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We plan to share two messages concerning "Foundations That Will Stand!" The spiritually discerning are aware of the sinking sands all around us
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"According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 3:10,11). "So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord" (Ephesians 2:19-21).
Christ is made the sure foundation,
Christ the Head and Corner-stone,
Chosen of the Lord, and precious,
Binding all the Church in one,
Holy Zion's help for ever,
And her confidence alone.
Several days ago we visited our friend Joe Sherer. For many years he pastored a church here in Mount Joy where we first met him. Presently he serves a congregation south of Lancaster that celebrated their 300th year anniversary in 2010. The church has remained Biblically faithful since 1710 and is resisting the spirit of this age which it seems many churches succumb to. They now meet in a traditional rectangular sanctuary with pews.
His church is involved in a major building project and Pastor Joe took us on a tour of the new worship facility still under construction which will be attached to the historic building. The new fan shaped sanctuary space creates a more intimate worship experience by not only bringing the seats much closer to the platform, but also by allowing people to view the faces of their fellow worshipers. Three large windows face the old cemetery where the early settler Hans Herr is buried who fled persecution in Europe. What an inspiration to have this visual evidence of those who have gone before us, who made a difference in their community and in the community of Christian believers.
As Joe took us through the new facility building materials littered the sanctuary and drywall dust coated much of the power tools and sub-flooring. I asked Joe to stand on the platform where he'd be preaching so I could take his picture. He did so (as seen in photo above). Afterwards Brooksyne and I looked down on the plywood sub floor where the pulpit will stand and noticed a message that was written on the plywood. After further observation we recognized the Scripture written with a large marker: "For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ" I Corinthians 3:11.
Joe had written the Scripture as a reminder to himself and a statement to others, that as the current pastor of this church, his ministry must be founded upon Jesus, the chief Cornerstone, and his sermons must be grounded in God's holy Word.
Paul, in asserting his apostolic authority, stated, "According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation." Paul had established the church in Corinth essentially laying the Biblical foundation (Acts 18). His description "wise master builder" perhaps alludes to the teaching of our Lord where He stated how the wise man builds his house upon the rock in Matthew 7:24-27. The wise church planter will build a church on the foundation of Christ.
In the seventies following our Bible School training we planted a church in northern Pennsylvania. Although some of the early attendees had a Christian background, many did not. We essentially were able to establish a spiritual foundation. However we acknowledge this was not in the same sense as Paul and the other early church leaders who originated a Biblical foundation. We are indebted to their spiritual labors and inspired writings that gives guidance to those of us who come along later.
"And another is building upon it" Since the early forming of the church by the apostles all who have followed are really building on their foundation. In the context this is referring to those who followed Paul in Corinth but in a more general sense it refers to all involved in the work of the church since that time.
"But each man must be careful how he builds on it." What a solemn word for the serious minister of the Gospel. "Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction" (2 Timothy 4:2). These words are echoed by James, "Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly" (James 3:1).
"For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ." In response to Peter's powerful expression of faith, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”, Christ said to him, "upon this rock I will build My church", speaking of Himself, the Solid Rock.
Let us all continue to build our faith and life upon Christ, the solid rock!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, it is in Christ alone that my hope and reason for living can be found. There is no Rock, no foundation that can hold me steady on solid ground except that of the master builder of my faith, Jesus Christ, my Master, Saviour and Lord. It seems that there is always a new or recycled ideology that grabs the attention of those who are seeking after the latest ear tickling thrill that fits their worldview. We're even warned about this in Scripture when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. There is only one Teacher that has authority from heaven to teach truth from error, and to give life in place of death. It is Jesus that I choose and it is by His teaching that I live. And it is through His name that I pray to You, Father God. Amen.
Additional Note: We enjoyed our visit with Pastor Joe and commend him for leading his church with sensitivity. He shared how he had a group of elderly ladies who were in the church function room for a scrap booking class. He approached them and inquired how they were doing with the changes in regard to the new building. They told him when they see the young people sitting in the front rows actively worshipping and entering in each Sunday that's where they focused most, not the historic building. Members are also repurposing sentimental materials from the old sanctuary in the construction of the new sanctuary. One project Pastor Joe will construct is a large wooden cross made from the old pews.
We share this because we have too often seen new or younger pastors with a steamroll type attitude which has hurt many of the very people who helped establish and or maintain their church.
Last Friday morning we stopped by WDAC, one of our local Christian radio stations. For nearly 13 years we have had Daily Encouragement devotional minute broadcasts aired twice a week on the station sponsored by local businesses. We wanted to thank Barb Musser who has been our producer the entire time. We visited with other staff members as well including Mike Stike, whom many local readers will recognize as the long-time morning announcer (since 1979).
WDAC is one of the oldest distinctly Christian radio station in America signing on the air on December 13, 1959.
We have been very blessed through the years with Christian radio and have a number of friends in different regions of the country who serve in this ministry.
Tom Zahradnik is the general manager of "The Sound of Life" radio in central New York and also a chaplain whom I interviewed about seven years ago for his chaplaincy endorsement.
Tom’s lifechanging event took place on February 19th, 1982. After a suicide attempt from depression, he was admitted to New York Psychiatric Hospital in White Plains, NY. It was there in his room he encountered the living person of Jesus Christ and was compelled by the Spirit to repent of his sins and surrender his life to Christ. He did so and his life has never been the same. He testifies of God's amazing grace!
We have also developed an online friendship with Tim and Debbie Land. Tim is the General manager of "Celebration Radio" in central California.
While visiting at WDAC we struck up a conversation with Ralph Haneman, the chief engineer who has served at the station for over fifty years and is still working daily at 85 years of age! We took note of his gentle spirit and sharp mind during our delightful visit.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“In Christ Alone/The Solid Rock " Video Travis Cottrell
"How Firm A Foundation" Video Sovereign Grace Music
"Rock Of Ages" Video Antrim Mennonite Choir
"The Wise Man Built His House Upon The Rock" Video The Wonder Kids
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
(Click on photo to enlarge)
"We want to encourage you daily in your walk with Christ!"
Personal Ministry Update (Revised 12/10/14)
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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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and 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. Other versions are also occasionally used.
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