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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New York City skyline

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"Looking For The City"

"For he [Abraham] was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God" (Hebrews 11:10).

When we went into New York City this last Saturday we began looking for the city while far off, which I recall doing ever since we first visited New York City some 30 years ago. New York City is famous for it's skyline that can be seen from quite a distance away. On this visit the Empire State Building was lit up in green and white as a sign of support for the New York Jets football team!

But for so many of our early visits the Twin Towers were the initial major eye catcher as we approached the city. Several times we went to the very top of the towers for an outstanding view of New York City and beyond.

Foundation construction workers at World Trade CenterConstruction workers are now diligently working at the new World Trade Center site. Although we didn't visit this part of the city during our trip last Saturday several years ago we did visit Ground Zero. We watched the hordes of construction workers busy at work deep in the ground preparing the foundation, a critical component of any building but especially a skyscraper.

Foundation construction World Trade CenterAt the site the major physical work still involves the foundation, which goes down many stories deep into the ground. However once the skyscraper is built little thought is given to the hidden foundation but rather our full attention is drawn to the visible structure above the ground, that which we see. Though both the foundation and observable skyscraper have essential functions our eyes are drawn to that which we see far more than that which is hidden from our view.

Much of the design and planning is done in offices by architects, engineers and designers, perhaps far away from the site. I personally know several architects and I find that field particularly interesting. I look at a grand building and consider that the original design began in the mind of the architect, who then drew it on paper or more likely a computer in our present time.

C.H. SpurgeonIn our Scripture text the Hebrews author gives us a glimpse of the early patriarch Abraham, whose faith and actions indicated that he was looking for a city not designed or built by mere human hands. His heart’s desires were fixed upon the invisible heavens where he would live for all eternity. It's an expression of his faith in what God had promised.

C.H. Spurgeon writes, "Here you have the expectation of faith. Faith does not live on things seen; she lives on something yet to come. That which is to come she regards as eternal, not like a mere tent in which she dwells here, but a city that hath foundations, fixed and firm."

The Master Architect is at work in our lives and in His Kingdom, in both the visible and invisible realm. He's designing a masterpiece, "that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:7). Long after the works of the great architects have turned to dust, the work of the Master Architect will remain!

C.S. LewisIn his book, Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis wrote, "If you read history you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were those who thought most of the next. The apostles themselves.. . . the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English evangelicals who abolished the slave trade, all left their mark on earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at heaven and you will get earth 'thrown in.'"

Let us joyfully serve Him today as we also direct our thoughts and affections on things above where our lives are hidden with Christ in God.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily Prayer: Father, it comes naturally to fix our sights and build our hopes on that which is seen by the human eye. Not only are our eyes drawn to the visible, but our affections are also caught up in that which we can see with our eyes or touch with our hands. And yet we’re reminded in the book of Colossians that if we are risen with Christ we are to set our affections on things above, not on things of the earth, for we are dead [to the things of the world] and our spiritual life is now hidden with Christ in God. Father, You are the Masterbuilder working in the invisible realm preparing for us a kingdom that cannot be shaken by the folly of man or the sins that so easily corrupt. Our future resting place is eternally fixed in the heavens where we will dwell with You and the saints of all the ages. Keep our anticipation stirred and our affections above where Jesus is seated at Your right hand. It is because of His sacrificial death on our behalf that we can look forward to dwelling in the eternal city of Heaven. Amen.

The word, architect (architekton) is derived from two Greek words, "arche" which means chief and found commonly in the New Testament. The second part of the word is "technites" where we get the English word "technical".

Cardinal on fence in snow (1/18/11)
Brooksyne took this photo through our home office window.
The Cardinal was only about 8 feet away!
 As cardinal lovers know, they are fidgety so it is hard to get a close-up shot.

Cardinal at feeder in snow (1/18/11)
They sure enjoy her feeder.

T-shirtLast night I met my brother Pat in Reading, PA to share a BBQ meal together at "Smokey Bones". He was wearing this T-shirt!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link to open and play.
(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

"We Are A Moment"  Video  Singer not identified

"The Light Of That City"
 Video  Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

"Looking For A City"  Video  Gold City

"Mansion Builder"
 Video  2nd Chapter Of Acts

"I Give You Praise"  Video  Travis Cottrell

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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 I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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