Message Summary: In 1 Corinthians Paul writes, “whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (10:31b). The very first question in the Westminster Shorter Catechism is “What is the chief end of man?” The short answer memorized by millions is “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.”
Please note: We are visiting a longtime friend here in California and will not be preparing podcasts while we are away from our home “studio”. Also since we are at a different time zone three hours earlier and working on only one computer the message delivery times may vary as well as the depth of our messages!
This week our messages have been prompted by a medley of Andraé Crouch songs we heard last Sunday at the Shadow Mountain Community Church near San Diego. We both enjoyed his music when we were young Christians and still benefit from the thoughtful lyrics that are just as relevant today. Today we will consider one more song from that medley titled, “My Tribute” (also know as “To God be The Glory”).
“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor? Or who has given a gift to Him that he might be repaid?” For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:33-36).
How can I say thanks
for all the things you have done for me
Things so undeserved
Yet you gave to prove your love for me
And the voices of a million angels
Could not express my gratitude
All that I am and ever hope to be
I owe it all to Thee
Today is a special day for us. Well, first of all it is Brooksyne’s birthday so that’s pretty special to our family! This year she is just one year short of getting her own lifetime National Parks pass! A friend gave us passes to see the San Diego Art Museum in Balboa Park which should be interesting. Later I may splurge and take her to a local restaurant we don’t have in Pennsylvania, the “In-N-Out Burger” (or maybe something a bit more elegant though she’s quite happy with a burger as well!)
It also happens to be the anniversary of our very first date 43 years ago. I asked her out on her birthday (unknowingly) to ride on a bus with me to an evening church service in Springfield, MO. (That’s what Bible College students in those days did for dates.) As we sat on the bus, waiting for it to leave, however she jilted me. She saw her old boyfriend from Tulsa, along with his mother, drive into the campus parking lot. I caught on pretty quickly when she suddenly excused herself explaining that some “friends from home” had just arrived. We married nearly three years later so Brooksyne tells a brief “rest of the story” as a footer.
October 21st is also the day this ministry started 20 years ago in 1996! We will share more about that below.
At our wedding in 1976 we had several song selections including a rather new song at the time which expressed the desire of our hearts in our newly formed marriage; an Andraé Crouch song “To God Be The Glory. It was our desire then on May 8, 1976 and even now that our lives and marriage glorify God.
We met in Bible College, both independently having a desire to serve the Lord. So we were equally yoked not only in the sense of sharing the same faith but also sharing the same life mission. Theologically we share a complementarian view of marriage. Her strengths complement mine and hopefully mine hers! From our earliest days we have served together, for some twenty-five years in pastoral roles, and now in our chaplaincy service and writing.
Just let me live my life
Let it be pleasing, Lord, to Thee
And should I gain any praise,
Let it go to Calvary.
Paul ends his powerful transitional benediction in Romans 11 with a simple phrase, “To Him be glory forever. Amen” Glory in simple terms means to give a proper opinion or estimate of something and thus the glory of God expresses all that He is in His Being and in His nature, character, power and acts. He is glorified when He is allowed to be seen as He really is. To be where God is will be glory. To be what God intended will be glory. To do what God purposed will be glory.
In 1 Corinthians Paul writes, “whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (10:31b). The very first question in the Westminster Shorter Catechism is “What is the chief end of man?” The short answer memorized by millions is “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.”
To God be the glory
To God be the glory
To God be the glory
For the things He has done
With His blood, He has saved me
With His power, He has raised me
To God be the glory
For the things he has done
Today let’s make it our renewed goal to live our lives in such a way that God receives the glory!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we who believe and are redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, can never thank You enough for the things You have done for us, things so undeserved yet You gave Your Son, Jesus, to prove Your love and acceptance of us. The voices of a million angels could not express our gratitude, all that we are, and all we ever hope to be we owe it all to Thee. All glory be to You, our God and Father, for all that we have is due to Your gracious and benevolent love for us. Amen.
* Rest of the first date story from Brooksyne: How could I not deboard the bus when my former boyfriend and his mother drove on the college campus 180 miles from Tulsa, OK. (His mother desperately hoped we would patch up our differences, as she expected that I would one day be her daughter-in-law). They certainly surprised me for my birthday. The fuller story is that I had broken off my two year relationship with him before I left for college nearly two months earlier. God had deeply impressed on my heart the desire for vocational ministry in my high school years. Buddy’s lifestyle changed about six months earlier to that of drinking and running with the wrong crowd. Therefore, his choices ended our long relationship and I had begun to prepare for ministry by attending a Bible College. Stephen was pretty burned by his first jilted date with me (understandably) and we dated other fellow students until the following spring. By then we were studying each other in the dining room (always when the other wasn’t looking) and it was just a matter of time until we gave it another try. We dated through our junior year and married that Spring. We completed our education during our first year of marriage while also pastoring a little country church in Fair Grove, MO. I’m thankful for God’s leading in our lives and I learned years later that Buddy ended up being an alcoholic for over twelve years until he got his life turned around. One never knows but I’m glad God saved me from such a heartache as I’d seen its devastating toll of alcohol on my mother who was raised by an alcoholic father as well as many, many other people through our years of ministry.
