“Our Fundamental Task”

June 15, 2016

Boston city view from harbor (Photo by Ester) 6/14/16
Boston skyline from harbor
(Photo by Ester  and I have no idea why it has the neat sun effect. She did not photoshop it!)

“Our Fundamental Task”

Message Summary: Like the Apostle Paul, we want to have a lifelong commitment to the great task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. But each day we do well to ask ourselves, “What will I do today to influence the world for Christ?”  That is our fundamental task.

Note: Due to travel we are not podcasting this week and our messages may not be published daily or be of the same style as usual. We are having difficulty with our computer/internet connection. Working on only one computer we also find proofing and formatting difficult since we usually each work on a separate computer at the same time.

“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24).

Yesterday we enjoyed a beautiful day in Boston with some sightseeing on land, a harbor tour and a visit with several friends. Boston is a city with depths of rich history, thus we were quite disappointed in a trolley tour that claimed it was giving a history tour but the tour guide was far more focused on the “history” of current popular movies filmed in the city than the far reaching history that helped shape this nation! We were disappointed but it occurred to us that this is what most people are probably interested in an can relate to. For those of us less interested in the latest Hollywood project we didn’t recognize any movie that was filmed in Boston. Thankfully, the Harbor Tour was far more instructive in the  historic layout and events that has made Boston the great seaport city of the northeast.

D.L. Moody plaqueWe made it a point to visit a sight that is surely not well known. Even though it’s smack in the middle of Boston’s historical tourist area we suppose very few tourists even notice it or would recognize the significance of the D.L. Moody plaque.

A small bronze plaque on an old building on Court Street marks the spot where on April 21, 1855 Dwight Lyman Moody “was converted to God.”

During a Sunday School lesson a young Moody showed spiritual interest by asking his teacher, Mr. Edward Kimball, the quaint question, “That Moses was what you call a pretty smart man, wasn’t he?” This prompted the earnest teacher to visit him at his place of business, a shoe store where he worked for his uncle.  Mr. Kimball laid his hand on the boy’s shoulder and spoke a few kind words to him. Then he asked him the direct question, “Will you not give your heart to Jesus?” The inquiry pierced him to the heart. He sought and found Jesus as his Saviour, and resolved to consecrate himself to the service of his God. He went on to have a tremendous ministry for Christ through the rest of his earthly life.

Many of us have been impacted by D.L. Moody’s ministry whether we realize it or not. My older brother Pat had considered attending Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and since he (my brother) had an influence on my college choice I might very well have attended that college for my ministerial training.

DL Moody Fundamentally God has called each believer to leave a signature for Jesus Christ. This signature is essentially our influence on the world around us.  This signature may be made while serving in the office of a pastor or many other forms of Christian lay ministry, but it is the call of every true believer on earth until they are called home to heaven. The Apostle Paul’s ministry was multi-faceted. He ministered one on one, to small groups and to larger crowds.  He ministered in both speaking and writing. His life’s mission is summed up in the powerful phrase in the daily text, “the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace”.

Like the Apostle Paul, we want to have a lifelong commitment to the great task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. But each day we do well to ask ourselves, “What will I do today to influence the world for Christ?”  That is our fundamental task.

Keep me true, Lord Jesus, keep me true,
Keep me true, Lord Jesus, keep me true.
There’s a race that I must run.
And there are victories to be won.
Give me power, every hour to be true.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, this task of testifying to the work of Your grace in our lives is a very important way we give glory to You. We recognize that, apart from Your abundant grace, we are weak, ineffective, and have nothing to offer that will change the circumstances in another person’s life. But when we tell others of the marvelous grace we experience as we fellowship with You we offer the good news of Your salvation. We give hope that extends beyond this present life. May the hope that is within us be seen in our attitudes, actions, and in our words.  Amen.

With Harriet 6/14/16
Harriet and Brooksyne are posing for this photo just up the street from Massachusetts General Hospital next door to where Harriet works. She has corresponded for years with us via Daily Encouragement but this was the first time we met in person. Over lunch we were blessed to hear firsthand of how she came to Christ and of her ongoing commitment to follow Him all the days of her life.

Lee family 6/14/16
Lee family
Nigel and Laifong Lee were the only recipients of our very first daily encouragement message in 1996. (I mention their names each year of our Daily Encouragement anniversary.)  They came into the church I pastored in Taunton, MA right they married 20 years ago. We enjoyed dinner with them last night in their home and met their son Caleb for the first time. What a joy to see their steadfast walk with Christ. They are both scientists. Lee, a PhD electrical engineer, works on the programs that compress videos which any of us who watch videos benefit from. Laifong is a PhD in Molecular biology and writes medical scripts for teaching videos. Nigel has an interesting association. His grandmother’s brother-in-law was Watchman Nee, who stood faithful for Christ enduring severe persecution.

Boston city view 6/14/16
The new Boston Garden (I have never understood why they call these venues gardens) with a view of the Bunker Hill bridge.

Boston city view 6/14/16
Another photo of the Boston Skyline taken during our harbor tour. In our view it is one of the prettiest city skylines though we are very content with the field view across from our home!

Massachusetts State House 6/14/16
Massachusetts State House (Capitol) which sits on top of a hill overlooking Boston Common. The beautiful, bright dome is made of copper and 24k gold and glistens on a bright sunny day like we had yesterday.

Beacon Hill Street 6/14/16
Beacon Hill Street
This is an area of incredible wealth where, according to our tour guide, a fixer-upper can easily cost $10,000,000! If you don’t want a fixer-upper you can pay $30,000,000.

Boston subway 6/14/16
Riding on the crowded subway during rush hour is not a typical experience for us and the locals who had their faces buried in their smart phones probably though we were yokos or country bumkins!

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Keep Me True”  Video  Jabu Hlongwane  (South African Gospel music)

Here’s the location of the D.L. Moody plaque in Boston on a Google Street view photo.
(It is directly behind the truck)

Finally today:

Amish in Boston 6/14/16
Yesterday afternoon we walked around the back of the New England Aquarium after our harbor tour and saw this Amish couple looking out over the water. I asked if they were from Lancaster County and they were and are well-acquainted with several names we mentioned. Amos and Mary had come to Boston on the train the day before to visit a family at Boston Children’s Hospital. After taking the subways down to the pier to watch over the harbor they really had no clue of what to do so we took them on a mini tour and quickly became acquainted. They really wanted photos of the harbor, especially the large aircraft flying overhead from the Boston Airport, to show their five children at home. We obliged their timid request and will surprise them by making copies and dropping them off at our new friend’s house in Bird-in-Hand when we get back from our trip.

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