Father, You sustain me by speaking peace to my heart even in the midst of troubling circumstances. Your unsurpassed peace cannot be defined by the absence of conflict but by the assurance that You will come alongside me in the midst of my conflict and make a roadway for me in the wilderness of my suffering. When I seek You I can be assured that You will hear me and deliver me from all my fears. Thank You for Your sustaining presence that lifts me from my slumber and helps me to trust You for another day. Amen.
Archive for February, 2012
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“Rebuilding The Ancient Ruins”
“Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; you will raise up the age-old foundations; and you will be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets in which to dwell” (Isaiah 58:12).
About a mile and ½ from our home behind the Cameron Inn Estate is an old farm with this unusual sight for Lancaster County. An old stone barn wall remains, standing for many years after the barn burned down or was otherwise demolished. (We first noticed this sight shortly after we moved to our home in 2002).
Our region was settled in the 1700’s so these barn ruins are nothing compared to the “ancient ruins” of the Middle East, yet the stone wall still brings to mind the daily verse which can be understood as the promise of rebuilding a torn-down Jerusalem.
However, in a spiritual analogy, it can also be understood as those who follow the Lord and keep His precepts. They will be the devout followers who rebuild the ancient ruins and raise up the age-old foundations of Biblical truth.
I believe this refers to getting back to the old, correct ways. Newer doesn’t always means better. I am blessed by a verse in Jeremiah 6:16 that states, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it'”.
One commentator notes, “Those who serve God with sincere hearts and actions also accomplish things for God’s kingdom. They rebuild and raise up, and are ‘called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets in which to dwell’. You can’t build anything for God’s Kingdom on the foundation of a superficial walk with God.”
How there needs to be a rebuilding and raising up of age-old foundations today! Alan Redpath, a British preacher who lived from 1907-1989 wrote, “We live in a broken world. In every direction there are breaches which are wide and deep. There are broken hearts and broken homes, and that which once was sacred is but a waste place. Whereas once there was a carefully guarded fence around the sanctity of family life, sex life, and the right to personal privacy, now there is just a waste place. The wall of protection is in ruins, and (for many) life has lost all its meaning.” He surely wrote this a generation ago, yet his words are far more greatly evidenced today than at the time of his writing!
A recent poll from the Culture and Media Institute shows that 74% of Americans believe our nation is in moral decline but only 36% believe we should live by God’s principles of right and wrong. (This astounding statement will be the basis for a teaching message later this week.)
Isaiah 62:6 states, “I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest.” God is always looking for people to take up His cause of righteousness. The Biblical prophet, Ezekiel, lived for God at the time of the fall of Jerusalem and the first period of the exile in Babylon about 2,600 years ago. His writings reveal the horrendous state of Jerusalem during its final days; they were desecrating the Sabbath, shedding innocent lives, sexually immoral, unjust, corrupt in leadership, and worshiping idols to name just a few of their serious offenses.
Fast forward to our generation and consider how much our society parallels Jerusalem just before its fall. Modern man is desecrating the Sabbath, shedding innocent lives, sexually immoral, unjust, corrupt in leadership, and worshiping idols to name just a few of the present day serious offenses.
May God grant us strength to be the faithful remnant in our age who remain true to His ways, so that we witness a restoration of the age old foundations as prescribed in the Bible!
Be encouraged today and stay faithful,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily Prayer: Father, it is through devout godly people that You repair, restore and rebuild lives as they raise up the unchanging, ever relevant ancient words of Scripture. It takes faithful watchmen who serve with great vigilance, untiring in their ancient message of salvation to a world that is continuously desecrating that which was once sacred. Father, help us to be watchmen for our families, co-workers, and friends as we carefully measure the principles of this world by the principles established in Scripture. Grant us courage to speak out when the foundations are being shaken just as the watchmen were not silent night or day. We do not stand in the gap alone but You, our Father, are with us and we stand in Your strength! Amen.