A Brief History of our Daily Encouragement Ministry
On Monday, October 21, 1996 the first message simply and quite shortly read, “Hopefully each of you were in church yesterday and received fresh strength from the Lord and His Word. Unfortunately, then, even as now, some had forsaken this important element of growth and discipleship. As we see the Day of Christ’s return drawing ever closer may we be encouraged. Whatever you do today remember the main thing: “Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deuteronomy 6:5).” That was it!
I never set out to start this ministry but I sent another one the next day and the next… and just kept going. And here we are 20 years later!
For the first several years the messages were just a short challenge sent as a simple text email with no photos or music supplements. The mailing list grew as messages were passed along and as I met people who were interested in receiving a daily encouragement.
But our goal is still expressed in that very first message; to encourage followers of Christ.
Here’s a brief timeline:
October 21, 1996 – First email sent and over the next couple of years developed into a list (which initially was merely a group list added to manually one by one.)
1999 – The dailyencouragement.net website developed by Andy Larrimore, a friend from New England.
2002 – Moved to professional listserve (automated list manager for large email lists) Subscribes and unsubscribes are user initiated as well as maintenance such as removing non-deliverable addresses.
2002 – Began one minute Daily Encouragement radio spots on radio.
2005 – Developed html email (formatted with photos), began podcasting daily messages, set up blogs/RSS feeds, Brooksyne “officially” joined in the message preparation.
2006 – Received official endorsement as an “internet chaplain” from chaplaincy endorsement agency (I already had endorsement for corporate chaplaincy.)
Since 2006 we have essentially just kept on keeping on and writing fresh messages daily which keeps us plenty busy, since we also work as corporate chaplains and write for other publications! Of course the technology changes so we have to keep up with that as well.
Support: We are thankful for those who support our Daily Encouragement ministry with their financial offerings. The time devoted to all phases of this ministry is about 4 hours daily for each of us, but of course it varies from day to day. Last year we received support from some 100 different contributors. Some give monthly, others periodically or one-time. If any reader would like to consider an offering to our ministry financially information is here.
Brooksyne’s Note: As we share the history of this ministry I am reminded of our Lord’s faithfulness and the diverse giftings He gives to those He has called. It is extremely humbling to us that God’s Spirit speaks to the hearts of men and women all around the world through our daily messages. When we got our first computer in 1993 we would never have imagined how the internet (did we even know that word then?) would giving us a means to reach people all over the world with daily encouragement and Bible teaching. It continues to be a very exciting means for us to share messages from God’s Word as they are lived out in our normal daily lives. Your prayers, feedback, and support spur us on and challenge us to remain faithful in this writing ministry.
Some more photos from our San Diego trip:
What a very special lunch we enjoyed yesterday at MiMi’s in Mission Valley with Clare Morra. She has been a reader for some fifteen years. We had opportunity to meet her in person and she so energized us for the things of the Lord. The friend we are staying with described Clare in this way, “She is a very godly woman”. And that she is! We couldn’t out-thank her or out-bless her as she continually turned the love and appreciation right back to us. I’m greatly inspired by those a couple decades older than us who remain active in ministry such as Clara who has led a prayer support group now for 17 years, who speaks at both men’s and women’s retreats, also ministers in men’s and women’s prison settings, and on and on it goes. Clare is humble about her work for the Lord but sharing her story with our readers spurs all of us on to carrying out the gospel message in various formats. She is a widow with four children and daily visits with her 100 year old mother in an assisted living facility. Her children have very interesting giftings including her son, John, who is a realist painter. Check out his outstanding paintings at the following link:
John Morra Painting
Sunset Cliffs Blvd from our temporary front porch.
Our temporary residence
It’s still beautiful after the sun sets!
Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“My Tribute” Video Andraé Crouch
“To God Be The Glory” Video Wintley Phipps and Homecoming Singers
Finally today: In study for today’s message i came across this thoughtful quote by CH Spurgeon on this passage.
“To whom be glory forever.” This should be the single desire of the Christian. All other wishes must be subservient and tributary to this one. The Christian may wish for prosperity in his business, but only so far as it may help him to promote this—“To him be glory forever.” He may desire to attain more gifts and more graces, but it should only be that “To him may be glory forever.” You are not acting as you ought to do when you are moved by any other motive than a single eye to your Lord’s glory. As a Christian, you are “of God, and through God,” then live “to God.” Let nothing ever set your heart beating so mightily as love to him. Let this ambition fire your soul; be this the foundation of every enterprise upon which you enter, and this your sustaining motive whenever your zeal would grow chill; make God your only object. Depend upon it, where self begins sorrow begins; but if God be my supreme delight and only object,
“To me ’tis equal whether love ordain
My life or death—appoint me ease or pain.”
Let your desire for God’s glory be a growing desire. You blessed him in your youth, do not be content with such praises as you gave him then. Has God prospered you in business? Give him more as he has given you more. Has God given you experience? Praise him by stronger faith than you exercised at first. Does your knowledge grow? Then sing more sweetly. Do you enjoy happier times than you once had? Have you been restored from sickness, and has your sorrow been turned into peace and joy? Then give him more music; put more coals and more sweet frankincense into the censer of your praise. Practically in your life give him honour, putting the “Amen” to this doxology to your great and gracious Lord, by your own individual service and increasing holiness. (Spurgeon, C. H. Morning and evening: Daily readings November 17 AM).