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Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Lancaster County garden
A very well-maintained garden on Risser Mill Road north of Mount Joy.
We have driven by this house for over 20 years and every summer they plant one of the most tidy gardens in our area.
Click on photo to enlarge

"Help, Lord!"

Message summary: Thank God for men who remain faithful followers of Jesus Christ in our own day. But we feel the same as David as we see the conditions of our world, "Help, Lord, for the godly man ceases to be. For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men" (Psalm 12:1).

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"Help, Lord, for the godly man ceases to be. For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men" (Psalm 12:1). "So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised" (Hebrews 10:35,36).

A relatively obscure song recorded by the Gospel group “Truth” is titled “God Is In Control”. It speaks of reassurance as I listen carefully to the words. The beginning of the song has a line that could surely be inspired by reading the daily headline news:

“Does it seem like the world is chaotically turning
sin and shame are unarraigned
and, Godly men are adjourning.”

This coming Sunday is Father's day here in the US, a day when fatherhood is honored. Today's message is a special call to men. Given the great apostasy (falling away) we are in the midst of, we have an observation similar to the Psalmist in our daily text, "Help, Lord, for the godly man ceases to be. For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men" (Psalm 12:1).

"Help, Lord." David's observation of the men during this period in his life led him to cry out to God for help. His troubled observation was that the "godly man ceases to be". David grew up during a time of great moral and spiritual apostasy. Certainly Saul's reign was not marked by spiritual revival or consistent obedience to God. It transitioned from the period of the Judges, which is summed up with the phrase "each man did what was right in his own eyes". However there was a remnant of God's faithful followers during this period such as the prophet Samuel.

Thank God for men who remain faithful followers of Jesus Christ in our own day. *

* Faithful ministers, full of the Holy Spirit, who preach the whole counsel of God's Word in an uncompromising manner
* Dedicated men who faithfully live out their faith before an oft-scorning world
* Men who make a commitment to moral purity
* Men who take their marital covenant seriously
* Men who raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord
* Business leaders who seek to honor God in the way they conduct their business
* Employees who "work heartily as unto the Lord"
* Church communities that continue to "forsake not the assembling together"

Today's second verse is a great truth for all readers to memorize. We all deal with different temptations and various struggles in life as we seek to remain faithful to Christ. The believers addressed in Hebrews were facing persecution and were tempted to go back to their old way of life. Perhaps part of the temptation was that in doing so their persecutions might ease. There are many believers today under similar circumstances.

But going back to the old way of life remains a temptation in varying degrees for all believers, though for different reasons. For many readers it may be the busyness of life, affluence, the persistent barrage of godless, secular teaching and other issues we confront daily, including the unbelief that might exist within our own family. These and other matters may lull us into complacency or seek to pull us back into the world.

Many who bear a heavy load, as they overcome the consequences of many years of disobedience to God, could be tempted to simply give up. It may be tobacco, drug or alcohol abuse, sexual immorality, anger, rage, resentment, or indebtedness due to wasteful spending. Turning to Christ does not immediately negate the long-term consequences of these past sins or present unchecked attitudes. Though some receive miraculous behavioral, attitudinal, and even physical deliverances, many will endure weaknesses and temptations that require diligent prayer and a lifetime of overcoming.

The enemy of our soul persistently pesters us to give up. "What's the use?" might consume our thoughts, dim our vision and overshadow powerful verses such as "Let us not grow weary while doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we don't give up" (Galatians 6:9). We may be tempted to just throw away our confidence and simply give up such as those Peter wrote about in his second letter (2:20): "after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them". Sadly, we know some who have done just that. A major theme throughout Hebrews is, "Let us hold firmly to the faith we profess." The word translated "hold firmly" is in the present active and conveys the ongoing need to actively participate in this "holding on" to our faith.

