“The Blessing Of A Rich Welcome”
November 28, 2016
An inviting trail to walk in the Smoky Mountain National Park as the trees shed their leaves. As beautiful as it is to walk in the summer where everything is green the leaves dropping to the ground makes for much more visibility of the deeper parts of the forest.
“The Blessing Of A Rich Welcome”
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“Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:10,11).
We returned from our trip to Tennessee late yesterday afternoon where we visited with Elaine, Brooksyne’s sister, and her daughter, Courtney. The odometer read 1852 miles so we gave thanks to God for our safety in travel and for the safekeeping of our pets and home. Mollie and Roxie greeted us heartily and, if they could, would surely have asked, “Why didn’t you take us with you?” Not only were they not invited to go along, but they caught on right away that we’d kept company with another dog. Sherlock is Elaine’s dog that clings to her like Roxie clings to Brooksyne. They’re still pretty excited to have us back home this morning.
Rich welcomes are such a blessing. Consider the rich welcome a soldier receives upon returning home after a long deployment, or a sport’s team coming home after a championship victory or a long lost family member who has come “home”, such as the welcome the prodigal son received from his father. But there is a wonderful “rich welcome” all who have placed their hope in Christ will one day receive.
This great promise of assurance is expressed in the daily Scripture text as we all face our impending death. Hide this promise deep in your heart both for your sake and that of family members and loved ones who know the Lord: “You will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (NIV). The Amplified Version states, “Thus there will be richly and abundantly provided for you entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
The apostle Peter wrote these words “to those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:1). Isn’t that a great reminder of the level ground at the foot of the Cross! What follows is a portion that describes the very essence of the Christian life, a portion that we memorized many years ago. (* see below for this text)
Peter writes, “Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure.” Making our calling and election sure should be the prime motivation in life. “For if you do these things, you will never fall.” “These things” refer to a list of godly characteristics found in the preceding verses namely, “make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.”
We can be confident based upon our belief in Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice for our sin, that we will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That rich welcome awaits those who trust Christ. In fact let me close by expressing my faith in a very personal sense, which you can do as well.
“I will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Doesn’t that do your heart and spirit good just to quote that verse using the personal pronoun, “I”! What a day, glorious day, that will be!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
* 2 Peter 1:3-11: “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Brooksyne’s Note: I apologize to any of our readers who might have read my riddle before Thanksgiving about the turkey and didn’t have the answer by Thanksgiving. We didn’t have access to internet so my timing was off. Maybe you can remember it for next year!
Question: Which side of the turkey has more feathers? Answer: The outside!
The old mill in Pigeon Forge, TN is now a restaurant but is still used as a mill. Unfortunately the mill wheel was not operating while we were there.
All through our trip we saw varying shades of foliage including this scene from the Smoky Mountain National Park. Some of the trees were still at their deciduous glory which kept us continuously watching for the next stunning view.
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