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Friday, August 5, 2022

Front walkway
Our front walkway.
Click on photo to enlarge

"Manifold Witness"

Message summary: Today we encourage you to observe and join with all nature in manifold witness to God's great faithfulness, mercy and love.

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“O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness” (Isaiah 25:1). “It is the living who give thanks to You, as I do today; A father tells his sons about Your faithfulness” (Isaiah 38:19).

Datsun pickupAlthough I am not a trained mechanic, in my younger days I did work on my own vehicles. The two biggest mechanical accomplishments as a young married man was swapping out an engine and later a transmission in a small Datsun pickup, the first vehicle we bought (very used) as a married couple. I recall my method was just putting it back together the way I took it apart. In both instances the truck worked OK afterwards and we used it till a few months after our move to Pennsylvania in 1977.

For most men, my age at least, the word "manifold" is a word associated with a motor. I don't recall using it in any other context in normal conversation. There are two manifolds in a car: an intake manifold that distributes the fuel-air mixture to the cylinders and an exhaust manifold that delivers exhaust out the rear of the car.

But we do use the word "manifold" in the second verse of a hymn, "Great Is Thy Faithfulness", many of us have been blessed by, yet I wonder how many of us have stopped to consider what it means?

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

In this case manifold means "many and various, having many different forms, features, or elements". The "sun, moon, and stars", are joining the whole of nature as a witness (like in a courtroom) of God's great faithfulness, mercy, and love. Because it is the "whole of nature", this witness is bound to be composed of "many different elements".

As we thoughtfully observe the sun, moon and stars in their courses above, I consider those over the centuries who have observed and benefited from this same astronomical witness since the beginning of creation.

We especially enjoy watching the sunset from our rural home. In God’s order of the universe all generations have seen the same as we now observe.  Perhaps several hundred years ago, during a summer evening, some native Americans saw the same sun that we view continuing its same course from this very location. Perhaps in the last several hundred years, since Europeans settled the area in which we presently live, a farmer was working the fields and watched or worked through the sunset. (Our property was farmland until our home was built in the mid 1980’s).

God’s faithfulness is an attribute (characteristic of God) that has brought assurance to His children through the ages. The first reference to God’s faithfulness in Scripture was a statement made by Jacob to God just prior to meeting with his estranged brother Esau: “I am unworthy of all the lovingkindness and of all the faithfulness which You have shown to Your servant” (Genesis 32:10). Jacob was a rascal but over time he matured after several notable experiences with God such as their wrestling match. Aren’t you thankful for God’s forgiving grace in regard to our past and the way He can use our past to mature us in our present attitudes and actions!

In the last part of Moses’ final words to the Israelites prior to his death he extols the Lord, “The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He” (Deuteronomy 32:4). That’s a pretty amazing statement from Moses, since God did not allow him to enter the Promised Land in which he led His people for forty years.

All through the Scriptures we find references to God’s faithfulness, perhaps the most referenced being the grand declaration in Lamentations 3:23, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”.

But as I search the Scriptures two references from Isaiah stand out:

“O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness (Isaiah 25:1). God acts in “perfect faithfulness”. Although many times we may not understand His ways, especially if they involve a season of trouble, this steadfast truth remains: His faithfulness is perfect.

“It is the living who give thanks to You, as I do today; a father tells his sons about Your faithfulness” (Isaiah 38:19). A pattern is given here for the transmission of truth from one generation to another as “the father makes known to the children Your faithfulness”.  Let us join the Psalmist, “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known Thy faithfulness to all generations” (Psalm 89:1).

Today we encourage you to observe and join with all nature in manifold witness to God's great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You are Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Everything within the universe was formed and is sustained by Your command. We are awestruck at Your design and grateful for the ways it benefits us every moment of every day. You are our Rock; Your ways are perfect, and You are perfectly faithful! We give thanks to You today, faithful God, for Your great work in our lives and in Your wonders formed long ago; for our benefit, our enjoyment and as a reminder of how dependent we are on Your faithfulness and goodness. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Great Is Thy Faithfulness"  Video  Austin Stone Worship  Traditional hymn with additional verses by written by John Piper.

"Yes and Amen"  Video  Maverick City

Nick Nichols
We visited with Nick Nichols yesterday afternoon who continues to overcome some critical health matters and does it with an exuberant attitude. A man of great knowledge in the insurance business who helped us navigate some important decisions regarding Ester's current health plan. He recently remodeled part of the basement for his office area and we sure enjoyed the inspirational photographs and writings that hung on each wall including the one posted below.

God's Fingerprint at Nick Nichols office
You'll have to enlarge this picture to appreciate its inspirational message. Written in the form of a fingerprint [God's] it includes a verse taken from every book of the Bible starting with Revelation at the top and ending with Genesis at the bottom. This was a gift to Nick from his daughter in dedication to his new office area.
Click on photo to enlarge

Backyard flowers
Brooksyne continues to be amazed by the tall Canna lilies in her garden and on our deck. She had me stand behind this one for height perspective. Since we have two more months of summer weather we'll have to test it again to see if there is more growth from the canna. (This is kind of like the growth chart our moms put on the wall to see if we were healthily growing as children. I did just fine culminating at 6'2" but now perhaps we should post a shrinking chart at this season of our lives to chart our shrinkage due to aging factors.
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Weber couple photo 7/3/22
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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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