Daily Encouragement Net
The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Friday, September 16, 2022

Hay bale stack, Lancaster County (Click to enlarge)
Yesterday east of Intercourse, PA we passed this large stack of round hay bales which looked to us like a stack of huge spools of twine (this kind)
Click on photo to enlarge

"Hope-inspired Endurance"

Message summary: May these qualities, for which Paul commended the Thessalonians, also be true in each of our lives!

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“We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 1:3).

Yesterday morning we went to bid our farewell at the visitation for Moses, a longtime Amish friend, who died earlier this week after a long illness. The care he received for the last several years from family members has been very heartening for us to witness. Yesterday I was able to personally commend several of them, reminding them of the blessing of practicing the fifth commandment to honor our father and mother. Today's verse seems especially appropriate in reflecting upon this care.

I’ve been blessed by this verse for many years. Preachers/teachers, can you see the ready-made three point sermon/teaching outline in this text from first the letter to the Thessalonians?

Paul, along with Silas and Timothy, begins the letter in a manner typical of his writing style, as he expresses warm appreciation. He gives thanks to God for the faith, love, and hope of the Thessalonian believers. It’s important to be thankful for those to whom we minister. Like Paul, we also need to assure them of our regular prayers on their behalf.

"We continually remember before our God and Father." Have you ever consider all who Paul had ministered to in his various recorded missionary journeys. We have the letters to some of the places he had been but there were other places as well. Yet he is able to personalize each letter with phrases similar to "continually remember" (see Romans 1:8, 1 Corinthians 1:4, Ephesians 1:16 for example). It must have been so encouraging to these Thessalonian believers to know that Paul remembered them before God.

Paul listed three qualities he commended in the Thessalonians:

1) "Your work produced by faith." John Calvin wrote, "Faith alone saves, but faith that saves is not alone."

2) "Your labor prompted by love." Labor prompted by love is the toilsome, laborious activity that is prompted and sustained by love when the going gets hard. (Precept Austin commentary) When we were in Bible College Debbie Amstutz, a fellow student, wrote a song titled "Compelled By Love" based on 2 Corinthians 5:14, "For Christ's love compels us".

Compelled by love to forfeit my own will,
Compelled by love to give and give and give;
When changes come to keep on loving still,
Compelled by love to love and live for Him.*

3) "Your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” The Scriptures frequently stress the character quality of “endurance”. The underlying Greek word “hupomone” is used often in the New Testament. It has the sense of remaining, bearing trials, and having fortitude. My observation in the Christian life and in Christian service is that it’s one of the character traits most lacking among Christ’s followers today. That’s why I especially rejoice when I hear of a fellow believer staying on course, being faithful for the long haul of life. This endurance is inspired by “hope”.

May these qualities, for which Paul commended the Thessalonians, also be true in each of our lives! Notice also these three qualities are the same as the final verse from 1 Corinthians 13, the Love Chapter. "So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we continually remember the work of our fellow believers that is produced by their faith in Jesus, their labor that is prompted by love, and their endurance that is inspired by the hope they have in the Lord Jesus Christ. How grateful we are for the love and fellowship we enjoy with our brothers and sisters who serve You all throughout the world. We lift up those who are presently enduring matters that weigh heavy on their hearts. May the hope they have in the Lord Jesus Christ inspire confidence that You will give them victory as they stand firm in You. In the Mighty Name of Jesus. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

* We were unable to find a version of the song "Compelled By Love" mentioned in today's message which was written by Debbie Amstutz and are not sure if it was ever published beyond our use at college, although it sure should have been!

"Compelled By Love" Audio  Years ago I managed to get Brooksyne to record the song, singing it to her own accompaniment! She will insist that I tell you she is no soloist, but we really appreciated this song and I persuaded her to record it.

Debbie Amstutz had ministry in Christian music following our years at Central Bible College and had a popular duet with Dallas Holm in the early 80's titled, "No Other One."

"No Other One"  Video  Debbie Amstutz with Dallas Holm

More thought on inspiring hope: Inspirational artist, Thomas Kinkade, paints the following word picture, “Hope lights our spirit in the midst of despair; it is the life force that through the green stem drives the flower; it keeps a divine vision alive in the hearts of the weak and needy.” Now that’s an inspirational thought for endurance!

The hymn, “He Giveth More Grace”, has the following line in its third stanza, “When we reach the end of our hoarded resources our Father’s full giving has only begun.” Brooksyne often uses this hymn line as a prayer for the unsaved or backslidden. She prays that they will come to the end of their own "hoarded" resources of doing things their own way and look to God whose resources are not hurtful, destructive, or based on the ever-changing philosophies of this world. Instead His resources are inexhaustible, satisfying and have eternal, redemptive qualities about them.

Many endure great heartache as he or she watches a loved one year after year selecting from their seemingly endless bucket supply of hoarded resources that lead them to yet another wrong choice. That’s why we often pray, “Lord, help (Johnny) to reach the bottom of the barrel so that he can dig no deeper and finally looks up to You. Help him to see that his way is not the right way and show Him Your way, Father.”

Brooksyne and I pray for all who are undergoing this kind of heartache today with a child, parent, spouse, sibling, friend, co-worker or whomever God has laid on your heart. May He fill you with His enduring hope as you wait for your loved one to come to Christ so that he or she can experience the abundant generosity of a loving, saving, giving God.

Let me add one more thought: We, as believers, can also be guilty of hoarding our own resources, such as education, possessions, pride and a host of other things or attitudes that pull us away from God rather than forcing us to fully rely on Him to guide us in the thoroughfares of life.

“He Giveth More Grace”  Video  Gaither Homecoming friends

It was a beautiful day in Lancaster County yesterday!

Early yesterday morning someone was out for a balloon ride, a popular tourist activity over rural eastern Lancaster County. In fact this morning on our way to work in Willow Street we saw a cluster of eight balloons in the air over Strasburg - the most we've seen in one setting.
Click on photo to enlarge

Pumpkin Wagon
The Pumpkin Wagon on Ronks Road is a good place to get fall decorations with $1.00 pumpkins. We bought several to decorate our home for an activity this weekend and throughout the fall.
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View from White Horse thrift shop
On the way to a chaplain visit we stopped by one of Brooksyne's many favorite thrift shops, in White Horse. While she shopped I took in the views sitting on the front porch.
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View from White Horse thrift shop
Steel wheeled tractor and manure spreader
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Stairstep dresser
In the thrift shop: A creative dresser for under steps!

Finally today:

Manure injection
We mentioned earlier in the week that the large cornfield across from our home had been harvested for corn silage. Several days later they applied the manure injection which is far less smelly than the spreading. Tomorrow Brooksyne is hosting an outside ladies breakfast with friends from our Sunday School class and was concerned as they were spreading it. The good news is that we really don't have any odorous smell from it! For the agri-curious here's the scoop: More farmers switch to manure injection instead of spreading
Click on photo to enlarge

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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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