Chili recipe: Thanks for the nice congratulations from our readers regarding our winning the community chili contest this last weekend. In response to the requests we have provided the chili recipe and notes on this page.
Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
I belong to an organization called “Watchman on the Wall” which is championing pastors to transform America. I encourage my pastoral peers to look into this. They have a powerful conference each May in Washington, DC which I will be attending.
What is a Watchman Pastor? Answer. We get the name from Isaiah 62:6: “I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest.” We believe that a Watchman Pastor is called to do the following:
- Watch what is going on in the culture.
- Pray for the wisdom to engage Biblically, courageously, and winsomely.
- Sound the alarm from the pulpit.
- Take a bold stand with others to defend and advance faith, family, and freedom.
For the cartographically curious the stone barn wall shown in the message is here. Google map You have to walk the grounds behind the Cameron Inn to see it.
We received another comment from last Friday’s message regarding disruptions in church from a friend: Your story reminded me of when Megan was a little girl and her “Woody” doll called out in church, “there’s a snake in my boot”. Of course if you care to listen to Woody say it, here it is on YouTube!
Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne
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Father, Your Word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You, for it teaches me to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly before You. Even when it brings about hurtful circumstances help me to do the right thing in maintaining and maturing my spiritual nature as I walk in Your truth and speak the truth. May I not be found lacking in integrity but rather be characterized by my integrity as it honors my Father in heaven. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Father, we thank You for Godly messengers who faithfully feed Your children by diligently teaching the whole counsel of Your Holy Word. Some attend church with an intense spiritual hunger, while others may come out of a sense of duty and still some to be seen by others. Give us a hungry heart that yearns for more of You so that our lives are set apart to honor and glorify Jesus Christ in all that we do. May we be attentive to Your life-transforming truths as You impart them to our hearts in our personal devotions and through Your anointed messengers. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Father God, Your magnificence surrounds us from every direction. Your glory is revealed throughout Your creative design in nature, humanity, and all throughout the universe. Even as You rule over nature and the universe I am grateful that You are the Supreme Ruler of my life. Bring into conformity my thoughts and actions as You search my mind and know my heart. I am in awe of Your greatness and declare with the Psalmist today, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!” Amen.
Father, the words of a song come to mind; “I’m not what I wanna be, I’m not what I’m gonna be, but thank God I’m not what I was.” There is a major difference in my actions and attitudes since I made You the Lord of my life. If I trace back to the beginning of my relationship with You I see more clearly the major changes You made in my heart. But since my life is a living sacrifice there are always new challenges to tackle, temptations to resist, and trials to endure as a believer. It is not in my own physical strength or power that I am equipped to conquer the enemy, but it through Your Holy Spirit that I come against the giants of doubt, fear, bitterness, greed, lust, discontent and all the other negative foes Satan throws in my path. Though I’m far from perfect and always will be on this side, help me to endure to the end when that which is imperfect will be gone. Sin will no longer have a grip and finally I will be completely whole. All because of Your amazing grace as revealed in the person of Jesus Christ in whose name we pray. Amen.
Father, my little becomes great as You inspire me to do good works in Jesus’ name. Help me not to reach a standstill based upon my limited abilities, wisdom, or resources. I don’t give to others according to my limitations but I give to others from the abundance of blessings that You’ve poured into my life. Grant me creative means and willful determination to extend myself to someone who needs a lift today. Direct my footsteps according to Your Word as You give opportunity for divine encounters this day. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Father, it is the desire of every earnest believer to remain faithful to You. The world often uses the expression, “Be true to yourself” intending that people stand up for what they believe in, but those of the world, by and large, stand for causes and beliefs that often conflict with the holy Word of God. We are also subject to error and our emotions cannot be trusted, so with absolute resolve we choose to be true to You, rather than self. Once we put our hands to the plow we choose to cultivate Christian values and Biblical principles. We fix our gaze on Jesus so that we don’t lose our way. We join with others of the Christian faith who hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, even as we spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Amen.
Father, Your Word indicates 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.