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, June 1, 2021

Bluebird (photo by Joe Sherer)
Joe Sherer, a longtime pastor friend who now lives in Willow Street, PA, sent this photo he took of a bluebird in his backyard bluebird box. That's a hard picture to get!

"On This Day"

Message summary: We must volitionally make it our resolve to rejoice and be glad, for whatever God has in store for us each day, since this is the key to victory no matter what the circumstance.

Listen to this message on your audio player.

“This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm (118:24). “But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them” (Acts 16:25).

On This DayWe enjoy reading books and blogs that tells of certain events that took place on a particular day. It's statistically likely that a few of you reading this message have a birthday today. If so, Happy Birthday! It indeed is a very significant day in your life.

Robert J. Morgan has one such book titled, "On This Day" and tells the story of an event that took place on this day (June 1) in 1661.

James Guthrie was a preacher of the gospel who lived in the 1600's in the Scottish town of Stirling. He was accused of disloyalty, for he had preached that Christ, not the Scottish king, should rule the church. Given the opportunity to recant Guthrie refused, thus he was sentenced to be hanged.

The day of his execution was set for June 1, 1661, a mere 360 years ago.*1 That morning Guthrie rose about 4:00 A.M. for worship. When asked how he was, he replied, “Very well. This is the day that the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”  What remarkable peace and assurance filled the spirit of James Guthrie that he could rejoice like this on his day of execution!

Later that day from the scaffold he preached his last sermon. "I do believe that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the chief, through faith in His righteousness and blood, have I obtained mercy, and in Him and through Him alone have I the hope of a blessed conquest and victory over sin and Satan, and hell and death, and that I shall attain unto the Resurrection of the just and be made a partaker of eternal life; I know whom I have believed, and He is able to keep that which I have committed to him against that day." He urged his listeners to seek Christ's free grace. *2

Many believers have lived with the Psalmist’s perspective in our first daily text, “This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it”. In fact many of us have sung the words of this Psalm set to music. It’s a great perspective to live by; to recognize that each day is created by God. We must volitionally make it our resolve to rejoice and be glad, for whatever God has in store for us each day, since this is the key to victory no matter what the circumstance. It’s also a great verse to memorize and quote to yourself and others. It’s fresh and applicable each morning.

Paul and Silas in prison PhilippiIn Philippi Paul and Silas had their robes torn off and were beaten with rods with many blows, before being thrown into prison (see Acts 16:22-24). We can probably agree they were not having what we would call a good day! "But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them" (Acts 16:25).

We don’t know what hymns of praise Paul and Silas were singing in Acts 16 when they were imprisoned. It sure wasn’t most all of the hymns we sing since at that point they wouldn’t have been written. We think they would have enjoyed songs like “Blessed Assurance”, “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”, “It Is Well With My Soul”. An even more recently written song they might have enjoyed singing is "Ten Thousand Reasons" (Bless the Lord O My Soul).

However the Psalms were considered the hymnbook for the ancient Israelites and people during the Bible times. Who knows, it is certainly possible that Paul and Silas also found comfort and assurance in what we know as Psalm 118:24, "This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it". And indeed let us!

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, we thank You for this day, the day which You have made. Like the Psalmist, we look to You to “bring us word of Your unfailing love, for we have put our trust in You.” We expect good and not harm from Your unfailing love, so we struggle when the circumstances of our lives would appear otherwise. As we mature in our faith help us to weigh the experiences of our life here on earth with the eternal outcome of the many blessings You have waiting for us in heaven. Help us to recognize that there is much we endure on this side that serves as an example to others such as the jailers and other prisoners who looked on and listened when Paul and Silas sang in prison. The fruit of the spirit can be exemplified in believers who rise each morning with the joyful proclamation, “This is the day which the lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Amen.

See Psalms 118:25, 143:8

*1 "A mere 360 years ago" in light of eternity!

More on the story of Guthrie’s execution:  “James Guthrie’s five year old son was brought to him. Taking the boy on his knee, he said, ‘William, the day will come when they will cast up to you that your father was hanged. But be not thou ashamed, Lad. It is in a good cause.’

Guthrie mounted the scaffold and preached for an hour to the assembled multitude. Then he was hanged, after which his head was hacked off and affixed on Netherbow Port. In coming months little William, sneaking away to steal glances at his father’s decaying head, would run home crying, ‘I’ve seen my father’s head! I’ve seen my father’s head!’ Its impact wasn’t lost, for William learned to lean on Christ, to spend time alone in prayer, and to excel in school. He might have become a powerful minister but for an early death from illness.

Rest of the story: Guthrie’s bleached skull looked down on the throngs of Netherbow Port for 27 years until a brave student climbed up, removed it, and buried it with reverence.”

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"This is the Day"  Video  Maranatha  This is the tune we sang for many years.

"This Is The Day"  Video  Phil Wickham

"Blessed Assurance"  Video  Jeremy Riddle

"Ten Thousand Reasons"  Video  Selah

"Battle Belongs"  Video  Phil Wickham This is a song we have really been enjoying the last several months as we have been singing it in our church. It would have been a good one for Paul and Silas or James Guthrie for that matter.

When all I see is the battle
You see my victory
When all I see is the mountain
You see a mountain moved
And as I walk through the shadow
Your love surrounds me
There’s nothing to fear now
For I am safe with You

So when I fight I’ll fight on my knees
With my hands lifted high
Oh God the battle belongs to You
And every fear I lay at Your feet
I’ll sing through the night
Oh God the battle belongs to You

Finally today: We had a new addition for our Memorial Day cookout yesterday.

We just built a Gazebo on our back deck and are very pleased with the outcome since we enjoy dining outside a lot during the nice weather. The instructions claimed it would require 4 people to assemble but we managed to get it up with a little help from Ester, though mostly just the two of us over a span of three days (rain was sometimes the hindrance).

Here's a view from our front yard.
Whoever named it Gazebo should get a prize.

It's real nice in the evening!
I have an Alexa Dot mounted on the ceiling and can play music or listen to podcasts which adds nicely to the ambience.

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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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