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"The Ultimate View"
"I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True" (Revelation 19:11).
"Fallingwater" is the name of a beautiful home in western Pennsylvania, perhaps most famous because it was designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It is indeed a very remarkable place, and worth the pricey fee for a tour, with its most interesting feature being that it's built right over a waterfall. Our young tour guide was enthusiastic as he pointed out the various details of the house. (The detail I remember most was that the ceilings were very low and in several places I bumped my head!) Due to the concrete and stone construction and proximity to the stream it was also cold, dreary, and damp feeling even though it was a summer day.
Several times he pointed out to a small bluff where he urged us to view the home after the tour as he excitedly told us, "It's the ultimate view." We did and it was a beautiful view although, even in my rather limited travels, I would have a hard time calling it the ultimate view! In fact most any picture you've viewed of Fallingwater is from this particular view such as the one in the photo above.
I consider other "ultimate views." I have traveled from coast to coast and from the tip of Florida to Canada and several other countries. Some of my favorite "ultimate views" is an overlook on Mount Battie near Camden Maine that looks down over the harbor and out into the ocean. Or the Cades Cove area in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (photo above). Steal a moment from your otherwise busy day and consider with me some of your personal favorite "ultimate views".
The tour guide's statement got me thinking. What is the ultra-ultimate view? I'm quite certain it won't be any view we designate as "ultimate" on this side of eternity! Will it be the view of Christ in all His glory? Or perhaps when we first see heaven? We must in faith wait, but the daily text grants us an eyewitness glimpse and I can't read it without sensing the awe. Just imagine the scene, "I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True."
As I study heaven I note that no single extended Scripture portion gives us substantial information. Rather we have glimpses of what heaven is like. Today's portion comes from the book of Revelation. It's a tremendous comfort to believers. John had just received a remarkable revelation from an angel and had bowed down to worship the angel when he was firmly rebuked and told to "Worship God".
Then he saw heaven standing open and what did he see? Actually not what we might expect! If the verse was not before me I would expect it to say something to the effect, "Jesus sitting at the right hand of His Father" which is indeed the most common place we see Him after the ascension. But John says he saw a "white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True". As you read on through the passage this is clearly a vision of Jesus.
Let's examine and receive encouragement from the two titles given to Jesus Christ in the daily passage.
1) He is called "Faithful". This translates the very common Greek word "pistos", which objectively has the meaning of trustworthiness and reliability. This is one of the great attributes of God found throughout the Scriptures. Believers can join with Jeremiah in declaring, "Great is Thy faithfulness!"
2) He is called "True". This word denotes real and genuine. It places Him in contrast to the antichrist who is also depicted on a white horse earlier in Revelation 6:2. While on earth Jesus had said in encouraging His disciples, "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6).
We close with a powerful thought from Warren Wiersbe, one of our favorite writers, concerning this verse: "This description of Christ is thrilling! He is no longer on a humble donkey, but on a fiery white charger. His eyes are not filled with tears as when He beheld Jerusalem; nor is He wearing a mocking crown of thorns. Instead of being stripped by His enemies, He wears a garment dipped in blood, signifying judgment and victory. When on earth, He was abandoned by His followers; but here the armies of heaven follow Him in conquest. He comes to rule with a rod of iron (Psalm 2). He comes not to bear the wrath of God on the cross, but to tread the winepress of God's wrath at the Battle of Armageddon. He is King of kings and Lord of lords!"
Wow, this will sure be the ultimate view!
It will be worth it all, when we see Jesus.
Life's trials will seem so small, when we see Christ.
One glimpse of His dear face, all sorrow will erase.
So bravely run the race, till we see Christ.
Oft times the day seems long, our trials hard to bear.
We're tempted to complain, to murmur and despair.
But Christ will soon appear, to catch His bride away.
All tears forever over, in God's eternal day.
Sometimes the sky looks dark, with not a ray of light.
We're tossed and driven on, no human help in sight.
But there is one in heav'n, who knows our deepest care.
Let Jesus solve your problem, just go to Him in pray'r.
Life's day will soon be o'er, all storms forever past.
We'll cross the great divide, to glory safe at last.
We'll share the joys of heav'n, a harp, a home, a crown.
The tempter will be banished, we'll lay our burden down.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, how blessed we are to view glimpses of beauty and awe on this side of heaven. But with great anticipation we await the glorious day when we will behold the ultimate view; Jesus in all His glory. This world with all its troubles and disappointments will vanish from our memory as we behold a new heaven and a new earth. Contemplating that ultimate view diminishes our heartaches and burdens of this life. Keep us keeping on as we journey below so that we will ultimately reach our eternal resting place. In Jesus' holy name we pray. Amen.
PS: The most interesting observation during the tour of Fallingwater to me was the duct tape. As a duct tape aficionado I was pleased to see duct tape visibly in use in one of the world's most famous homes. Of course I had to inquire and the tour guide told me the tape was "temporary" but it sure looked to me that it had been on for a long time!
This morning I am going, along with two other pastor friends, to hear a preaching seminar by Haddon Robinson. Here is a message by him on the book of Philemon titled "Put That on Master Charge". (Video) I really enjoy his sermons and he is a remarkable storyteller!
A faithful servant called home: Many years ago I served a short interim role in a church and at that time met a former pastor who was in his nineties at the time. I specifically recall his sweet spirit. I just recieved word that Robert H. Shipp, 101, entered his eternal rest on May 17, 2011. He went to be with the Lord a month shy of his 102nd birthday! His salvation dates back to 1925 at a church in Pittsburgh. He received his licensed minister credential on August 12, 1941 and was ordained two years later. Robert was married to Lillie, and they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on August 4, 2007.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne.
"Faithful And True" Video
"My Redeemer Is Faithful And True" Video Bobby Michael
"It Will Be Worth It All" Video
"It Will Be Worth It After All" Video Terry Terrell
"Anything That Costs Me Nothing" Video Bobby Michael (Great song I haven't heard for years!!!)
Fallingwater (it is one word!)
View of Camden Harbor in Maine from Mount Battie
My own Cades Cove photos
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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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