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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Bridge in Charleston, SC
Ravenel Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina

"The Called, Beloved, and Kept"

Message summary:
Today we encourage you to place your faith and hope in Christ so that you too can experience the blessed assurance of being among those who are called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ.

ListenListen to our message on your audio player.

"To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ" (Jude 1:4).

While we were in Charleston, South Carolina last Saturday we took a carriage tour. My sister insisted that we take one and we are glad we did. There are about 50 different horse and carriage teams and, to avoid congestion, the city randomly assigns carriage drivers one of four routes. Nevertheless we still encountered other carriages during our tour.

Our driver, John, was a knowledgeable native of the Charleston area who told history stories as the horse clip clopped along. We remember the clip clop sound because they wear very thick horse shoes. In one story we passed homes along the Bay that had at one time been a decrepit slum but now have been beautifully restored and are worth millions of dollars.

Another story he told was about Lavinia Fisher, a female serial killer, who poisoned guests at her boarding house so she could steal their belongings. When she was executed for her crimes she used her last breath to scream, "If you have a message you want to send to hell, give it to me, and I'll carry it!"

She was expressing an assurance but certainly not the same kind of assurance as that of believers. As Christians our assurance is that our sins are forgiven, we are in a right relationship with God and that our eternal resting place will be in heaven.

Fanny Crosby expressed this in her hymn "Blessed Assurance".

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine
O what a foretaste of glory divine
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood

Jude's short letter, the final letter in the New Testament, was addressed
"to those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ." I believe his salutation includes me and certainly that includes you as well if you have accepted Christ as your Saviour. It is a great three part message of assurance.
  • "to those who are the called"
  • "beloved in God the Father"
  • "and kept for Jesus Christ"
As we walked through the Billy Graham Library this last Monday we were blessed by the many thoughtful quotes from Scripture, from Billy Graham and other faithful servants of Christ. This one especially caught our attention. Consider the present turmoil regarding the affairs of this world. What a pitiable condition if we are placing our hope in these affairs!

Billy Graham quote on hope

Today we encourage you to place your faith and hope in Jesus Christ so that you too can experience the blessed assurance of being among those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Father, as the apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Corinthian believers, "If our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. But our hope and assurance exceeds our temporary dwelling on earth, for when "our earthly bodies are planted in the ground after we die, they will be raised to live forever." When we breathe our last on earth "our bodies will be buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory" where we will take on immortality and reign forevermore with Jesus." Blessed be the glorious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

(See I Corinthians 15:19, 42b, 43)

Some more photos from our visit to Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, SC window boxes
The historic area is extremely well kept
with many flowers already planted in planters all through the city. But what caught our eye in this photo is the Bonsai tree planted in the upper middle window box.

Charleston, SC alley
Between the houses were well tended alleys.

Charleston, SC steps
A vibrant ivy is growing along these step risers.

Charleston, SC door
Entry Doors that make you feel like a butler or maid might open them if you called on these well-to-do owners!

Charleston, SC driveway
Even the driveways are attractive in beauty and design.

Charleston, SC homes
These magnificent homes were along the Battery Park by the waterfront

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Blessed Assurance"  Video   The Isaacs

Info and stunning photos about the Ravenel Bridge seen in our lead photo today

Finally today:
Mollie catching frisbee in snow storm
Regardless of weather conditions our border collie Mollie enjoys catching frisbee, including yesterday's snow storm. Video (21 seconds)

2018 portrait for calendar card
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
(Click on photo to enlarge)

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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.

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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