The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Friday, September 24, 2021

Donegal Springs Road
Flooded Donegal Springs Road

"A Flood Of Dissipation"

Note: Today's study prompted more exposition and thus the message is a bit longer than normal.

Message summary: We live in an age with a flood of dissipation. All will give an account to God. Are you ready?

Listen to this message on your audio player.

"For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead" (1 Peter 4:3-5).

Yesterday we had very heavy rains in our area which led to flash floods, three inches in just a couple of hours. After our morning chaplain visits when we returned home on Donegal Springs Road the roadway was flooded as seen in our lead photo. Although the large pickup truck ahead of us slowly made it through and I had a hankering for some adventure my better senses prevailed and I decided to turn around like the two cards in front of us. We could easily take another route. I just didn't care to make the news!

This fresh experience brought to mind another flood we all deal with expressed as a phrase from our daily Scripture text, "flood of dissipation". I memorized this text many years ago as a young Christian. At that time in my life (late teens) the pull of the world was a persisting peril. But I have learned that regardless of age, in one way or another, there's always the pull of the world! As the old hymn "I Must Tell Jesus" candidly expresses, "O how the world to evil allures me, O how my heart is tempted to sin".

In our daily Scripture reference the apostle Peter is writing to a group of first century believers undergoing persecution. This passage (1 Peter 4:1-5) was very meaningful to me as a new Christian teen in the seventies. I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, but for over a year I lived with nominal commitment to His cause. I still wanted to have my associations with the world as I continued to "walk the fence". What a miserable way to live! I got involved with a Christian ministry (Campus Crusade for Christ) and a committed believer sat down with me and boldly shared this passage and the Holy Spirit did His wonderful work of enlightening and convicting my heart.

Peter forthrightly tells his initial readers and all who heed the sacred words of Scripture, “For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles” (v.3). However old you are this statement applies; you've spent enough time in living in the worldly ways.

He goes on to make a list of sinful behavior that sounds very familiar to what pagans still choose to do in our day.

Let's consider verse 4 in a bit more detail. (See here for this verse in a variety of translations.)

1) “In regard to these" The sick six from verse 3, "lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries", a veritable sewer of sin often resulting in headline news after destruction of property or life while under the influence.

2) "they (your friends from your old way of life) think it strange" CH Spurgeon notes, "How strange this world is! It speaks evil of men because they will not do evil. Yet it has always been so. Those of whom 'the world was not worthy' (Hebrews 11:38) have been the people, like Paul, of whom the worldly said, 'Rid the earth of him! He’s not fit to live!' (Acts 22:22). The world’s verdict concerning Christians is of little value."

Warren Wiersbe comments, "Unsaved people do not understand the radical change that their friends experience when they trust Christ and become children of God. They do not think it strange when people wreck their bodies, destroy their homes, and ruin their lives by running from one sin to another! But let a drunkard become sober, or an immoral person pure, and the family thinks he has lost his mind!"

3) "that you do not run with them”  Genuine transformed believers do not run with, consort or hang out with unbelievers in the same way they once did.

Thanks to Calvary I am not the man I used to be
Thanks to Calvary things are different than before.

4) "in the same flood of dissipation". Dissipation is probably not a word many of us use regularly! Other versions translate this, "reckless, wild living" (NIV), "excesses of debauchery" (NASB), "wild and destructive things" (NLT). In sum, the picture here is of a large crowd running together in a mad, wild race—a melee pursuing sin.

5) This resulted in them (those from your old way of life) "speaking evil of you" an irony considering the actual evil they practiced! This is translated from the Greek “blaspheme”. Indeed the early believers encountered abuse and so do we in various ways. This abuse may be verbal ridicule from a fellow worker, the writings of a pagan “intellectual” or for some of our brethren, physical torture and death.

Peter makes the solemn statement found in the final portion of the daily text: “But they will have to give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead” (1 Peter 4:5). This account will be our final answer and by far it is the most important.

Have you dealt with it yet? The apostle Paul wrote that “At the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10,11). We should greatly rejoice today if we have taken care of this accounting and you can join me in boldly declaring, “Jesus is my final answer.” If you have not made this decision I urge you, please delay no longer.

Here is a sample prayer that expresses belief and commitment to Jesus Christ:

“Jesus, thank you for loving me. I confess that I am a sinner. I believe You are the promised Messiah who came to die for my sins. Please forgive me of my sin and come into my life. I receive You as my Savior and will follow You as my Lord. Thank You for hearing my prayer. Amen”.

Jesus is the answer, for the world today.
Above Him there’s no other, Jesus is the way.

If you have some questions, in the corners of your mind.
Traces of discouragement, and peace you cannot find.
Reflections of your past, seem to face you every day.
But this one thing I do know, Jesus is the way.

