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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Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Lebanon County farm scene
Lebanon County Farm
(Click on photo to enlarge to see even more rural beauty)

"Strangers In The World"

Message summary:
This world is not my home, I’m just a passin’ through,
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.
The angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

Listen to this message on your audio player.

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia” (1 Peter 1:1).

The customary main dish for Thanksgiving here in America is turkey. Due to the supply chain issues there may be a turkey shortage this year, according to news reports we've heard. Today Brooksyne plans to stop at Stauffers, a local market that is advertising them. I recall as a young boy being intrigued that there was a country named Turkey which seemed funny to me since I only associated turkey with the big bird!

The apostle Peter wrote his first epistle to believers who lived in the region of present day Turkey (also known as Asia Minor), an area evangelized by Paul during his first missionary journey in Acts 13 and 14. The letter was not written to a specific individual or church as many other New Testament letters are, but “to God’s elect, strangers in the world”, scattered throughout the region.

Peter wrote this letter later in life about 30 years after the resurrection of Christ. Social conditions in the Roman Empire were rapidly deteriorating, though it would still be many years before Rome's complete collapse. Nero was likely in power and his reign was a time of intense suffering for Christians. In this very letter Peter encouraged his fellow believers with this somber reality, “Do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12).

But today we want to especially focus on the phrase he uses to address them in his salutation as "strangers in the world".  The underlying Greek word for “strangers” (parepidemois) is used only three times in the New Testament; twice by Peter in this letter (here and 2:11, and Hebrews 11:13). It fundamentally means “a resident foreigner”.

The word describes one who makes a brief stay in a strange or foreign place, who sojourns or who resides temporarily among a native people to whom he or she does not belong. The stranger did not expect to be regarded as a native of the place where he resided.

We must ever be on our guard to resist acclimating our minds or aligning our affections with this evil world system which is “devolving” and corrupting day by day. Remember that we are “strangers”. Feeling "at home" in this world should not be our life's goal, as the "home" we should long for is not of this world.

When Lot stopped being a stranger, and became a resident, even a leader among the inhabitants of Sodom (Genesis 13:1-18), he lost his consecration and his testimony.  Everything he lived for went up in smoke! (Genesis 19:1-29)

Jim Elliot, a dedicated missionary martyred in the jungles of Ecuador as a young man, was one of great faith. His lasting legacy is evident in his most famous quote:

“He is no fool to give what he cannot keep,
to gain what he cannot lose.”

We need to keep reminding ourselves that we are residing here as strangers in this present evil age.

Our primary citizenship is in heaven. We do well to keep a proper Biblical perspective of our life span on this earth; that we are merely strangers passing through. It won’t be a difficult concept to grasp several hundred years into eternity. But at this point, in our temporal existence, all we see with our natural eyes is this physical world. Today let us heed the message that Peter wrote to the early believers and remember that we are merely strangers passing through! 

Let's live our lives with a song in our heart, and I suppose no song puts it better in this regard than an old gospel hymn:

This world is not my home, I’m just a passin’ through,
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.
The angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, we’re so thankful that when our earthly tent is destroyed, we have a building from You, an eternal house in heaven. We make it our life long goal to remain strangers in this world as we maintain friendship with You, our Heavenly Father. Like the Apostle Paul we strain toward that which is ahead as we press toward the goal to win the prize for which You have called us heavenward in Christ Jesus. In Your appointed hour our lowly bodies will be transformed into immortality. We eagerly await that transformation when anticipation becomes reality for the faithful!  Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"This World Is Not My Home"  Video  Guy Penrod

"Wayfaring Stranger"  Video  The Isaacs

Road scene in Lebanon County
For several weeks our Tuesday early morning drive through Lebanon County was in the dark as we approached the peak of fall foliage. With the time change this last weekend we had a pleasant drive yesterday morning along Rt 117 near Mount Gretna and saw still lots of color.
(Click on photo to enlarge)

Lebanon County farm scene
A bit farther along we got off the main road to see these structures amidst the surrounding farm land.
(Click on photo to enlarge)

Horst's Mill, Lebanon County
As we got closer we discovered this building is a mill - Horst's Mill, initially built in the early 1700's.
(Click on photo to enlarge)

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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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