Daily Encouragement Net
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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Goodhart welder
This photo of a welder at a local metal fabrication shop captures hard, conscientious work.
"But if someone doesn’t provide for their own family, and especially for a member of their household, they have denied the faith. They are worse than those who have no faith" (
1 Timothy 5:8).

"How We Ought To Be"

Message summary: Today, let us heed these solemn words from the Holy Scriptures. An event far greater than the worst type of nuclear accident or terrorist attack is forthcoming. Our call as followers of Christ remains to live holy and godly lives, to look forward to that glorious Day, and to do our part in speeding its coming.

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming" (2 Peter 3:10-12)

A commentator made this interesting analysis concerning our current state, although in reality it's an ancient perspective. He pointed out that essentially the divide in our country (and true everywhere) is between those who think they are God and those who know they are not God. For those of us who know we are not God, but sinful human beings in need of redemption, the daily text asks a vital question. What kind of people ought we to be?

Let me begin this message with an illustration both timely and local: (The exposition is below the indented portion)

Three Mile IslandOn March 28, 1979, the area where we now live, south-central Pennsylvania, was in the midst of a gripping fear for several days, weeks, even months. An accident had occurred at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant which is only 10 miles from where we now live. At that time we were just beginning our ministry in the north-central part of Pennsylvania, but I remember the gripping fear and variety of speculations being made as to what might happen. If I recall correctly one activist speculated that the earth would melt all the way through to China!

My older brother, Mike, called from San Francisco expressing concern. Living some 140 miles away (geodesic distance) from the accident site I don't recall having any urgent fear at that time, but we were listening intently to any news regarding the potential disaster, and just how far reaching effects from the fallout might be.

However, since moving to this area 22 years ago we discovered for those who lived in close proximity to the plant it was a very stressful time. Pregnant women and children were urged to leave the area and many did. There was concern about the release of radiation or even a catastrophic meltdown.  I know a man who was one of the technicians working at the plant at the very time of the accident who was impounded on the island during the entire event.
Thankfully the situation was contained and here we are forty-four years later.*

Duck and coverBut I heard a story that reveals how fear can lead people to respond in irrational ways. John, a friend of ours, was in third grade attending school in this area at the time of the accident. He recalls his teacher instructing the children to practice getting under their desk. Now, as John and I talked we weren't sure how this was supposed to protect the children from radiation poisoning, but since "duck and cover" safety exercises were repeatedly practiced with students of all ages during the early years of the Cold War perhaps it made the teacher feel that she was better serving and protecting her students. Futile as such an act might be, perhaps it had a psychological effect on their thoughts of improving the risk factor for radiation fallout!

Our daily text speaks of a most certain future catastrophic event that will be experienced worldwide. "The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare." Now certainly there are various interpretations regarding what this future event will entail but it absolutely speaks of a level of cataclysmic destruction barely imaginable, and no form of "duck and cover" will protect those who have postponed or neglected their spiritual preparation.

My purpose in this encouragement is not to speculate as to what this event might be or just how it fits into an eschatological (endtimes) view. There are scores of books and various views written about the end times. The Apostle Peter gives us no further details, but goes on to ask a question, "Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?" Notice, he doesn't advise as to how we are to protect our property and treasures we've stored on earth, or even our lives. But rather it's directed at who we are to be, not what we have accomplished or accumulated.

This same warning and counsel is directed to God's people today. Whether living in view of our imminent death or uncertainties concerning world situations, financial upheaval, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, increasing persecution or the most certain future destruction of the current order. What kind of people ought we to be?

The text answers that question. We ought to be people who live holy and godly lives as we look toward the day of God's future dealings with His creation and speed its coming. Though God is longsuffering and may choose to delay the fulfillment of His promise so that those from every tribe and nation may hear the gospel, the prayer Jesus taught His disciples and followers in Matthew 5, "Thy Kingdom come" has been echoed billions of times by faithful followers petitioning the Lord's return.

And how do we speed the Lord's coming? It is hastened by our obedience in fulfilling the great commission (Matthew 28:19,20). A few verses earlier Peter wrote that Jesus is not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. So the sooner we spread the gospel message to others the sooner Christ will return.

Today, let us heed these solemn words from the Holy Scriptures. An event far greater than the worst type of nuclear accident or terrorist attack is forthcoming. As followers of Christ whatever happens we are to live holy and godly lives, as we look forward to that glorious Day, and do our part in speeding His coming by spreading His gospel.

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen and Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You desire that we live holy and godly lives as we eagerly await the reappearing of Your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. No event, future acquisition, or achievement here on earth compares with the anticipation we feel for that glorious day. We want to speed Christ's coming by sharing the gospel message to those near and far. Help us not to be timid or apathetic, but keep us enthused and eager to share the message of salvation so that our family, neighbors, co-workers and acquaintances will also be prepared for the glorious day of Christ's return when we will receive our eternal promotion to enter into the glories of heaven. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Our God Reigns"   Click to listen on YouTube    Kathryn Scott

"Take My Life And Let It Be"   Click to listen on YouTube   Maranatha Music

"Thy Kingdom Come" Click to listen on YouTube  Francesca Battistelli, Rita Springer

* The entire Three Mile Island power plant is now decommissioned. The plant had two units. The unit damaged in the accident in 1979 was permanently shut down at that time. The other unit operated and produced electricity until it was closed in 2019.

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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