A daily, Bible-based message of hope and encouragement.
Having trouble reading this message? Read mobile edition online
A daily, Bible-based message of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber.
Click here to support our ministry.
<Previous Message · Archive edition
Thursday, August 8, 2013
Euphrates River and "Dark Canyon" region in Turkey
(Photo from family blog)
"Dying Out Loud"
Listen to this message on your audio player
"And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace" (Acts 20:22-24).
"After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, 'The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’ When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, 'Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.' When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, 'The Lord’s will be done.' After this, we started on our way up to Jerusalem" (Acts 21:10-15).
"Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life" (Revelation 2:10).
No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
We are blessed by testimonies; living examples of how God is working in people's lives. Many testimonies are about conversion; what the person was like before they turned to Christ, how they came to Christ and how their lives changed in conformity to God's transforming power. Other testimonies are about how the Lord works out a troubling matter in one's life. Testimonies build faith and remind us that "God's not dead, He's still alive" as an old song goes.
I heard a testimony on Tuesday night that touched me deeply and will try to recount it here in an abbreviated manner. *
Stan and Ann, along with their two children left for missions service in Turkey about eight years ago. Prior to that they lived in southern California where Stan was a police officer in San Diego. As an adult he responded to a call from God to missions that he had received many years earlier as a child. Stan and Ann wanted to go where there was a desperate need for a witness for Christ. This desire/calling led them to Turkey and along the Iraq/Iranian borders, a very inhospitable spot for the seed of the Gospel.
They built friendships and saw people healed in response to their prayers but had not witnessed a single conversion to Christ. The family was praying desperately about this matter when Stan was diagnosed with terminal cancer. They remained in Turkey, determined to allow the Lord to use them in the midst of this most difficult trial of their lives, as they considered how they might be witnesses to the Turkish people while dealing with Stan's terminal disease. Just last Friday evening, August 2, Stan went to be with the Lord.
His dying days are chronicled in a soon to be released book called "Dying Out Loud" which expresses the goal of very publically demonstrating his faith in God through the dying process. Stan states, "God whispered into our hearts, 'live this dying out loud'."
Today's first two Bible texts are in regard to the Apostle Paul's trip to Jerusalem, where he felt compelled to go even though he knew danger awaited him. The first passage is from a message to the Ephesian elders. It is an astounding expression of personal commitment regardless of the cost of discipleship. All through the church age there have been believers demonstrating a resolve like Paul who wrote, "I consider my life worth nothing to me". A more contemporary example of such resolve is Dietrich Bonheoffer who was martyred for his faith during World War 2.
The second daily text speaks of the time that Paul had left Ephesus and was en route to Jerusalem. In Tyre, Syria he sought out a group of disciples who "through the Spirit urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem" (Acts 21:4). Then he went to Caesarea where a colorful and demonstrative "prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, 'The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’" The prophetic warning from Agabus, accompanied with the visual effects, still didn't deter Paul!
His life's mission was "to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace."
Today let us renew our mission in serving Christ and remain faithful to His supreme cause to the very end, no matter the outcome on this side.
I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame;
I’d rather be true to His holy name
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, You are our light, our strength and our song; the Cornerstone of our faith and our solid ground that holds us firm through the fiercest drought and darkest storm. In the midst of tremendous trial we can still find heights of love and depths of peace that still our fears and release sweet assurance to our souls. From our first cry to our final breath You command our destiny and no enemy can thwart Your plan for our lives. We stand in Your power and walk in Your strength through Christ Jesus our Lord in whose name we pray. Amen.
Prayer adapted from lyrics of "In Christ Alone" by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend
"In Christ Alone" Video Travis Cotrell This is the song written by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend
"I'd Rather Have Jesus" Video Dallas Holm
*"Dying Out Loud" Tuesday night I watched an outstanding sermon of challenge and encouragement by Dr. George Wood. He ended with a remarkable testimony concerning Stan, the story I abbreviated today. It moved me greatly to the point of tears and I was scarcely able to sleep following the service. You can watch the entire Tuesday evening service online in an archived video Link to service (This may open to a live stream but click on the Tuesday Evening service.) The start of the testimony is at 2:23. I would expect the testimonial video used in the message will be available as a separately in the coming months or it may come with the book.
