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Friday, June 17, 2022

Amish boys
Yesterday Brooksyne bought some flowers at a roadside stand on Rockvale Road when this horse and buggy passed by, reminding us of the childhood joy of riding in the back of a pickup!

"The Chief Masquerader"

Note: We will not be posting Daily Encouragement messages the first several days next week. I (Stephen) am driving our Lapp family Amish friends up to the PA Grand Canyon area for their family vacation. We will be visiting Lookout Point on the canyon rim, biking on the Pine Creek rail trail through the canyon, swimming in a mountain lake (probably not me!) and examining God's glory in the stars in some of the east coast's most remote areas at or near Cherry Springs State Park, the second international Dark Sky Park in USA and the only one on the east coast.

Message summary: It is not surprising that Satan’s servants "masquerade as servants of righteousness". We must continue to examine and discern all that we see, read, and hear so that we base our standard on the genuine Word of God, which will always be the firm foundation of truth!

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“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

This morning we visited Kleen-Rite, a company that sells equipment and supplies to the car wash industry. They sell a lot of Little Trees® air fresheners which has remained the go-to air freshener since being created in the mid-twentieth century. Beginning as a quick fix for a milk truck driver who detested the smell of spoiled milk, these products became a popular, efficient solution for anybody needing to freshen up their vehicle. More than likely, those of you reading our message today have purchased the Little Trees air freshener for your vehicle at some point.

Because of their success other companies have tried to imitate them and they are very vigilant about counterfeit products that appear similar. That's understandable since they've worked very hard to develop a good name.

Life is full of masquerades and counterfeits, although we are probably most familiar with the term "counterfeit" in regard to money. I get lots of advertising for counterfeit drugs, diplomas, software and many other products and services. The value of the genuine spawns the counterfeits and masquerades, thus it should not surprise us when we confront masquerades in the spiritual realm as well.

Paul often confronted and warned against counterfeit teaching and masquerading apostles. That’s one of the duties of a caring shepherd. In 2 Corinthians 11:1-15 Paul dealt with the topic of false apostles who preach a different Jesus than the one he preached. This portion of Scripture is a warning in general about counterfeit teaching, a warning just as applicable today as the day Paul wrote it.

In another Scripture Paul specifically exposes the false teaching of two men, Hymenaeus and Philetus. These troublemakers, who were once teachers of the genuine gospel, had wandered from the truth, denying the resurrection, and were thereby destroying the faith of those who chose to embrace their false teaching (2 Timothy 2).

Paul describes the counterfeits he dealt with in 2 Corinthians as "false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ". The relentless attack on the genuine faith that Paul encountered continues unabated today and is actually increasing in my view. We face it from the scientific realm, media outlets, the political arena, educational field, entertainment industry and even the religious establishment. On the personal level we daily face the flaming arrows of our enemy who seeks to move us off the right course. We must always be on our guard against spiritual masquerades.

The chief masquerader is Satan himself. It’s his very nature to masquerade as an angel of light. In the Bible he initially came on the scene masquerading as a cunning and clever snake. In his deceptive craft he convinced Eve that he was able to impart wisdom and that he was looking out for her best interest.

The word “masquerade” means “to transform one’s outward appearance, to disguise.” Not only did Satan disguise his outward appearance but also his inward motivation. In our daily text the original Greek "masquerade" is translated in the present tense indicating this is something Satan habitually does.

It is not surprising that Satan’s servants also "masquerade as servants of righteousness". We must continue to examine and discern all that we see, read, and hear so that we base our standard on the genuine Word of God, which will always be the firm foundation of truth!

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we ask You to not only open our eyes to that which is around us, but we ask You to open the eyes of our hearts so that we might envision that which is true and that which is false on a spiritual level. When we hide Your Word in our hearts we more quickly discern that which masquerades as good, but its source is from one of Satan’s servants “masquerading as a servant of righteousness.” Because Your Spirit reigns in our hearts and knowledge from Scripture fills our minds, we affirm that which is Scriptural and reject that which is heresy. May we ever be vigilant in attaining Scriptural knowledge and fervent in prayer as we encounter the gods of this age. In the matchless and true name of Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Show Me the Father" | 2 Corinthians 1:3–4 | Our Daily Bread Video Devotional  Video  We've been hearing on several Christian radio programs about the movie/documentary "Show Me the Father" and Stephen Kendrick tells a little about it in this video along with the godly model his father provided.

Here are some places we hope to see early next week:

Today we share some more photos of some of the men we see in the course of our chaplain work. This week I have especially been honoring and challenging fathers but we are also blessed to see so many still working hard and living responsibly.

John, gutter installer at Smucker
John installs gutters and downspouts for Smucker Home Improvement. He seeks to be a good father to his five children.

Robert and Nevin, Smucker Laser
Bobby (left) and Nevin in front of the newest laser machine at Smucker Laser. Bobby just got married and Nevin has children in college.

Keith, Smucker designer
Keith is a designer for Smucker Home Improvement. Previously (many years ago) he toured with the band Petra as a guitarist. Anyone remember this song? "The Coloring Song"  Video

JK electric team
These four electricians from JK Mechanical were getting loaded early this morning to install a generator.

JK electric team
Juan and Dave have been a longtime team for installing HVAC equipment at JK Mechanical.

Amish garden
We bought flowers at an Amish roadside stand stand on Strasburg Pike and enjoyed visiting with Barb afterwards who has turned her back yard into a beautiful garden. As is typical of the Amish people we meet their gardens are lush, bountiful, and weed free due to their very hard work!

Barrys Car Barn, Intercourse, PA
Later in the morning we visited Barry's Car Barn in Intercourse, PA
This is one man's personal collection! It is an antique car museum
focusing on American muscle cars from the 50s-70s. The walls are covered in antique memorabilia to truly take you back in time.⁠
(Click on photo for larger view)

Gas pump in Barrys Car Barn, Intercourse, PA
We saw a great price for gas but the pump was inoperative!
What's the lowest gas price you remember paying? For me it was 19 cents during a "gas war" (competition between local gas stations). What's the highest gas price you can remember?

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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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