A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Monday, December 20, 2021
This lovely home setting is viewed through the opening of the Hunsecker's Mill Covered Bridge.
(Click on photo for larger view.)
"It's Not Fake News!"
Message summary: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners", is the real meaning of Christmas, good news that is trustworthy and true!
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people" (Luke 2:10). "It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Timothy 1:15).
"Fake news" has been a popular phrase for several years, although fake news has been around a lot longer, actually from the beginning when the serpent had some "news" for Eve. But what constitutes fake news or disinformation is often guided by our worldview. Each side of the broad ideological spectrum claims the other is disseminating fake news!
Several years ago we saw this message on a church sign in rural Oklahoma: "No Fake News Here, Just The Good News Of Jesus Christ".
Today let us consider good news that is entirely trustworthy and true, not fake news but real good news! The angel's message to the shepherds and to all people (for then and now) was, "I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people".
Over the next several days earnest believers will gather all over the world to give focus to the true meaning of Christmas. We will worship through song, reading Scripture, praying, hearing the Christmas narrative, partaking of communion, in addition to other ways we honor our Lord. We will gather in churches, homes, classrooms, hospitals, rehabs, prisons, soup kitchens, and in many other settings to express our faith in the very heart of the Christmas story; "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners".
Biblical truths are being mocked and ridiculed and sadly there are those in the visible church who feel we must compromise in disbelief to be accepted by the world. After all there are those who declare that the Creation record in Genesis is a legend, the Biblical miracles aren't real, and the Bible characters are myths. It should not surprise us that the critical events in the life of our Savior; His birth (specifically miraculous conception), death, and resurrection are similarly ridiculed.
The epistles give little emphasis to the birth of Christ. Apart from the historical record in the narratives of Matthew and Luke, and the prophecies foretold centuries earlier, we have no other information on our Lord's birth. It's not mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles or in the epistles with any detail. Actually there's no record of the early church celebrating Christ's birth as we do today.
But they certainly believed in it! Paul introduces a saying that appears to be an early creedal statement of the primitive church. "It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Timothy 1:15).
"It is a trustworthy statement" (literally a "faithful word"), Paul uses this phrase 5 times in the Pastoral Epistles to introduce a statement of special importance. It's easily memorized, and perhaps this repetitive method was used to teach and reinforce the most essential tenets of faith in earliest believers.
"Deserving full acceptance". Although most of the world's population has not accepted this truth; from its earliest declaration, to this day and throughout eternity it truly deserves full acceptance. We have fully accepted this truth, and trust that each of you have as well.
"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" is an absolutely trustworthy statement that impacts the lives of every human born into this world. It is the real meaning of Christmas and it is always good news because it is trustworthy and true!
This week let us not forget the reason Jesus came into the world and consider the difference it makes in our lives today! It's not fake news, it's the genuine good news!
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, how grateful we are that Jesus came into this world to save sinners; to turn despair to hope, darkness to light, and death to life. All that we have need of and presently rely on is abundance from Your generous Hand. You are worthy of our trust and deserving of our fully surrendered life. From the cradle to the cross Jesus is Lord of Heaven and Lord of earth. We celebrate the birth of Your Son, Jesus, our Savior and Lord, and we give thanks for all that it means to us. Amen.
Christmas greeting to our readers:
We express our greatest appreciation and love to you, our faithful daily encouragement readers. We have met or heard from so many fine readers from all walks of life and from all regions of the world and we are better for it in our spiritual walk and our social life. We always enjoy your feedback and your stimulating comments that affirm or challenge us to think further on a subject matter. We're even glad for those of you who take the time to let us know a link is broken or a date is wrong, etc.
We are praying for those whose Christmas season may be difficult this year due to a heartache you are experiencing, and for those who suffer from a significant loss in your life. May our faithful Lord meet you and bring a deep settled peace in your heart as you reflect upon Him as the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of peace.
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
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"God With Us" Video From our service yesterday at Calvary Church along with our worship leader's introduction.
Brooksyne’s Note: Last year our church introduced this beautiful Christmas song to our congregation. I was pleased to hear it again yesterday and was deeply moved as we sang i the stanza describing God as Emmanuel, You are God with us. I believe it will be of great blessing to you as well.
Our Deliverer, You are Savior.
In Your presence we find our strength
Over everything our redemption
God with us, You are God with us
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 good song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with the classic 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).
As we were preparing to record our podcast we both turned around due to some annoying noise in the background and saw Gracie playing with her twin in the mirror.
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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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