, “I find no pleasure in them” (Ecclesiastes 12:1 slightly modified the verse by using the first person pronoun). Whenever you read this; whether you are young, middle-aged or old, we encourage you to “Remember your Creator".

“Ten Thousand Reasons" (Bless the Lord) was written by Matt Redman and Jonas Myrin based upon Psalms 103:1-5. It explores how we can never run out of reasons to worship and praise God. The third stanza looks realistically at the end of one's physical life and the effects of aging and then concludes with the spiritual resolve to sing God's praises unending - forevermore!

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still, my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, we who have received Christ early in our young years are grateful for the solid and lasting foundation we’re building that will provide comfort, solidity, and needed perspective when we approach the golden years of our life here on earth. The older we get the more this earth and all that it has to offer grows dimmer while the lights of glory grow ever brighter. It happens because our eyes are fixed on the eternal city not built with human hands but fashioned and designed by the Builder of the Ages. Keep us true, Lord Jesus, for there’s a race to be run and there are still victories to be won on this side of heaven. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

* This quote is in “The Great Divorce” which is complementary to Lewis’ earlier book “The Screwtape Letters”. The working title was “Who Goes Home?” but the final name was changed at the publisher’s insistence. The title refers to William Blake’s “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.” The Great Divorce was first printed as a serial in an Anglican newspaper called The Guardian in 1944 and 1945, and soon thereafter in book form.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Ten Thousand Reasons"  Video  Matt Redman  This is an outstanding version and Matt Redman includes this quote from Charles Wesley from his last hymn,

In age and feebleness extreme,
Who shall a helpless worm redeem?
Jesus, my only hope Thou art,
Strength of my failing flesh and heart:
O could I catch one smile from Thee,
And drop into eternity!

Speaking of the Wesleys: Consider this prophetic quote from John Wesley who died in 1791: "What one generation tolerates, the next generation will embrace."

Note: Yesterday I called the couple mentioned in the first paragraph and am again reminded of the power of encouragement and also the truth of the proverb, "He who refreshes others, is himself refreshed" (Proverbs 11:25). Who can you reach out to who may need a word of encouragement?

Field work
Ester took this photo of the field work just before sunset last night.

Windrows at sunset
The windrows at sunset last night as with a large machine he moves along pretty fast.

Windrows at sunrise
Our view from a bedroom window at sunrise this morning looking west at the full moon.

The sun comes up
It's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass
And whatever lies before me
Let me be singing
When the evening comes

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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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