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Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Packing up for a summer family road trip.
Although actually we are not taking this vehicle!
"A Full Life"
Note: Due to travel a podcast was not prepared for this message.
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10).
Today our family heads out for our annual trip to the heartland.
Although we moved to the Northeast shortly after our marriage we are
both from the Midwest and have many relatives in that region of the
country. My Mom's side has an annual reunion and this year it's in
We enjoy travel and will make the most of seeing interesting things and
meeting friends along the way. The ability to travel is a blessing that
we don't take for granted. We're reminded of that when we hear from our
Daily Encouragement readers who are homebound. They let us know how
much they like to "travel with us" when we take our road trip. It's as
though they're getting a scenic tour right from their living quarters.
As children we didn't make many
long trips. In fact Brooksyne never traveled beyond her native Oklahoma and the
until we married. I did make two long childhood trips to the east and
coasts but generally vacation meant going to see relatives in the
Midwest and staying with them. At that time we only used a hotel if we
didn't have relatives within 500 miles! Now many children travel far more
extensively than we do with
the greater availability and affordability of air travel.
are many ways we have a full life. The ability to travel is one along
with family, health, our provision and then some. As the old song
"Count Your Blessings, Name Them One By One... And It Will Surprise You
What The Lord Has Done." But of course depending on a number of factors
such as where we live, our means, and our health, these sources of a
full life vary. Some are unable to travel, have little of this world's
goods, and may even have poor health. The greater sense of having a
full life are our spiritual blessings and this is something we can all
Yet there are also many false notions of what constitutes a full life,
those that essentially seek to replace the spiritual blessings.
When I was pastoring a church in New England I received an interesting
"wrong number" prior to our midweek church service one evening. Usually
when a church gets a call prior to a service it's someone needing
directions, asking the time of service, or a worker is delayed. I took
the call hoping it was a visitor needing directions. I answered
the phone by using the church name. The phone was silent for a moment
and then a lady asked, "Is this Eagan's Package Store?" (A
"Package Store" in Massachusetts is a liquor store.)
I said "No, we are a church and the package we have to offer is quite the opposite of a package
store." We clarified the number she dialed which was off by one digit,
and she said she thought it was interesting what I said about being the
opposite. I gave her a brief witness, hopefully giving her
something to think about. I ended the conversation by pointing
out all the heartache I had seen the abuse of alcohol wreak. I don't know whether
she ever called Eagan's or not! And I don't know if she ever
visited our church.
The world's offerings are broad and varied, but all lead down the same disastrous
path. The work of the "thief" continues today. We don't
have to look far to see the horrible destruction do we? The
enemy's thievery, killing, and destruction are ruining lives
The massive alcohol industry is but one example. Those of us who
enjoy sports on TV are inundated with commercials promoting drinking.
The booze industry, with a huge advertising budget has some of the
"best" commercials on TV. The glitzy ads proclaim with beautiful young
models that "this is the life", but we who know the full truth realize
this is a lie.
Truth in advertising should require a scene from a deadly DWI traffic
accident, abused spouses and children, homicides, shattered families and early
deaths are but a few of the consequences of alcoholism. The thief
takes all, bankrupting us of that which God is willing to give in
abundance – His love, guidance, forgiveness and friendship. The
striking contrast to the thief's objective which is to take life is
seen in the person of Jesus who gives life, even His own life on our
behalf. He told his listeners, "I am the good Shepherd. The
good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep" (10:11).
Jesus continues to actively work in all who will receive His offering
of a full life. He said "I have come that they may have
life, and have it to the full." The Greek word translated "to the
full" ("abundantly" in the KJV) conveys the sense "superabundant" (in
quantity), or "superior" (in quality).
Don't settle for the paltry, destructive substitutes from the
thief. Are you living for Jesus Christ today? He alone
offers a truly full life and that offer continues to be freely extended
to all who call upon the name of the Lord to be saved.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
prayer: Father, thank You for Jesus who came that we might
have life and have it in abundance. We thank you so much for a full life. We're grateful for Your grace
that teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions and to
live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present
age. We're thankful that Jesus gave Himself for us to redeem us
from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His
very own. We realize that the one who sows to please the sinful
nature from that nature reaps destruction, but we choose to sow to
please the spiritual nature and from that nature reap eternal
life. Keep us faithful in doing so. Amen.
Saturday afternoon we attended a car show in Mount Joy, something Ester
and I especially enjoy. In fact the photo of the old station wagon in our lead photo
was taken at the show.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"John 10:10" Video Today's verse set to music in The Scripture memory series
"My Jesus I Love Thee" Video Paul Baloche
During our trip we are going to try to maintain a regular daily
encouragement schedule but of course this may not be possible for a
variety of reasons both technical, such as internet connectivity and
personal such as being too busy or wanting to get an early start. We also may be unable to prepare an audio podcast version.
to Stephen &
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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 honor God through my
faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for
Encouragement Net 495
Church Road Mount
C. Weber All
the weak things in the world,
That no flesh will glory
in His presence."