Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Daily Encouragement (11/19/14) "Understanding The Present Time" (Part 3) "Alert And Sober"

Daily Encouragement Net
A daily, Bible-based message of hope and encouragement. Having trouble reading this message? 
Read mobile edition online
Daily Encouragement Net Header
The on line Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Home   About Us  Archives   Free email subscription   ListenListen to these messages
Contact Us
  Print Text only for printing
  Bookmark and Share 

Follow Daily Encouragement on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn   Daily Encouragement on Facebook   Daily Encouragement on Twitter   Daily Encouragement on Facebook

Make A Donation
 See here for more info.

<Previous Message       ·       Archive edition

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Fall foliage with pond in Delaware (photo by Duke)
Delaware pond with fall foliage
(Photo by Duke)

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

This week we are sharing a series of messages from Romans 13:11-14

"Understanding The Present Time"
(Part 3)
"Alert And Sober"

"The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here" (Romans 13:11,12). "So then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober" (1 Thessalonians 5:6). "But you, be sober in all things" (2 Timothy 4:5). "Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:13) "The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers" (1 Peter 4:7).

Drunk man on floorIn the course of nearly 40 years of ministry we have some colorful stories as we seek to reach out. Brooksyne recalls an incident very early on when we were reaching out to a man named Curtis who was attending our new church plant in the very beginning when we held services in our apartment. One night we heard a loud banging about 2:00 AM and I reluctantly went to the door.

Curtis, in his early 20's, was stone drunk and came to our house for a place to stay. We had two young foster children at the time which made us very uncomfortable with such an arrangement so we pulled out a sleeping bag and had him sleep downstairs until he slept it off. We had a long talk the next morning and prayed with him about the matter. He came a few more Sundays before he lost interest in spiritual things. We lost track of him long ago but pray even today that he has turned away from such a dangerous and irresponsible lifestyle and set upon a course of living alertly and soberly!

Today's passages, especially 1 Thessalonians 5:6, call us to live alert and sober. That is such a necessary element in understanding the present time. Today we often use the word "sober" in regard to being free from the intoxication of drugs and alcohol and that would certainly be included. We have seen so many, many lives detrimentally impacted and ruined by drugs and alcohol in our line of ministry.

But today we consider "sober" in the broader sense, as that of having a clear mind. So many have their minds clouded by a vast variety of the world's input such as media and entertainment nonsense. Electronic devices along with their bells and whistles so easily distract and dilute our alertness to other far more important matters. 
We consider by observation those who are glued to a tiny screen hour after hour playing video games. Even what is called academia can severely cloud the mind with so many of the most foolish notions come out of acedemia. Paul urges Timothy to "Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge" (1 Timothy 6:20).

The Precept online Bible commentary states concerning this spiritual sobriety, "Take things seriously being aware of their real importance and be ever mindful of their consequences in time and in eternity. The sober saint approaches life, not as a jest, but as a serious matter for which he is answerable to God. Let us not become intoxicated by Satan's three vintage wines - the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the boastful pride of life (1 John 2:15,16)."

D. Edmond HiebertBible teacher D. Edmond Hiebert writes that sober "denotes a condition free from every form of mental and spiritual loss of self-control; it is an attitude of self-discipline that avoids the extremes of the 'reckless irresponsibility of self-indulgence on the one hand, and of religious ecstasy on the other.' It inculcates a calm, steady state of mind that evaluates things correctly, so that it is not thrown off  balance by new and fascinating ideas. Such 'level headedness' is a constant Christian need."

We must be on our guard lest we be seduced into this topsy-turvy, touchy-feely system of beliefs based on popular and politically correct notions of morality, especially to the exclusion of critical or sound judgment. To hold to ancient, proven truths is being viewed more and more as old-fashioned and will likely bar you from the "cool, hip or cutting edge" in-crowd (not that I'm really trying to get in that setting anyway!) Here in America and around the world a battle for the heart, soul and mind rages.

I believe among the greatest challenges for believers in any age is being sober-minded. It is certainly true today. We live in a time of moral confusion and I believe Greg Nelson and Phil McHugh got it right when they wrote, "We are called to take His light to a world where wrong seems right...." in the inspiring song, "People Need the Lord".

