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Monday, February 27, 2023
Our longtime friend Nick Nichols took this Lancaster County farm scene amidst a beautiful sky background.
Message summary: Since the Day of Pentecost all though the church age God has been pouring out His Spirit all through the church age. Every generation of individuals, both young and old, need a fresh outpouring of God's Holy Spirit. We are still in the "afterward"!
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“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit" (Joel 2:28,29).
Friday evening we saw the premiere of "Jesus Revolution", a movie depicting a move of God that started about 50 years ago in southern California when many young people, hippies along with many others from the counterculture, came to Christ. It was touching to us since that is essentially our generation and we were both impacted by what became known as the Jesus Movement. However we were both raised in the Midwest and never joined the counterculture.
The movie tells the story about Chuck Smith, a pastor, who opened his heart and church to the long haired hippies (as our dads would call them), and lost some of his longtime congregational members in the process. They were troubled about such things as dirty bare feet on the new shag carpet!
One of the characters who got saved was Greg Laurie, who went on to start a church that is still reaching people for Christ to this day.
Today there are rumblings of revival taking place on many college campuses, notably at Asbury, a small college in Kentucky. One Asbury professor believes this should be called an outpouring rather than revival. We pray that there will be a massive outpouring of God's Spirit on young people across the land and around the world that will lead to lives transformed for Christ and a genuine nationwide or better yet a worldwide revival!
Joel is one of the Minor Prophets who served the Lord and called the people to repentance. Like the book of Hosea reading it can be a hard slog. Today's text begins, “And it shall come to pass afterward" which begs the question when is the afterward?
This verse was quoted by Peter in his sermon on the Day of Pentecost when God poured out His Holy Spirit. So this much we know Biblically, Peter considered this "afterward". It's amazing to consider this first powerful sermon by Peter who only two months earlier had denied the Lord. His grasp of the Bible is outstanding considering the lack of written text and study aides. Of course this should be especially attributed to the anointing of the Holy Spirit!
Since the Day of Pentecost God has been pouring out His Spirit all through the church age. Every generation of individuals, both young and old, need a fresh outpouring of God's Holy Spirit. We are still in the "afterward"!
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, while the Jesus Movement was a phenomenon in the 60's and 70's that sparked spiritual growth in churches across the land, developed contemporary Christian music that continues to enrich our spiritual walk today, we read in Scripture that the real Jesus movement began with the apostles of Christ over 2000 years ago. Since the day of Pentecost You have poured out Your Spirit upon the church through individuals who have fully yielded their lives to You, who seek Your power through the infilling of Your Holy Spirit. We cry out again for the visitation of Your Spirit as we hear of Your outpouring in various settings such as Asbury and elsewhere. So once again we pray, Come Holy Spirit, we need You; come sweet Spirit we pray. Come in Your strength and power, come in Your own gentle way. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
John Thomas, a longtime reader shared this insight prompted by last Friday's message: "'Discernment is not just determining what is wrong from right but also determining what is right from almost right'. Satan loves to use that gray area."
During the Jesus Revolution movie several times "Love Song" an early contemporary* Christian group was featured. This group was popular when I was in high school. I really got serious about the things of the Lord my senior year when I was also class president at Truman High School. I was running around with other students associated with Campus Crusade for Christ. We wanted to invite Love Song to sing at our school or have a concert in our area. They persuaded me, I suppose, thinking I might have some clout, to call a number on the back of an album to see if they would come. In those days it was a pay phone in the school lobby and of course I didn't have any money so they said "call then collect". I did and told the operator it was Steve Weber calling collect for Love Song. Reaching the number a voice on the other side said, "I don't know any Steve Weber" and hung up. So that was that. So much for my having clout!
* Why I put contemporary in quotes: We hear the phrase contemporary Christian music as if it's something unique to our generation and that previous generations didn't have contemporary music. Well, at one time all music was contemporary, which means "belonging to or occurring in the present". At one time "Amazing Grace" was contemporary and the newest popular contemporary worship song will one day be old music!
"Welcome Back" Click to listen on YouTube Love Song This is from a 2009 Reunion Concert at Chuck Smith's church and includes a testimony from Chuck Smith about the first time the group played in the church.
"A Love Song" Click to listen on YouTube Love Song
"Holy Spirit Come" Click to listen on YouTube Patrick Mayberry
Jesus Revolution - "Sheep Without A Shepherd" Scene
Jesus Revolution is now in theaters We pray this movie will touch many, including prodigals in our own family.
Brooksyne and I were walking toward the exit Friday evening after the "Jesus Revolution" when a man approached us and called out our names. We didn't recognize him but he quickly introduced himself as a daily encouragement reader. Ethan Levengood is the chaplain at a local retirement community and has read our messages for many years periodically commenting on them. In fact we have emailed each other many times following a daily encouragement message that spoke to his heart. It was so nice to visit with him personally for a few minutes and to meet his wife, Marilyn, who works at the Hershey theme park in the summers and shares her faith with co-workers.
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Stephen & Brooksyne
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