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, we live in a decadent age with a flood of dissipation, where the hearts of so many are turned away from the true living God and live instead by the world’s dictates. But we who have accepted Christ and have the indwelling Holy Spirit must continue to build our lives on the foundation of Jesus Christ as we spread the gospel message, “Jesus is the first and final answer to all of life’s problems.” We seek to be directed by Your Spirit and live in such a way that we honor You even as scoffers ridicule us. May we show mercy to those whose faith is wavering and rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. In the process of daily living, as we reach out to the lost and dying, help us not to stumble into the ways of the world so that on Your appointed day we will be brought into Your glorious presence.

See Jude V. 23

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Jesus Is The Answer"   Video   Andraé Crouch

I’ve attended many large concerts and conventions over the years such as the “Creation Festival” held annually in central Pennsylvania. I specifically recall attending a concert in Springfield MO as a college student in the mid-seventies with Andrae Crouch and the Disciples, a popular band at that time. I recall the Lord touching my heart as Andrae repeatedly sang these words, “Jesus Is The Answer” in response to the stanzas that presented life’s questions to complex issues every person faces. That was about 45 years ago but the truth of that song is just as true and just as vital now!

"Jesus Is Still The Answer"  Video  Collingsworth family

Many of you are familiar with the game, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” where the host typically asks the contestant, “Is that your final answer?” It was during the popularity of this weekly game show that I saw a young man’s t-shirt that read, “Jesus, that is my final answer.” Now that very notion is increasingly offensive to many, but Jesus is still the answer from our greatest need to our smallest need.

"I Must Tell Jesus"  Video  Canton Junction  I sure miss singing this hymn!

"I Got Saved"  Video  Selah

"The Baptism Of Jesse Taylor"  Video  Gaither Vocal Band. A colorful story of redemption and a changed life!

Among the local taverns they'll be a slack in business
'Cause Jesse's drinkin' came before the groceries and the rent
Among the local women they'll be a slack in cheatin'
'Cause Jesse won't be steppin' out again

They baptized Jesse Taylor in Cedar Creek last Sunday
Jesus gained a soul and Satan lost a good right arm
They all cried, "Hallelujah" when Jesse's head went under
'Cause this time he went under for the Lord

The scars on Jesse's knuckles were more than just respected
The county courthouse records tell all there is to tell
The pockets of the gamblers will soon miss Jesse's money
And the black eye of the law will soon be well

From now on Nancy Taylor can proudly speak to neighbors
Tell them how much Jesse took up with little Jim
Now Jimmy's got a daddy and Jesse's got a family
And Franklin County's got a lot more man

"Thanks To Calvary"  Video  Dailey and Vincent

"The Old Rugged Cross Made The Difference"  Video   Guy Penrod

"I Won't Go Back"  Video  Brooklyn Tabernacle  Video (with lyrics)

Donegal Springs Road
This home along Donegal Springs Road is inaccessible during periodic flash floods after heavy rains. This was evident when we passed at the time the lead photo was taken in the late morning but when we drove by late yesterday afternoon the driveway was passable. Last night I spoke to Rich, a local friend, who lives in a home with a long driveway subject to the same flash flooding conditions.

Ron and Bonnie Hoover, Aaron Fisher
Last night we attended a banquet at the Shady Maple for "Blessings of Hope" a food distribution ministry based here in Lancaster County. Standing with Aaron Fisher, founder of Blessings of Hope, are good friends Ron and Bonnie Hoover who stand behind this ministry (and many others, including ours!)

"Blessings Of Hope" was founded by Aaron Fisher, who has an Amish background. He had a disabled father and recalls being needy as a child and people bringing his family boxes of food to survive. Even as a child he knew in his heart he wanted to do something to help others in need. In 2006 he started Blessings of Hope.

Blessings Of Hope collects excess food donated by huge corporations and then distributes to food banks and other ministries who do the actual point of contact distribution. They have connections with over 80 food producers and distributors regionally around Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and in other states. It has grown to the point they now receive 12 tractor/trailer loads of food daily.

They presently serve food banks, churches, halfway houses, rescue missions, etc. up and down the east coast and out to the Midwest. This winter they sent tractor/trailer loads to Texas after the deep freeze.

They rely heavily on volunteers and have over 700 who pack some days pack 7,000 boxes of food. Each box contains a Gospel of John.

This food is excess to the producer for a variety of reasons. Aaron pointed out that 40% of the food produced in America is wasted somewhere in the process and much ends up in landfills and otherwise, and his ministry wants to do something about it. They are following the example of the Lord, who said, "Let nothing be wasted" (John 6:12,13).

Blessings of Hope banquet
It was good to get back to a banquet at the Shady Maple Smorgasbord! Local readers have all heard of the Shady Maple and probably more than a few distance readers. It bills itself as the largest buffet in the USA. I came across this interesting video about the history of the Shady Maple.

Shady Maple wall art
Our photo doesn't really capture the interesting 3 dimensional art work they have on their walls at the Shady Maple with local rural scenes. They were created years ago by Abner Zook, an Amishman. We met his great nephew as we looked at them after the banquet. Three of these paintings were sold at auction early this year for $56,000! Video

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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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