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Friday, February 17, 2023
Early yesterday morning we visited Jesse and Anna Ruth on the Old Windmill farm. The peacock was showing off for me but the turkey wanted in the photo as well. Perhaps it didn't spread its wings so as not to photo-bomb the peacock!
"A Good Reputation"
Message summary: God calls us as His followers to build a good reputation that is truly a witness for Him.
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"Mordecai was prominent in the palace; his reputation spread throughout the provinces, and he became more and more powerful" (Esther 9:4). “He (church leader) must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap” (1 Timothy 3:7).
My Dad (Stephen's) was born on February 17, 1919, the third of eight children. (Thus today is his 104th birthday, perhaps a time of celebration in heaven.) Eugene Clark Weber was pretty ordinary and very, very few reading this ever heard of him. Like most, he never did anything really remarkable for God and when historians write of the twentieth century I'm certain they won't include his name. But his name is in the most important Book of all books, the Book of Life! (See Philippians 4:3.)
He stayed faithful to his wife for over 53 years, loved his four kids, and worked hard to provide for his family. He was very proficient in mechanical things like plumbing, heating, air-conditioning and about anything else that needed fixed. He voluntarily used these skills in many churches throughout the Kansas City area. While in his late sixties he installed the entire heating system for the church we pastored in northern Pennsylvania, as we excitedly moved from a rental in an old department store into our own new building.
My dad had a simple faith and love for God. His prayers were simple, direct, brief and very earnest. I've sure missed hearing them since his death 25 years ago. His greatest gift to me was his model of faithfulness and integrity in the regular grind of life. He went home to be with the Lord in 1998 at 79 years of age.
I am blessed that my Dad had a good reputation. He ran a small plumbing, heating and air conditioning business in the Belton, Missouri area in the sixties. The year before my mom died in 2005 she received a letter from a business owner in Belton commending Dad for his integrity and reporting that the air conditioning unit my dad installed at his business in the sixties was still operating!
The first daily Scripture verse speaks of how Mordecai's reputation spread which is a good aspiration for all of us. He is a prominent character in the book of Esther and a man faithful to God.
Our reputation is not something we attain instantly but rather develop over a lifetime. Yesterday I was visiting with a young man in his late teens and I urged him to begin building his reputation now by living in a way that honors God and demonstrates trustworthiness to others.
The second daily Scripture verse is from a list of characteristics that Paul says must be used to qualify the fitness of a church leader. Sadly in our day the attempt to establish a “good reputation” is often more a result of spin or illusion than real substance or true character. “Reputation is what others think of you. Character is who you are when no one but God is looking.” (Source unknown)
God calls us as His followers to have a good reputation that is truly a witness for Him. Our character is to reflect the standards of Christ and Scripture. The word “outsider” in the text most certainly means those outside the faith (unbelievers) or as the KJV puts it "them which are without". An excellent Biblical example of this type of reputation is Mordecai and Daniel.
Today, what kind of reputation do you have with the “outsider”? Most of you work with or around “outsiders” every day. Are you demonstrating a good, steady witness? Do your fellow workers see the character of Christ in your life daily?
Are you honest? What about your temper? Your language? Your diligence? Your promptness? Your concern for others' welfare? Are you following through? Do you honor Christ with your lips as well as your life? Do you speak well of your family and church? Remember, daily, you are developing a witness; let it be a good one, one that reveals your character and honors Christ at the same time!
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, the way we interact with those outside the faith will have a positive or a negative influence on whether they choose to follow You. There appears to be no neutral mode in our lives, for we do not live unto ourselves, but regularly give account for our actions and attitudes daily. Inconsistency and double standards have long been a trap Satan has set so that the world will point their accusatory finger and cry, "Hypocrite!" Sadly, it is often a true characterization. May we, as Your disciples, be faithful in our walk and consistent in our talk as we serve You at home, in the workplace, in our churches, and in our sphere of influence. We do not want to bring disgrace on the holy name of Jesus, but we want to honor His name as we glorify You in all we do. It is in Jesus' holy name that we pray. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"I Want To Be That Man" Video Brian Free and Assurance
It's always nice to see new life on the farm and Brooksyne was able to hold a lamb and a kid (baby goat)! Can you tell the difference?
(Click on photo to enlarge)
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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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