“Good News” (Part 1)

December 19, 2016

Foggy winter morning 12/18/16 (Click to enlarge)
A foggy Sunday morning.
We had our first snow covering  on Saturday morning but it soon melted off.
Yesterday it was foggy with this view from our church parking lot.
(Click on photo for larger view)

“Good News” (Part 1)

Note: This week we will consider a singular portion of Scripture that is at the heart of the Christmas story.

Message Summary: Today let us consider the genuineness of this good news.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:10-12).

Fake news has been getting a lot of press these days although it’s certainly nothing new. The descendants of Adam and Eve have been lying to each other ever since the fall. Lying takes on many more forms of deception as it relates to technology. For many years we’ve had the tele-marketers calling seeking to persuade us to buy a product or service. We suppose they’ve always been less than truthful but now they blatantly lie to you. Here are some recent sales pitches we’ve received:

  • “Good news, since you enjoyed your recent vacation rental to our resort we have a special offer…” (Well, we never enjoyed any recent visit at a vacation resort and had no idea what he was talking about.)
  • “Good news, we have a special program to refinance your student loan…” (Brooksyne received this pitch the other day although we both left college debt free nearly 40 years ago!)
  • Our Amish friend Jesse uses a phone due to his farm tour business and received a call the other day informing him he had a computer virus. (Now Jesse doesn’t even have a computer, though just for fun, he did lead on the telemarketer till he was asked for his email address!)

Many of these fake calls appear on your phone as though they are local calls. Telemarketers know that most people will not answer distant, unfamiliar numbers so they use a roaming identity, harder to trace the source and block as well. Most are robocalls, though occasionally a real person is speaking. I usually hang up but have a notion to be rascally and feign interest by responding, “That’s great news and thank you for caring about me! Can I just give you my date of birth, social security number and credit card number and save us both some time?” (But I won’t.)

Well, today we really do want to share good news with you. No tricks, no lies, no schemes! It’s straight from God’s Word. This week we will consider several aspects of this good news. “Good news” translates the Greek word “euangelizomai” from which we get Evangel.

Today let us consider the genuineness of this good news. Luke, a careful historian who lived in the first century, began his gospel with this introduction: “Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught” (Luke 1:1-4).

This is a powerful and insightful Scripture in light of all the fake news we hear of these days. Consider especially the words expressing Luke’s purpose in writing, “that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.”

The good news of the Christmas message is genuine! This was the first Christmas message and was given to the shepherds by an angel as they were watching over their flocks by night. It is genuine good news of great joy for all the people and that includes us since “His mercy goes on from generation to generation, to those who fear Him” (Mary’s song of praise – Luke 2:50).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we are so thankful for the Goods News of salvation, as presented to all who read the Scriptures. In an age where deception, trickery, scheming, and outright lying are prevalent in the government, media, marketplace, workplace, family, and even in churches we are thankful for those, such as Luke, who very thoughtfully and in an investigative manner, compiled an account for those who lived during the time of Christ, but also for all generations that follow. We are among those whom Your servant, the mother of Christ, spoke of in her song of praise, “His mercy goes on from generation to generation, to all who fear Him.” Thank You for extending Your mercy to us in our generation. Amen.

DonateSpecial Year-end Financial Appeal: We want to thank all who have financially supported our ministry this past year. We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. We typically see a spike in giving at the end of the year for which we are most thankful.

Our ministry labor is comprised of half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive a fee. Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each would provide half of our ministry expenses and income.

If you would like to make a donation to our ministry see here for more information.

Make a tax deductible donation directly online here. This will open to a page that designates the offering to: WEBER,STEPHEN CHAP, Specialized Chaplaincy Ministry ID: 700001-237376

Make A DonationPlease Note: We also provide this familiar PayPal option due to the convenience, for international supporters, and for those who may not be concerned regarding receiving an official tax-deductible receipt. Click here to donate using PayPal. This will open to a page that designates the offering to: “brooksyne@dailyencouragement.net”

Thank you

Stephen & Brooksyne

Some Genuine People!

Mervin and Lois with cookies 12/18/16
Mervin and Lois enjoy baking cookies together. This year they baked 100 dozen which is down from their normal 200 dozen! Each week they bring in a tray to share before Sunday School. Mervin broke it down for us regarding supplies: they buy 40# sugar, 60# flour. Both in their 70’s they have amazing energy and still host an annual “Open House”!

Nelson with apples 12/18/16
Nelson operates an orchard and yesterday he brought apples to choose from as we departed our church service.

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
“Unto Us”  Video  Matthew West

“Noel”  Video  Lauren Daigle

Resources for Christmas Celebrations
(We will leave these resources posted below our daily messages through Christmas)

Each year we share several online resources that we have used over the years and that may be a blessing to families and churches during this Christmas season.

“In Remembrance of Me” pdf  This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. Brooksyne and I have used this reading with great receptivity during Christmas Eve services over the years.  We suggest, if possible, a musical background as the message is read. It is also a great lead-in to a Communion service. It should be thoroughly practiced and read with great feeling.  Here’s a great Communion Hymn for Christmas (Video)

“When Christ Was Born” pdf This is an adaptation to the tune of “How Great Thou Art”. It’s a great song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with and love the tune.

Responsive Christmas Scripture readings for church or family:
John 1:1-18  pdf
“O Come Let Us Adore Him”  pdf

My First Christmas In Heaven  This is a blessed reminder for all who lost a loved one this year.  This is the poem that Brooksyne read and wrote about in this message.

Christmas Knowledge Test

We have also posted two Christmas carol quizzes here (scroll down).

Finally today:

Wisconsin morning 12/18/16 (Photo by Georgia)My cousin Georgia sent this photo from yesterday morning at Wisconsin where she reported “It is below zero again this morning…..lots of snow and bitterly cold.”

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