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Thursday, December 15, 2022

Luke 1:32

"Gabriel's Understatement"

Message summary: This day we unashamedly declare ourselves to be two of Christ’s followers. Christianity is alive because Jesus Christ, its Founder is alive! Jesus Christ is the central figure. He is great and He is the famous One in a class that stands way, way above any human classification. Join us in praising and serving Him today!

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“Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; His kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:30-33).

Mary, who had not yet conceived, heard this startling message from the angel Gabriel concerning Christ: "He will be great". Now that's of course true but seems to be an understatement considering the many ways we assess greatness today and how often the word is overused or misused. Here we are over 2000 years later affirming His ultimate greatness! As we prepare this message our hearts are full of exaltation to the ultimate Greatest Of All Time who is exclusively worthy of all praise.

Some have a greatness that lasts over time and others for only fifteen minutes. Some are great for specific reasons or in a specific area but little beyond that. Some are famous for their evil acts and others for doing good. In addition to heroes there are actors, musicians, athletes and politicians who have worldwide fame with many devoted followers. All of this is "fame" by human standards.

About 50 years ago John Lennon of the “Beatles” made an extremely boastful statement about the popularity of his band being greater than that of Jesus Christ.* We know how that turned out and His final accounting will be given to the Lord Jesus. The “Beatles” and all others who are reckoned as “great” by this world’s standards will eventually be likened to a tiny grain of sand in recorded history, let alone throughout eternity.

An acronym has been used a lot, especially in my observation to describe athletes such as Tom Brady the "GOAT", meaning "Greatest Of All Time". I had considered titling this message "The Ultimate GOAT" but realized if readers were unable to see my intention that it would seem sacrilegious. I absolutely want them to understand that Jesus Christ is the greatest of all time and eternity!

At the close of the last century historian Paul Johnson wrote of the lasting and increasing impact of Jesus Christ. But he noted that 100 years earlier as the year 1900 approached, many leading secular thinkers believed that the progress of science would cause a decline in religious faith and the dawning of the twentieth century would mark the close of history’s religious phase. “But here we are” Johnson wrote, “at the threshold of a new millennium, and Christianity is alive and well in the minds and hearts of countless believers.”

Twenty plus years into the new millennium and we see the continued efforts of our ancient foe to minimize and defeat the cause of Christ. Today many leading secularists continue to believe that the progress of science will cause a decline in religious faith. And to some degree that is happening. There's an increasing barrage of unbelief being unbridled and applauded by our secular society. However we place our faith in the One who said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away” (Matthew 24:35) and who forthrightly states, "The gates of hell shall not prevail" (Matthew 16:18).

This day we unashamedly declare ourselves to be two of Christ’s followers. Christianity is alive because Jesus Christ, its Founder is alive! Jesus Christ is the central figure. He is great and He is the famous One in a class that stands way, way above any human classification. Join us in praising and serving Him today!

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
How great Thou art, how great Thou art

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen and Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You are exalted over all the nations and Your glory fills the heavens. You are great and greatly to be praised. There is no other One who sits enthroned in the heavens and yet whose Spirit hears the very sigh of my heart. You hear my prayer before it is even whispered on my lips. You know my need even before I am aware of it and yet Your greatness never keeps me at a distance. Instead You invite me to approach the throne of grace and have audience with the King of kings and Lord of lords, both in seasons of rejoicing and in times of need. Thank You, Almighty One who exists from eternity to eternity. It is through Jesus that we approach You, our heavenly Father in prayer. Amen.

* Here’s John Lennon’s quote referred to above: “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that; I’m right and I’ll be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first—rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me."

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"How Great Thou Art"  Video  Shane & Shane

Technical note: Yesterday we had two major technical issues that took quite a while to resolve (hopefully they are resolved!). I am self taught and a plodder when it comes to this.

Mid morning our dailyencouragement.net email went down and I had to scramble to find and set up a new email server for the dailyencouragement.net addresses. Thus we may have missed emails coming in through the day that are lost in cyberspace.

Last night the dailyencouragement.net website went down for several hours due to a security issue (possibly related to setting up the new email earlier in the day). I finally got it resolved with tech support around midnight and it seems to be working fine this morning.

Icy morning

Winter storm: We awoke this morning to icy conditions with a very slippery driveway. The temp is still just 32 degrees mid-morning. Light snow is forecast for tomorrow.

Special Year-end Financial Appeal

We want to thank all who have financially supported our ministry this past year (and some for many years!). Like most ministries, we typically see a spike in giving at the end of the year for which we are most thankful. We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time but if you would like information about making a donation to our ministry see here.

In considering support we are so pleased when we hear from you, our readers, that our messages are a source of teaching and encouragement to you. We also urge you to consider the mission aspect of these daily teachings that are freely available and read by many all over the world.

 To donate directly online click here. (This will open to a page that designates the offering to: STEPHEN & BROOKSYNE WEBER - 700001-237376 SERVING IN SPECIALIZED CHAPLAINCY)
Make A DonationIf you desire you can also donate directly through PayPal using this link. This will open to a page that states "Brooksyne Weber". We keep this option available due to the familiarity, convenience, for international supporters, and for those who may not need an official receipt. You can also set up for recurring donations.    
Thank you,

Stephen & Brooksyne

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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