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Friday, May 20, 2022
Sunset over Ocean Beach Pier in San Diego
Taken by our friend Steve Higgins
"Out Of The Wreck I Rise"
Personal note: I am slowly recovering from the bike accident I had on Tuesday and will share an update below. Today's message is different than planned. I plan to share two more messages about David next week.
Message summary: We can all declare, "Out Of The Wreck I Rise".
Podcast not prepared for this message.
Brooksyne thought the entry for yesterday's "My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers was fitting for me. It was titled "Out Of The Wreck I Rise". I am still in considerable pain and weak and weary so I will lean on the words of one of the most familiar and beloved devotional writers for the majority of today's message.
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" (Romans 8:35)
"God does not keep a man immune from trouble; He says - "I will be with him in trouble." It does not matter what actual troubles in the most extreme form get hold of a man's life, not one of them can separate him from his relationship to God. We are "more than conquerors in all these things."
Paul is not talking of imaginary things, but of things that are desperately actual; and he says we are super-victors in the midst of them, not by our ingenuity, or by our courage, or by anything other than the fact that not one of them affects our relationship to God in Jesus Christ. Rightly or wrongly, we are where we are, exactly in the condition we are in. I am sorry for the Christian who has not something in his circumstances he wishes was not there.
"Shall tribulation . . . ?" Tribulation is never a noble thing; but let tribulation be what it may - exhausting, galling, fatiguing, it is not able to separate us from the love of God. Never let cares or tribulations separate you from the fact that God loves you.
"Shall anguish . . . ?" - can God's love hold when everything says that His love is a lie, and that there is no such thing as justice?
"Shall famine . . . ?" - can we not only believe in the love of God but be more than conquerors, even while we are being starved?
Either Jesus Christ is a deceiver and Paul is deluded, or some extraordinary thing happens to a man who holds on to the love of God when the odds are all against God's character. Logic is silenced in the face of every one of these things. Only one thing can account for it - the love of God in Christ Jesus.
"Out of the wreck I rise" every time.
Now to be very clear, recovering from a recreational bike wreck that could have been far worse does not even remotely compare to what so many are going through but what a blessed reminder of a word I have often encouraged people with, "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us" (Romans 8:37).
It's a great truth for every one of us. Every word is rich with meaning and can be ponderously exegeted. Let's look at one phrase "More than conquerors". This actually translates a single Greek word "hupernikao". This word is linguistically known as a "hapax legomenon". This is a term used for words that occur only once in a body of literature, of course in this case the New Testament. In fact it's so rare that it's possible that Paul devised it to express his thought.
It is actually a combination of two more familiar words; "huper" from whence we get "hyper" and nikao from whence "Nike" gets its name. "Huper" literally means over but carries the sense of the superlative. "Nikao" is most often translated "overcome" and is found most frequently in Revelation. I like to compare translations and I suppose for this verse I'm most blessed by the rendering in the NASV which states "we overwhelmingly conquer". Now let that bless your soul today, fellow overcomer! Indeed we can all declare, "Out Of The Wreck I Rise".
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, I am so grateful that being a conqueror is not a title that I can earn by my own strategy or my position in life. I recognize that I am an overcomer solely because I am a Child of God. The battles I conquer and the ultimate victory I attain in my lifetime come wholly because of the blood of Jesus Christ. I am more than a conqueror through Jesus who loves me and gave Himself unreservedly for the remission of my sins. Thank you for the inexhaustible supply of Your grace, power, and provision for my salvation and my walk with You in the ensuing battles of daily life.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Out Of Ashes" Video Steve Green
"Beauty For Ashes" Video Chris McClarney
Personal note: I shared yesterday about a bike accident I had on Tuesday morning up at Swatara State Park in Lebanon County.
Yesterday I went to orthopedic urgent care and had x-rays and an MRI. They suspect I have a rotator cuff tear. I was the first patient to use a brand new MRI machine so I was treated as somewhat of a celebrity!
I have a follow-up appointment next week.
I am thankful for the many expressions of concern and prayer as well as offers to help. One friend in CA offered to send a Doordash! Local friends and neighbors have rallied. Tomorrow Eli James, a hardworking young Amish teenager, is coming over to help; mowing my lawn, getting my broken bike out of the van, etc.
Brooksyne and Ester are visiting an elderly friend who lives on Sunset Cliffs Blvd in San Diego named for these sunset cliffs!
Click on photo for larger view
Brooksyne and Ester had a visit from Steve Higgins, who is out in San Diego on business. Steve and his wife Andrea and twin daughters were part of the church we served in New England in the 90's. We are so blessed by many longtime friendships! The cliffs are just beyond the road.
Yesterday I mustered the strength to share a message with a men's group at Calvary Homes and was blessed to receive a blessing from Eric Crichton, a 101 year old retired pastor. He is a former pastor of the church we now attend.
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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.
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