Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Daily Encouragement (11/19/13) "The Big Picture"

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Balloon over Lancaster County
We have a small airport about 2 miles west of our home and regularly see not only small planes but hot air balloons and skydivers.

"The Big Picture"

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"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:17,18).

Today we consider the continued agony in the Philippines and more recently the tornadoes in the Midwest. These are large events that make the news. But we consider the accumulative burden of heartache scores of people are enduring today. Physical affliction, wayward children, broken marriages. Then we consider our brothers and sisters enduring persecution. We just read an article about Saeed Abedini, who is imprisoned in Iran and his desperate situation. *

"For our light and momentary troubles." What kind of light and momentary troubles are you dealing with today? In the daily text Paul is writing of troubles that would rival or surpass our most difficult experiences in life. He had written a few verses previous to this: "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that His life may be revealed in our mortal body" (2 Corinthians 4:8-11).

The point he is making is a matter of perspective, of seeing the big picture. These troubles are "light and momentary" in comparison to the ultimate eternal glories of heaven. We might argue that they sure don't seem light and momentary at the time we're experiencing them! Some of these troubles are constant or recurring and weigh heavy on our hearts.

Yet we need to embed this truth deep in our hearts, "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." These troubles are fulfilling a purpose ordained by God, achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. The three letter word, "all" encompasses the multiple "light and momentary troubles" we continually experience as trials on this side of eternity.

The "eternal glory" must be the ultimate guide by which we view all that happens to us personally or in the world about us. We must live for "there and then", not just "here and now".  It's something I've learned theologically and know in my heart to be true but need to constantly remind myself. As a believer in Christ I must remember that my times are in His hands. With my eyes I see only the physical present, but in my spirit I must always contend for the future eternal reward.

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." The big picture is so powerfully expressed by the Apostle Paul in this passage.  I've memorized it and even now, through eyes of faith, rejoice in its truth.  But it only pertains to people of faith in Jesus Christ. People without faith are blind to the big picture. Understanding the bigger picture begins when we commit our lives to Christ. Have you done that? 

Here's a prayer of faith that essentially begins the journey of seeing beyond this immediate life to receiving the promised eternal life through God's plan of salvation. If you have not done so already I urge you to pray this prayer from your heart today.  And if you have done so join me in reaffirming your commitment to Christ today.

"Lord Jesus, I confess that I am a sinner.  I believe that You came to this earth and died on the cross as a substitute for me.  I place my faith in You and what You have done for me.  I receive You into my life and choose this day to follow and serve You.  Thank You for hearing my prayer."

Be encouraged today!

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, there is much that we can learn from our temporal problems here on earth that better prepares us for eternity.  As we work through these troubles, they enable us to have the mind of Christ so that attitudes reflecting the fruit of the Spirit become a spontaneous response to the difficulties that challenge us daily.  Just as light, soil, air and moisture are requirements for growth in vegetation so must faith, prayer, self-denial and persistence in obeying God's Holy Word be requirements for growth in our Christian walk. Help us not to become so caught up in viewing our daily challenges from an earthly perspective that we lose the view of our future home in heaven following the storms we weather here below. We stand in the strength of the Lord Jesus and in the power of His might. Amen.

Ester's Surgery Today:  Thank you again for your continued prayer support and encouraging words during Ester's health matters. She will report to Hershey Medical Center at 5:30 A.M.  this morning (about 17 miles from our home). We don't know the time of her operation but she will be the doctor's first patient. She will have open heart surgery so that the defective lead wire from her pacemaker can be removed and then replaced with a new one.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources

"A Place Called Grace" Video  Phillips, Craig and Dean

"Perfect Peace"  Video   Laura Story

* Report: American Pastor Imprisoned in Iran Denied Medication

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Stephen, Brooksyne and Ester Weber 04/21/13

Stephen and Brooksyne Weber

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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."

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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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