"Dying Out Loud: No Guilt in Life, No Fear in Death" is available here. It is written by Shawn Smucker who happens to live here in Lancaster County and is related to a family-run business we work with as chaplains (S.S. Smucker & Sons). Here's the description: Dying Out Loud is the story of Stan, his wife, Ann, their children Elle and Stanley, and their dedication to following God no matter what the cost. They traded the comforts of suburban Southern California for the crowded cobblestone streets of Istanbul. They explored the border regions of Turkey that snake along Iran, Iraq, and Syria. They prayed with nomadic tribes people in the Triangle of Terror, and they brought the light of the gospel to those living in the Dark Canyon. But none of those adventures compared to where God led them next: a journey of visions, revelations, and sorrow. A journey into stage-four colon and liver cancer, and a journey that beckoned them to walk the shrouded path through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Yet even there they discovered peace, grace, and a new hope for the lost around them.
(Click on photo to enlarge)
"We want to encourage you daily in your walk with Christ!"
Personal Ministry Update (Revised 12/31/12)
Are our daily encouragement messages a blessing to you? Each weekday morning Brooksyne and I prepare these messages and distribute them at no cost to you and many others all over the world. We ask you to consider an offering to Daily Encouragement Net so that we can continue to prepare and provide this daily resource which is accessed by believers and seekers all over the world. Daily Encouragement Net relies solely on the generosity and financial support of its readers and podcast listeners. See here for more information on supporting this ministry. Gifts are tax deductible.
Click here to donate online.
2013 YTD financial offerings to Daily Encouragement Net as of 8/7/13: $12,213.00
These messages are never sent by us unsolicited. It was sent to you because you either signed up to receive it OR it was forwarded to you. You can also subscribe to the Wordpress rss feed or as an email subscription through Wordpress email subscription. (See the email subscription on the right side after opening this page.)
Cancel: These messages are only sent from us to people who request it; please accept our apologies if it reached you in error. You can unsubscribe from this list at any time. If you no longer desire to receive these messages you can remove your address from the list by merely using the link automatically inserted by the mailing list software at the very bottom of each email message. (To change addresses cancel your old address and then join again using your new address.)
Weekly Version: The weekly version is intended for those who may not check their email regularly or who may desire less frequent mailings. It is Friday's message with a link to previous messages. To receive the free weekly version, send a blank email to this address.
Daily Encouragement on Facebook and Twitter:
The daily message and prayer on Facebook.
The daily message and prayer on Twitter.
Reader Survey: Please take a few minutes to assist us in improving our ministry effectiveness by filling out this online reader survey. To take the survey click here.
Please feel free to pass these messages on!
Our other blogs:
"A Daily Prayer" - A blog simply posting the daily prayer. We keep this up each day since it's merely the prayer from the Daily Encouragement Net message!
"A Little Foolishness" - Humor/satire blog (a great outlet for non-serious writing but at times with a subtle message!) (Note: This material is satire!)
"Clear Minded" - Longer, periodic articles on specific issues impacting the faithful believer and church. (Actually this is my intent but I haven't done much with it!)
"Hymns of Hope" - Brooksyne along with two friends made a CD using classic hymns. Brooksyne tells the background story of the 11 hymns. All of these songs are also available for download on the site.
Personal Mission Statement
"I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
How to become a child of God
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. Other versions are also occasionally used.
© Copyright 2013 Stephen C. Weber - All Rights Reserved
Daily Encouragement Net
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
495 Kraybill Church Road - Mount Joy, PA 17552
"Living securely today anchored in God's solid foundation"
Daily Encouragement is issued Monday-Friday. To make sure you continue to receive these e-mails in your Inbox (so they're not sent to a junk folder), please add email@example.com to your address book or safe sender list. You are receiving these recurring messages as a subscriber to Daily Encouragement Net because you signed up on our website or otherwise requested it unless someone forwarded the message to you. If you desire to unsubscribe use the link below. However, please do not use this link unless your address is the subscribed address below as you will otherwise unsubscribe the person who forwarded it to you!