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, August 10, 2021

Psalm on chalkboard
Sunset Grocery Outlet in Lebanon County providing a biblical witness right when you walk in their entrance. What a blessing each time they feature different Bible passages.

"Satan's Schemes"

Message summary:  Let us not be ignorant of Satan's schemes!

Listen to this message on your audio player.

“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:11). “So that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:11). “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

Henry at White OakYesterday I visited with Henry, a friend who works at White Oak Display. He is a fellow believer and we began to muse about Satan's strategies, essentially collaborating on what would be good sermon points. I started by stating that Satan always seeks to divide. Henry added and to distract. Being of a three point sermon inclination I added and to deceive. Then Brooksyne came along and added to discourage.

The first daily text instructs us to
take our stand against the devil’s schemes. The second text reminds us that we are not to be ignorant of his schemes. We have the Bible as a guide regarding who our ancient foe is and his timeless schemes (designs, methods) to wreck.

Naturalism has taken a toll in regard to not only belief in God but also belief in Satan. Years ago Keith Green wrote a song written from Satan's perspective with the line, "No one believes in me anymore" (subtitled "Satan's Boast"). We do well to remember as Martin Luther wrote, "But still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe". (A Mighty Fortress Is Our God)

Satanology is the study of Satan and though such a study should never be our major focus we do well to be aware of who he is and his activities. A different way of stating our second daily text is, “We know his schemes”. They’re exposed throughout the Scriptures, both in fact and as revealed in the experiences of biblical characters who either overcame or succumbed to the devil’s temptations. We are reminded that Satan’s schemes are present in every generation.

We must recognize that Satan is our adversary, seeking whom he may devour. “Schemes” translates the Greek word “methodia”, from which we get the English word “method”.  From the beginning Satan’s method has been to discredit God and overthrow His plan to redeem the lost.

Satan has a plot for our defeat but God has a plan for our triumph. Satan’s plot is summed up by Jesus in John 10:10, “to steal and kill and destroy". God’s plan is to "give us life, and give it more abundantly" for our journey below and store up eternal joys for when we take up residency in heaven.

Satan’s original plot causing the fall of man (Genesis 3) provides many clues to help us recognize his ongoing schemes and methods.  He causes doubts; he distracts; he distorts; he deceives and he brings about utter destruction.

We must not be ignorant of his schemes but rather we must daily wear the armor of God (Ephesians 6) so that we can take a bold stand. We must be sober rather than frivolous and we must remain vigilant. Let us do so today so that we do not cringe in fear from our adversary, but instead take a confident stand against the devil’s schemes.

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, though Satan has a sinister and deceitful scheme for my life I will not fear. Your guidance for me in discerning his evil schemes is revealed throughout the entire Bible. Not only do we receive warning through the prophets, the disciples and other people of faith, but we see Jesus as the supreme example of One who resisted the temptations of the evil one. His time of testing in the wilderness and the garden of Gethsemane reveal that resistance to temptation brings present and future reward. Though Satan wants me so that he can destroy me, You want me so that You can save me, here and now, and for the eternal hereafter. Thank You for the spiritual armor that protects me from the evil one and I take a stand against him through Christ who strengthens me. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"No One Believes In Me Anymore (Satan's Boast)"  Video   Keith Green

"A Mighty Fortress Is Our God"  Video   Sovereign Grace Music

"Turn Your Eyes"  Video  The Glorious Christ Live  Brooksyne's Note:  Stephen discovered and played this version for me and I absolutely loved it. It is not the original stanzas but the added and very meaningful lyrics are easily sung to the tune of the chorus. If I were still worship leader this would definitely be a song I would introduce.  (This version adds additional lyrics to the familiar chorus)

"Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus (Amazing Grace)"  Video  Shane and Shane (Traditional words)

Yesterday we went to an open house at Audrey's, a company that sells gift and home decor items where we have the privilege of serving as chaplains. Audrey (in photo) and her husband Ken were dairy farmers in rural Lebanon County when over 40 years ago she began to design, create and sell home decor items which developed into what they are today. They had a stellar day yesterday with the largest attendance ever!

Daryl Leisey
What a nice surprise to see Daryl Leisey at the open house. He is one of my long-time friends here in Lancaster County having first met him when he was the HR manager at Four Seasons Produce in 2001. He is now a partner with North Group Consultants. Daryl has also been very helpful to us in various ways in our ministry through the years. He has a way of practicing Hebrews 10:24, "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds". Shortly after first meeting him he shared about his father's dedication to nursing home ministry, leading services in a local nursing home for 44 years.

Tom and Marsha
That brings to mind a young couple (at the time) in the church we served in northern Pennsylvania. In their early twenties Tom and Marsha Neizmik began leading chapel services in a nursing home and still do so today some 40 years later! What a blessing long-term faithfulness is!!!

One room schoolhouse
Yesterday we posted this photo of the restored Lincoln School, a one room schoolhouse. We received this note from Daniel, a local reader:

"The school house you visited yesterday was where my wife Lois went to school for grades 1-6. After it was no longer a school her parents bought the building and made it into a dwelling. That was where she was living during our two years of dating. And her mother lived there for about another twenty-five years. Our children would think of it as going to Grandma's house. My wife is the only  person still living who has lived in the building.

Brooksyne's thoughts:  Inside Lincoln School various historical clippings were spread out on the tables. The former students wrote about their remembrances of the one room school and you can read some on this page. As I read through these stories it is clear that public schools in the past took a stand for God even in the classroom which made a deep impression on the students. In Elementary School and even in the first year or two of my Junior High School I remember reciting the pledge of allegiance followed by reciting the Lord's Prayer every morning in our homeroom class before prayer was prohibited. After reading the attendees' stories at Lincoln School I thought about the many godly grandparents I've met over the years. Surely a big factor is due to God's presence being encouraged in the home, the school, the church and even in Washington D.C. Students had problems back then like they do today. Many of them came from less than desirable settings, but just imagine if they were exposed to godly teachers that cared about them and didn't have to be "quiet" about their faith. Surely it would leave a lasting impression that would help these children who will not find it within their own families. Scores of children could be helped, encouraged, and learn to overcome their difficulties not through drugs or psychology, but by the power of the Almighty God!

In writing about godly grandparents I'm reminded of Jim whom I know through choir. He and his wife are in their 80's and are still involved weekly with Child Evangelism Fellowship which is a release-time and after-school Good News Club program where children are taught Bible stories and principles and given the opportunity to follow Christ. We thank God for those who are burdened for this ministry and make time in their schedule to reach these young ones for Christ.

Finally today:

Lebanon Farmer's Market
Farmer's Market in downtown Lebanon, PA.
I wonder if that big fat red chair would be big enough to hold me!

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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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