A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Rejoicing at the home team's win!
"In This We Greatly Rejoice"
Message summary: Can you recall the joy of a specific event in your life? Today we will consider a foundational truth that all we who have placed our faith in Christ can greatly rejoice in. Today, whether that which is happening around you causes rejoicing or anguish, consider the foundational fact that we serve a resurrected Savior who has given us an inheritance in heaven that can never perish, spoil or fade. Our future really is secure!
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials" (1 Peter 1:3-6).
It's a great experience when your team wins. We experienced that on Monday night in Boston. Of course we also saw the look of defeat on the opposing team as they walked off the field. That's the way it is in sports and in many other experiences in life. We all have experienced both the joy of victory and agony of defeat. In life we will have joy and we will have sorrow.
Like many, we are subject to being anxious about the state of our country and world, let alone the specific challenges within our own life and family. We are in for a period of increasing unrest and strife as rebellion against God intensifies. We have our hopes in regard to the temporal future but these hopes are certainly not assured. We pray for a Spirit-filled revival that will provide the only hope for a Christ-centered culture based upon biblical conviction and lifestyle. But whether we live in a peaceful or hostile setting we must fix our hope on the Lord.
We and the majority of our readers live out our lives here in American in relative peace and prosperity, including many of our international readers as well. Of course there are also millions living in persecution throughout the world presently and since the time of Christ's coming to earth. A consideration of the persecuted church reminds us of this (or at least it should).
Arriving in our mail today was Voice of the Martyrs 2022 Calendar that features individuals and families who have suffered greatly for Christ. Each calendar day includes a country or region undergoing persecution in which we can pray. (For example on April 1, 2022 KUWAIT, "Pray that persecuted believers who fled the country will be able to visit their families".) Far too many have a sense of entitlement that living a life of prosperity and freedom is our fundamental right but you won't find this promise in the Bible. Jesus said, "In the world you will have tribulation".
In today's passage Peter, who himself had suffered persecution, is writing to "God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia" (1 Peter 1:1) which are in modern day Turkey. They were "suffering grief in all kinds of trials". We tend to use the word "trial" rather loosely, sometimes even flippantly, such as an appliance breaking down or losing our electricity for a few hours. But trials (testings) include life's really hard times such as a physical affliction, financial devastation or loss of a close loved one. Certainly this would include persecution on many levels and it is clearly a testing of our faith.
We devote this message to several of our readers who live in an ongoing state of persecution. We sense such depth of spirituality in their lives, whether it's reading about them in Christian articles or hearing from some of them via Dailyencouragement.net. They don't shrink back in fear of being called out and "dealt with" as a follower of Christ. In today's text "trials" most certainly include persecution.
Today, whatever is troubling you, consider the words of our daily text over and over if needed. Plant them deep in your heart and rejoice greatly because we serve a resurrected Savior who has given us an inheritance in heaven that can never perish, spoil or fade. In the end, no matter the in-between, WE WIN not just for a season but for all eternity!
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we rejoice in the marvelous fact that we serve a risen Savior who defeated death and the grave. And we also rejoice that we walk in His resurrected power giving us victory over the devil and his kingdom. We can rest assured that we have a glorious eternal inheritance in heaven that can never perish, spoil or fade. But for now we live on this side of heaven and are subject to those in authority, some who are led by godly principles and others whose agenda does not honor You nor does it serve our country well. Give us wisdom, insight, and courage to do that which most honors You and provides a settled peace within our hearts, no matter the unrest or troubles that may affect us. We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"The Church Triumphant" Video Gaither Vocal Band
"Victory In Jesus" Video Jimmy Fortune, Bill Gaither (dedicated to Tina Kester)
Note: In Monday's message an alert reader pointed out that we mistakenly had Lisa Hosler's last name as Hostetter. Both are common Lancaster County names!
Entering Fenway Park Monday Evening amidst all the excitement.
Fenway Park is famous for obstructed seating and thus we managed to get seats with a pole blocking home plate! It didn't really matter since most of the time we stood and the seat was very tiny anyway. In fact I wonder how long since they even changed the seats or if they're the original seats.
The pregame included a moving recognition of survivors living with artificial limbs after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. As they walked in from center field there was such an air of respect and admiration for these overcomers. There were many blue and yellow jackets throughout the stadium worn by participants of the Boston marathon which was also run earlier in the day.
The area around Fenway Park had been revitalized since we lived in that area in the 90's with many new buildings. Due to its age and being right in the heart of the city contribute to it being a very special ballpark. Just don't figure on parking near the park unless you expect to spend really big bucks! Most take the train to the ballpark since Boston has an excellent public transportation system.
We finally got on a very packed T train at 11:30 with a very raucous crowd. The man in the blue and yellow jacket had run in the marathon.
On the way home we stopped by to visit Bob Grant, a college friend west of Hartford, CT. Pleased to see him doing well and soon moving to South Carolina following his retirement.
very loud plaid slacks (I considered them to be very cool at the time). Bob is leaning back on the tree. I took the photo on the right probably so I could get Brooksyne in it, whom I had just started dating in January!
Finally today #2:
Our friend Fran Book went to be with the Lord this past Sunday. Ester often called Fran "Grandma" at her request because she was a very dear older friend to Ester and to all of us. The photo above shows Mark Lowry (one of the musicians seen in the Church Triumphant song) along with Brooksyne and Fran at a concert seven years ago at the American Music Theater. A funny memory from the concert: She was unable to arrive at starting time and joined Brooksyne shortly after the concert began. As she walked down the aisle Mark Lowry looked straight at her in front of the entire audience and shouted, "YOU'RE LATE!" Brooksyne feared that Fran could have been very embarrassed but it turned out to be one of the funnier memories she took away from that concert. It's good to have a sense of humor, otherwise you probably wouldn't attend a Mark Lowry concert in the first place!
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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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