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Thursday, February 16, 2023
Our friend, Roseanna, shared this photo that her friend took of an unusual cloud formation. Makes you think of the dove that appeared during Jesus' baptism.
"Our Final Appointment"
Message summary: There is a final appointment that we will all keep. It is not optional and we can't dismiss it.
Listen to our message on your audio player.
"Then he breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people, old and full of years. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him" (Genesis 35:29). "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).
Since our calendar is highlighted with lots of appointments we are thankful for reminders and notifications. Today we have several appointments at companies and then a late morning appointment to have our van inspected. Tomorrow we have several more appointments with companies and then over to Hershey for a follow-up appointment with my surgeon for the surgery I had last month. I expect a good report!
We have appointments all through life. An appointment is simply defined as "an arrangement to meet someone at a particular time and place". Even before we had any recollection or memory our mothers had appointments with us when she was carrying us in her womb, then they were taking us to appointments as infants and children. As we progress through life we have all had many appointments: school appointments, doctor appointments, business, community and church appointments and on and on.
Many appointments we can schedule. We have a role in determining when and where and in many cases if we will meet. But we had no role in determining when we were born and, apart from taking our own life (suicide), we have no control in determining when we will die.
But today we want to remind every reader of the final and most important appointment each of us will have: our appointment with death followed by the judgment. "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment". There is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun.
We believe the failure to acknowledge the reality of a future judgment accounts for much of the increased violence and careless living in our land and throughout the world. Brooksyne and I discussed these thoughts after this week's deadly shooting at Michigan State. An awareness of God's future judgment and the possibility of spending eternity in hell, should we not choose to accept Christ and walk in God's ways, is lessening day by day as the fear of God and the reality of hell is no longer emphasized in many settings and sadly, that includes many churches.
We want to assure you that there is a final appointment that we all have and we will all keep. It is not optional and we can't dismiss it. We will all, like Isaac, referred to in our first daily verse "breathe our last and die".* It doesn't take a great deal of faith to know that we will all face death. We see it all around us and feel it most especially when our loved ones die.
Our faith is expressed in either a belief that we will be accountable to God and experience an afterlife or a belief that life ceases to exist at the time of our death. Both views require faith. I absolutely believe there is an afterlife and I live with that outlook.
The second daily verse, "It is appointed unto men once to die and then after that the judgment", should be memorized and hidden deep within our hearts. Take courage, believer, as you prepare for this certain appointment. Think of it as an eternal promotion so that you face life and death with unwavering devotion, absolute confidence and great anticipation of your eternal promotion.
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, Your grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time and has been revealed through Him who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. Because the Gospel has been imparted to me and implemented in my life I can say with glorious confidence, "I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have entrusted to Him for that day", since "it is appointed unto men once to die and then after that the judgment." Keep me true, Father God, keep me true. Amen.
* Of course there will be those who are alive at the coming of the Lord and will be gathered up to meet the dead in Christ. (1 Thessalonians 4:13ff)
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Hebrews 9:27 Memory Verse Song" Video
"Hello After Goodbye" Video Legacy Five
"To Live is For Christ to Die Is Gain" Video Incredibly moving video
"Save A Place For Me" Video Matthew West
"Going Home" Video Mark Lowry
The Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in Lancaster and Lebanon Counties was covered with snow geese early this week at dawn. Roseanna took this photo early this week. We drove by last week and hardly saw any. The geese stay at this lake on their migration northward. During the day they travel to fields to feed which is probably why we didn't see them.
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Stephen & Brooksyne
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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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