In the final verse of our daily Scripture selection, "self-controlled and sober-minded"
(ESV) comes from Paul's final letter to Timothy. Other versions translate the phrase "be of sound judgment and sober spirit" (NASV), "control yourself at all times" (NCV), "keep a clear mind" (NLT). The NIV states, "Keep your head in all situations." Greek scholar Fritz Rienecker points out that in this passage Timothy is called "to be in a vigilant, wakeful, considerate frame of mind, taking heed of what is happening and pursuing a course with calm and steady aim."

Today as men and women who strive to understand the present time let us heed the clear Scriptural call to be alert and sober!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, You have called upon us to be sober and vigilant believers who are instant in season and out of season. We're ready to spring into action to do Your bidding when we might least expect to be called upon. May the fruit of the Spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, be evident in our attitudes and actions as we live out our daily lives and relate to others while living self-controlled and sober minded lives. Through Christ Jesus we pray. Amen.
See Galatians 5:22, 23

Let us address a point in the message that may cause confusion for some and even a point that some skeptics may sneer at. "The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here" (Romans 13:11,12). What was Paul referring to, especially in the latter phrase,
"The night is nearly over; the day is almost here"? See here v.11 and here v. 12 for some interpretations! Regarding verse 12 the Full Life Study Bible observes: "Paul believed in the Lord's imminent return to transfer the faithful of his churches to heaven, an event that Paul believed could happen even in his generation. Christ warned that He would return at a time when the faithful were sure that He would not come. For this reason, God's children must always be spiritually ready and must 'put aside the deeds of darkness'".

I've never met Duke, but he has befriended and discipled Ken, a man we met several years ago in the course of our chaplain work. Ken moved to southern Delaware (or perhaps the eastern Maryland shore) but through Daily Encouragement we've stayed connected and he has introduced his friend Duke (don't even know his full name) to us. Today's photos were shared by Duke and gives a bit of a different outlook considering the frigid, winter-like weather we are having in our area!

Sandpipers along Delaware shore (photo by Duke)
Sandpipers on the Delaware shore

Ocean wave along Delaware shore (photo by Duke)
Waves like this remind us of a sermon we heard nearly 40 years ago based upon John 1:16.  "And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace." The Living Bible states, "blessing upon blessing heaped upon us!" Jeff Ronald, who preached the message, illustrated this concept by the never ending ocean waves thrust on the seashore.

WW2 lookout tower in Delaware (photo by Duke)
A World War 2 lookout tower that guarded the entrance to Delaware Bay. We wrote about these towers here.

Kember print Isaiah 53:5
Duke found this Kember print is a Thrift Shop in Delaware, adding to our Kember print photo collection. Do you have a photo of a Kember print you can send us? Please send an email to this address with the photo as a jpg attachment. In subject line put "Kember print" and specify where you are from and if you want to tell the story behind it or how it has been meaningful to you.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Asleep in the Night"   Video   Keith Green Over 30 years after Keith left this earth his lyrics continue to powerfully speak to our age.

"May The Mind of Christ My Savior"  Video   Jake Armerding

"Speak O Lord"  Video  Kristyn Getty

"People Need the Lord"  Video  Steve Green

Contact Us
Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne

Stephen and Brooksyne Weber 38th anniversary photo (click on photo to enlarge)Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
(Click on photo to enlarge)

About Us

"We want to encourage you daily in your walk with Christ!"

Personal Ministry Update  (Revised 11/12/14)

Make a donation to Dailly Encouragement MinistriesAre our daily encouragement messages a blessing to you? Each weekday morning Brooksyne and I prepare these messages andDonate online 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.

2014 YTD offerings to Daily Encouragement Net: $10,918.00


Free email subscriptionIf this email was forwarded to you, you can subscribe here.
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:

Daily Encouragement on Facebook
The daily message and prayer on Facebook.
Daily Encouragement on Twitter
 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. Your answers are anonymous and I we are unable to respond. If you want to send a personal message use the

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."

Four Spiritual Laws

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 2014 Stephen C. Weber - All Rights Reserved

Daily Encouragement Net
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

495 Kraybill Church Road - Mount Joy, PA 17552

Contact Us

Chaplaincy logo
Endorsed chaplain
"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 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!

You are currently subscribed to dailyencouragement as:
Add to your email address book to ensure delivery.
Forward to a Friend  |  Manage Subscription  |  Subscribe  |  Unsubscribe | Snooze
Net Atlantic