But note the great promise in the daily text. We have been blessed by it often and committed it to memory: "So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded." Any earthly rewards pale in comparison to the eternal rewards our heavenly Father bestows on the faithful believer. May the Lord's present and future promises strengthen your faith today and fill you with anticipation for the future when you will be "richly rewarded".

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You lead us through the valleys and mountain top experiences of everyday life. Your ways are far superior to the path we might choose when guided by our own familiar past, faulty thinking, or poor role models. We're so grateful for the strength and encouragement we receive from our brothers and sisters who bear our burdens, share in our joys and sorrows, provide godly example and even gently rebuke when correction is needed. When weighing the decision of abandoning our faith or holding faithfully to the faith we profess, we join with Simon Peter who weighed the options and declared, "Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.  We believe and know that You are the Holy One of God" (John 6:68,69). Enable us to deal with the daily stuff of life and to remember that You reward the faithful, though our greater and lasting reward will only be realized on the other side. Help us to learn the grace of being confident on this side as we continue to obey Your commands and await Your blessed reward. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

* Of course these points apply to women as well but the focus of today's message is to reflect on the men.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"God Is In Control"  Video  Truth  This is the song mentioned in the beginning of the message.

Does it seem like the world
Is chaotically turning?
Sin and shame un-arraigned
And godly men are adjourning
Well, our fathers warned
That it would come to this
But just hold your hat
And know that the final truth is...

God is in control
Though godless men conspire
His will unfolds
Though mortal minds
Are sometimes left to doubt
His ways are higher than our ways
So even through the fire
Take heart and know
God is in control

Does is seem like your world
Is a maze of confusion?
Do you long for the day (Oh, I wish for the day)
When problems meet their solutions?
Well, I know sometimes
Life's line feels unsecured (So unsеcured)
But the saints who've hеld on before
Would charge you to rest assured

God is in control
Though godless men conspire
His will unfolds
Though mortal minds
Are sometimes left to doubt
His ways are higher than our ways
So even through the fire
Take heart and know
God is in control

His ways are higher than our ways
So even through the fire
Take heart and know
Take heart and know
Take heart and know
God is in control

"Preach The Word"  Video  Gold City   Especially for preachers

"I Want To Be That Man"  Video  Brian Free & Assurance  A tribute to a godly father!

"Where Could I Go"  Video A hymn I (Brooksyne) enjoyed singing as a child and came to understand its text much more fully as an adult. One man singing four part harmony acapella.

For further study: Psalm 12 - "The Words of Man and the Word of God"  Comments by Pastor David Guzik  Video

Personal note-ebike accident update: I (Stephen) had an accident on my e-bike 4 weeks ago on a mountain trail in Swatara State Park. The abrasions on my arms and knees from the fall have mostly healed. It was confirmed by MRI that I tore my rotator cuff in my left shoulder. At this time the pain is lessening and the function (range of motion) is increasing in that shoulder with physical therapy and time. I have postponed surgery at this time to determine how much improvement I will experience. I want to thank those who prayed for me!

Mark Pulliam
Yesterday afternoon our long-time friend Mark Pulliam stopped by after taking his daughter and granddaughters to the Turkey Hill Experience. We met Mark some 25 years ago when we lived in New England. What a blessing to have "old friends"  Video
When this song was popular we had not yet turned 30 and couldn't have imagined "Holding arms to climb a curb". Now we are beginning to see what that means!

Just for fun: My dad liked Roger Miller and being from the Kansas City area especially liked this song.
"Kansas City Star, that's what I are"  Video
(The Kansas City Star was and is the city's main newspaper)
Another childhood memory: Roger Miller - "King Of The Road"  Video
"I'm a man of means by no means"

Mark Pulliam with granddaughters
Mark's daughter snapped a photo of us as we enjoyed a bowl of cold, crisp and juicy sweet watermelon out on our deck.

Finally today:

Mark Pulliam granddaughters eating ice cream at Turkey Hill Experience
You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream!
Mark's granddaughters enjoying ice cream at the Turkey Hill Experience.

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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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