Friday, July 19, 2013

Daily Encouragement (07/19/13) "So Despised By The World"

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Friday, July 19, 2013

I-70 cross near Effingham Illinois
The Cross At The Crossroads
This large cross can be seen at the junction of I-70 and I-57 near Effingham, Illinois. It serves as a beacon of hope to the 50,000 travelers estimated to pass by each day.

"So Despised By The World"

ListenListen to this message on your aud
io player. Note: Due to travel a podcast was not prepared for this message.

"For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ" (Philippians 3:18). "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (Galatians 6:14).

Walker Moore is an evangelist who has set a goal of carrying an 89 pound cross to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa early next month. He shared about this in the church I attended on Sunday in Tulsa and is doing so as a witness for the Lord. The pastor spoke on "Carrying the Cross". When we departed the service each person was given a small wooden cross and encouraged to carry it as a reminder of what Christ did for us.

Several years ago I saw a young man wearing a t-shirt that really caught my eye.  It patently declared "Bad Religion" with the cross in a circle and a slash through it. The anti-Christian message brought to mind a phrase from one of my favorite hymns that refers to the cross, "so despised by the world". It makes me wonder what this man's heart must be like to wear such a blasphemous shirt, indicating such a blatant despising of the Cross.

Paul wrote "Many live as enemies of the cross." He apparently repeated this frequently to the Philippians ("as I have often told you before") and now he reminds them again, with tears in his eyes. Surely, as he wrote this, he recalled the years that he lived as an enemy of the cross and those who bore its message of redemption. Years later he had a difficult time in his initial ministry in Philippi where he, along with Silas, had been severely flogged, imprisoned and later run out of town. But I believe Paul's tears were based on far more than this experience. Then, as now, so many lived in opposition to God's divinely appointed means of redemption. The cross was and is despised.

Many have lived as enemies of the cross of Christ throughout the two thousand years since the Lord's great sacrifice. This opposition is expressed in various ways from contrary religious systems to decadent worldliness, from astute secularists to apostate "church" leaders. In the nineties there was a "ReImaging" conference held among apostates where the cross and the blood of Christ were despised and mocked.

Today, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. The hatred toward Christ and the message of the cross continues and is increasing.

"But I love that old cross, where the dearest and best for a world of lost sinners was slain!"  Today join me in holding firm to the Biblical and historic Christian view of Christ and the cross of Calvary.  Let us, like the apostle Paul, declare "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (Galatians 6:14).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Jesus, Your death on the cross was an act of barbaric cruelty that we would not, in any way, be physically attracted to. But we realize it was God's redemption plan for all humankind and because of that we can declare along with the hymnist that it indeed "has a wondrous attraction for me."  Because You willingly took the weight of our sins upon Yourself it provided a precious cleansing fountain, a healing stream that flows from Your saving blood providing forgiveness for our sins. Such amazing sacrifice demands my soul, my life, my all. Amen.

Some scenes along our journey
: We've had two very full days of travel as we head home and are now in Central Illinois. We did not post a message yesterday morning since we got in late Wednesday evening and met my cousin and her family for breakfast Thursday.

Will Rogers statue, Claremore OK 7/17/13
On Wednesday morning we visited the Will Rogers Museum in Claremore, Oklahoma. Brooksyne often visited this museum in the 70's since it was right off the turnpike when she drove to Springfield, MO for college. It's a museum that gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling as you learn about humorist Will Rogers who never let fame or fortune corrupt his morals. A great philanthropist, he donated his Hollywood fortune to The Salvation Army, Red Cross, and other worthy causes.

Cattle feeding near Harwood PA 7/17/13
We made a nostalgic trip to Harwood MO where
my grandparents lived and my Mom grew up. As we drove into town these cattle were enjoying an easy fast food meal of recently harvested hay. We will share a selection of photos from this side trip next week. I am preparing it for my family to show them how Harwood looks today but will share the photo page as a link for any Daily Encouragement readers who may be interested.

Jack Stack BBQ 7/17/13
A trip to the KC area always includes a delicious BBQ meal, and this was no exception! Rarely can I order burnt ends except in the KC area.

Beebe family breakfast 7/18/13
Yesterday we enjoyed a bountiful breakfast with my cousin Janet and her husband Tim, along with their daughter and her family. Brooksyne took this photo from a stairway.

Beebe family boat ride 7/18/13
They live next to a beautiful lake in the Kansas City area and took us on a boat ride. What a delightful morning we enjoyed with these good folks.

Tim and Janet Beebe home 7/18/13
This is their cozy "beach home" located along the lake.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"The Old Rugged Cross"  Video  Guy Penrod

"I Will Glory In The Cross, The Blood Covered It All"  Video  Michael Harris

"It's Still The Cross"  Video  The University of Mobile

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Stephen, Brooksyne and Ester Weber 04/21/13
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber

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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.
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