A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
"Passing The Baton"
Message summary: May the Lord help us to be faithful in holding onto the Living Word, not compromising its message through our speech, lifestyle, or our doctrinal views. As we pass the baton of faith on to the next generation may we do so without changing or watering down the truths and commands God sets forth in His Word. Let us not disregard or reinterpret God's timeless truths to make them more palatable based on the current trends of our society.
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"O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you" (1 Timothy 6:20). "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others" (2 Timothy 2:2). "By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you" (2 Timothy 1:14).
Yesterday we attended a banquet for Convene, a business leadership group we have been associated with for about 15 years. Their mission is "to connect, equip and inspire Christian CEOs and business owners to grow exceptional businesses and become higher-impact leaders to honor God".
Although we are not officially members of the group, the leader, Ron Hoover, has seen the value of our chaplaincy ministry and has connected us with several companies we serve as chaplains since we first met with the group in early 2007. Ron and his wife Bonnie have a very impactful mentoring ministry not only to business leaders but also married couples.
As part of the program yesterday Ron passed the baton on to the next Convene leader, Brian Gerhart, in a demonstration of ending well. Although Ron is in his eighties we learned that he is actually not finishing fully but will now have a role in developing new Convene leaders!
Most races are individual but in track there are also races involving multiple runners (usually four) called relays. I recall running relays in high school. Since I was a long distance runner it was usually the 2 mile relay with four runners each running 1/2 mile, and each part called a "leg". There was a passing zone in which the baton was received from the previous runner and where it was passed on to the next. The baton is a small metal cylinder carried for the entire race.
In the Christian relay we are far into the race with many baton passes prior to us since the faith was first passed on. The gospel baton does not change. It's probably easiest to see this as one generation passing the baton on to the next. The apostles started the race when the church was established and today's text describes the passing of the gospel baton. There will be a finishing leg. Only God knows but we may be that finishing leg in the long relay!
In the two epistles to Timothy the Apostle Paul was essentially passing the torch (or baton if you will) of the faith to the succeeding generation. Although the direct recipient of these letters was Timothy, each believer in each generation does well to heed the charge in the daily Scripture portions. Today I place my name into this charges that Paul so solemnly gave Timothy. Perhaps you will as well. I find it helps me to really personalize it.
Many years ago when I served as a pastor I was preaching from this text and coincidentally we had a visitor in the service by the name of Timothy. He told me later that when I emphasized, "O Timothy…" it shook him up a little, as he thought, "Oh no, the preacher's preaching right at me!" He was doubly attentive at those points! Well the fact of the matter is I was preaching to him and to everyone else in attendance! That's why placing our own name in may be beneficial.
When we study the Bible we benefit from many believers in past generations who have guarded the good deposit. We also benefit from elders in our present generation, like Ron, who are still living. And we are passing it on as well. Brooksyne and I view this online writing ministry as a part of our passing on the faith.
Each generation has a responsibility in guarding the deposit of faith passed on by the preceding generation and in turn passing it on to the succeeding one. That's at the very heart of what Biblical Christian faith is all about. In fact Paul set forth the pattern to Timothy, "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others" (2 Timothy 2:2).
In a sense I am both receiving the torch and passing it on simultaneously. As I study the Bible and other resources I'm still reaching back and receiving. And I'm passing it on as well. How about you? Are you receiving and passing on the baton of God's truth?
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, the commandments that You give are to be impressed upon our hearts. When our acts of obedience come from the heart Your love motivates us to obey Your commands and Your holiness teaches us to align our desires with Your own. Help us to be extremely cautious about new teachings that are pleasing to the ear and popular with our present generation, but do not bear witness with our spirit. As we study Your Holy Word, from cover to cover, and meditate upon Your principles we will hold on to that which is of most importance and pass on to those who come behind the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints of all generations. Amen.
Selected portions of verses implemented into our daily prayer: Deuteronomy 6:6, Colossians 1:13,14
Special Year-end Financial Appeal
We want to thank all who have financially supported our ministry this past year (and some for many years!). We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time but if you would like to make a donation to our ministry see here for more information. Like many ministries, we typically see a spike in giving at the end of the year for which we are most thankful.
Our ministry labor is comprised of approximately half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies from which we receive compensation. Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each would provide half of our ministry expenses and income.
To donate directly online click here. This will open to a page that designates the offering to: STEPHEN & BROOKSYNE WEBER - 700001-237376 SERVING IN SPECIALIZED CHAPLAINCY
Please Note: If you desire you can donate directly through PayPal using this link. This will open to a page that states "Brooksyne Weber". We keep this option available due to the familiarity, convenience, international supporters, and for those who may not need an official receipt. You can also set up for recurring donations. You also can use PayPal on this link.
Stephen & Brooksyne
The Convene meeting and meal was held at the AACA Museum in Hershey, a very interesting place to gather!
Brooksyne snapped this photo of Peter Teague and me visiting in the diner at the AACA Museum. Peter served for many years as the president of Lancaster Bible College and now has an amazing ministry for children with disabilities called "Jessica and Friends".
Vision: By faith, we strive to fulfill and proclaim the good news of the gospel by providing service to families impacted by intellectual disabilities regardless of financial standing.
Mission: Provide faith-based services and supports for individuals and families with autism and intellectual disabilities. We seek to be a community which affirms the worth of all people, supports personal growth and wholeness, advocates for community and church inclusion, and provides opportunities for spiritual growth and service.
Tom and Carol Shea. I met Tom at the first Convene meeting I attended.
The museum also has a large train layout.
Resources for Christmas Celebrations
(We will leave these resources posted below our daily messages through Christmas)
Each year we share several online resources that we have used over the years. Perhaps they may be a blessing to you, your family or church during this Christmas season.
"In Remembrance of Me" pdf This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. Brooksyne and I have used this reading with great receptivity during Christmas Eve services over the years. We suggest, if possible, a musical background as the message is read. It is also a great lead-in to a Communion service. It should be thoroughly practiced and read with great feeling. Here's a great Communion Hymn for Christmas (Video)
"When Christ Was Born" pdf This is an adaptation to the tune of "How Great Thou Art". It's a great song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with and love the tune.
Responsive Christmas Scripture readings for church or family:
John 1:1-18 pdf
"O Come Let Us Adore Him" pdf
My First Christmas In Heaven This is a blessed reminder for all who lost a loved one this year.
Christmas Knowledge Test
We have also posted two Christmas carol quizzes here (scroll down).
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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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