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Wednesday, August 3, 2022
We have this stunning view taken early yesterday morning at the end of Kraybill Church Road and getting on Donegal Springs Road.
(Click on photo the enlarge)
"Always Be Prepared"
Message summary: Today God is still using people like Philip and Galen as we walk in obedience. Let us always be prepared!
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"Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. ‘Do you understand what you are reading?' Philip asked" (Acts 8:30). "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect" (1 Peter 3:15).
Jay Smith has worked with Muslims since 1983 and is one of Christianity’s principal public evangelists and debaters to the Muslim world. He travels extensively teaching Apologetics for those exploring ministry to Muslims and engages the movers and thinkers of Islam on a weekly basis. We have heard him speak several times and he really has an interesting ministry expressing great boldness.
Years ago our friends Galen and Nancy were a part of a mission team that went to London to work alongside Jay. It was so exciting to see them stepping out in this manner of service for Christ.
Among their efforts was distributing tracts (small literature pamphlets with a Christian message). Galen came back home with an exciting story concerning their fruitful labor. They were passing out tracts along the sidewalk when a young man came by with a tract in his hand. He introduced himself as Graham. Galen asked him if he knew what he was reading. He told him that he had picked up one of the tracts that had been dropped by someone on the sidewalk.
And then Graham told his story. He had lived a life far from the Lord and recognized that he needed a change of direction in his life. He had been reading a Bible placed in his hotel room by the Gideons (interestingly Galen is also a member of the Gideons, a ministry which distributes Bibles). The Spirit of God had been speaking to him through his reading the Bible.
Galen briefly explained the tract to him and asked if he was ready to make a decision for Christ. He said he was and they went to a park area where Galen further explained the plan of salvation. He followed up with a prayer of repentance as Graham asked Jesus to be his Savior and Lord!
Galen told me, "As a farmer I fully understand that when a crop is ready you get ready and harvest it", which is just what happened! Galen realized that the Lord was preparing this young man for a divine encounter since he told him he does not normally walk on that particular sidewalk.
This story sure reminds me of the wonderful personal evangelism experience that Philip had in Acts 8 with the Ethiopian. Philip was one of the seven chosen (along with Stephen) in Acts 6 and thus it seems the Holy Spirit is demonstrating early on His intent that we all be involved in spreading the Gospel, not just the original disciples who walked with Jesus.
An angel of the Lord had directed Philip to the place where he would meet the Ethiopian who was reading the book of Isaiah while riding in the chariot (I guess he didn't deal with motion sickness.) The Spirit directed Philip, "Go to that chariot and stay near it."
"Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet." (Now that's obedience!)
Philip asked him, "Do you understand what you are reading?" So often God ordains human interaction in explaining His truth. The Ethiopian answered, "How can I," he said, "unless someone explains it to me?" So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Philip went on to explain the Gospel and had a lengthy spiritual conversation that culminated in his leading the Ethiopian to salvation in Christ.
Today God is still using people like Philip and Galen as we walk in obedience to Christ. Let us look for opportunities and always be prepared!
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, You know those to whom you are leading us to share the Gospel message. Sometimes these folks are on our hearts for years and we've prayed for them time and again. Other times we are prompted by the Holy Spirit to speak to an individual we've never met. We know that you have given us all authority in heaven and on earth to go and make disciples of all nations. It is not in our own strength, wisdom, personality or talents that we share the message of salvation to those who are lost. It is in the power of Your Holy Spirit that we go forth bringing the message of hope and forgiveness to those who seek it. Help us not to be discouraged when we don't see an immediate response for we know that we are all involved in the planting of spiritual seeds. Germination may take place over a number of years, but we will rejoice in the spiritual harvest to come. In Jesus' name, Amen."
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Tell Them" Video Andrae Crouch and the Disciples was one of our favorite groups when were were young Christians and we attended his concerts. Brooksyne learned about him in high school and was thrilled when he accepted the invitation to hold a concert in the football stadium of her high school, Daniel Webster High School in Tulsa, OK.
Today's entire text: Acts 8:26-40
We purchased our first peaches of the season yesterday and enjoyed their juicy sweetness on our cereal this morning.
(Click on photo the enlarge)
This year I (Brooksyne) selected a couple of tiny tomato plants called Early Goliaths. They grew rapidly, are very proliferous and have done exceptionally well in planters on our deck. I counted twice (to be sure of the number) to find that this plant is loaded down with 34 tomatoes. There are a couple bright red ones hiding. The sun has been hot and intense so I moved them to a shadier spot during the extreme afternoons. I didn't do it soon enough and the other plant got quite sunburned. Today I'll take a large linen cloth and cover during the 90 plus hot afternoon. If you grow tomatoes and want to try a different kind I would recommend Early Goliaths. We were eating them by early July. (Notice their pointed bottoms rather than the usual round ones.)
If you look closely you'll find me standing behind the bronze leaves of this trio of Canna Lilies. These Cannas can grow as high as 8' and I think we may just reach that height this year. Mollie wonders what I'm up to!
Last night at sunset we took a neighborhood bike ride together and enjoyed the sunset view from Trout Run Road.
(Click on photo the enlarge)
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Stephen & Brooksyne
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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