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Friday, July 9, 2021
This forest trail near Cedar Falls, Iowa beckons for a nice, relaxing and observant hike!
Steve Ephraim, a reader from that area, shared this photo.
(Click on photo to enlarge)
"Who We Are"
Note: Tomorrow morning we will head out to the Midwest visiting family and friends and attending family gatherings in Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Although we expect to get several messages out during this time we will not prepare regular Daily Encouragement messages due to long travel days, early departures and in some cases limited internet access such as when we will spend several days in a mountain cabin in Arkansas. We will also not be preparing the daily podcast during our time away from home.
Message summary: Today's message considers the line in a Michael W. Smith song, "If the Word of God is any indication, I am doing even better than I know!" Who are we and how are we better than we might even know?
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said: “Who am I, Lord God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?" (1 Chronicles 17:16). "The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children" (Romans 8:16). "Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:17). "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:37).
On Tuesday we shared a message titled "He Will Hold Me Fast" and referred to our longtime friends, Jim and Wendy Gambini. Jim was our pastor twenty years ago when we first moved to Lancaster County in 2001. He is also a musician and quoted this thought-provoking line from a 1985 Michael W. Smith song titled "I'm Up":
"If the Word of God is any indication, I am doing even better than I know!"
I had never heard of the song or phrase before but it sure got me thinking. What does the Word of God say about who we are as His redeemed people?
King David, in contemplating God's goodness and leading in his life, began a powerful prayer with, “Who am I, Lord God, and what is my family, that You have brought me this far?" The prayer that follows in I Chronicles 17:17ff is worshipful as David chronicles the Lord's blessings to him.
But today let's examine Romans 8 for just three of many statements as to who we are according to the Word of God and why we are really doing better than we often may feel due to our hearts being set on earthly things:
1) We are God’s children (8:16). Paul wrote in the previous verse that it is by God's Holy Spirit, given to us when we became His children through faith in Christ, that we call out to God as "Abba" or Father. Paul gave another name to the Spirit: "Spirit of adoption." God adopted us into His family. An old song we still enjoy declares, "I'm a child of the King":
I’m a child of the King,
A child of the King:
With Jesus my Savior,
I’m a child of the King.
2) We are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ (8:17). An heir is one who receives or is entitled to receive some endowment or quality from a parent or predecessor. The believer's heirship is not merely a future hope but a present reality. Even now in this present life we have the right as God's children to look forward to the full possession of that which we now possess only in principle. And this future inheritance serves to motivate us to godliness for as C.S. Lewis wrote… A continual looking forward to the eternal world is not a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were also those who thought most of the next.
3) We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. (8:37) The Precept Austin online commentary "describes one who is super-victorious, who wins more than an ordinary victory, and who is overpowering in achieving abundant victory. It describes a lopsided victory in which the enemy or opponent is completely routed. This is not the language of conceit, but of confidence in Christ. Christ’s love conquered death, and because of His love, we are can be more than conquerors through Him."
You're a Good, Good Father
It's who You are, it's who You are, it's who You are
And I'm loved by You
It's who I am, it's who I am, it's who I am
Today as we consider who we are may we be filled with joy, peace and great assurance!
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, how blessed we are to walk in our new nature which Christ imparted to us when we put to death our sin nature. Our soul is alive and well, not walking after the flesh but after Your Spirit. We want to live by our higher calling and recognize that we are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us and conquered death on our behalf. The enemy of our soul wants us to see ourselves as losers for Christ, but we shall not and cannot be losers but rather we are heirs with You and co-heirs with Christ. What higher or more joyous position can one gain in this life or the next! Though the enemy wants to defeat us we defeat him by wholeheartedly believing and declaring from Scripture, "We are loved with an everlasting love." And we are eternally grateful! Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Who Am I" Video Casting Crowns
"Child Of The King" Video Gaither Vocal Band
"Good, Good Father" Video Housefires
"More Than Conquerors" Video Rend Collective
"More than a Conqueror" Video The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
Ryan is a plumber at JK Mechanical and also a musician in his church. He told me he is on the worship team this coming Lord's Day. I asked him what songs they were going to sing and among them was a song we have sure been blessed by called "Battle Belongs" Video.
I asked Ryan "Where are you fighting?", having in mind a line in the song that states,
"So when I fight I’ll fight on my knees
With my hands lifted high
Oh God the battle belongs to You"
Well, Ryan didn't connect my question with the lyrics in the song but still gave a great response as to where he was fighting, "On the front lines".
I think I will be working on a message titled "Frontline Christianity".
This morning I passed the Corn Wagon in New Danville where we purchase corn picked fresh from the fields only moments before it arrives at the produce site. We sure do enjoy this seasonal blessing from year to year, as I'm sure many of you do in your neck of the woods.
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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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