A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Monday, October 7, 2019
While at the Grand Canyon National Park, which is celebrating its 100th year, we rented bikes to ride around the rim. They have some excellent bike trails including portions that have far fewer visitors.
"The Glory Of The Unseen Eternal"
Message summary: We consider the grandeur of famous sights like the Grand Canyon, but all that we see with the visible eye is temporary. Let us fix our eyes on the unseen, which includes an eternal glory that far outweighs the visible trials on this side.
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"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:17,18).
When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.
On our western trip Brooksyne saw the Grand Canyon for the first time in her life. (I had first seen it a few years ago during a trip for a chaplaincy conference in Phoenix). Of course she has viewed photos and knew it was immense, but actually seeing it is quite different. No photo really begins to capture the immensity, majesty and grandeur of actually being there. In fact you only see a small part of the canyon from any viewpoint.
That's similar to our comprehension of heaven. We may consider the very best or very biggest in this world and realize heaven is a lot bigger and better than that. But even that's woefully inadequate. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him" (1 Corinthians 2:9)
In the daily text Paul calls us to focus on the unseen. "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen." Fixing our eyes in this manner requires concentration and focus. It means to "fix one's gaze upon, to concentrate one's attention on." Physically our eyes observe what is seen but Paul is referring to our spiritual eyes here, a focus on the unseen, eternal Kingdom that awaits all who follow Christ.
"For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." What we now see with our physical sight is extremely limited and temporary. Only God who created and oversees the entire universe is stable and unchanging. The Greek word used here for "temporary" (proskairos) indicates the contrast between the temporal, which is also indefinite and the eternal, which is definite.
Today we urge you to focus your heart on the One of whom we sing, "Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not, as Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be". Fix your eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. In the midst of any challenges you face on this day view them not just with a temporal viewpoint but from an eternal perspective.
We are especially aware of readers who are going through difficult times as you read this. Just last night we received word that a longtime friend of ours went home to be with the Lord after a long hard struggle. Thinking he was making improvement the notification surprised us and the grief of such a loss filled our minds all through the night, most especially for his now widowed wife, children, and grandchildren.
The immediate preceding verse declares, "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all" (2 Corinthians 4:17). "For our light and momentary troubles." To make any sense from this phrase we must have an eternal perspective. During a season of trial it may not seem light or momentary but God's Word can bring assurance and confident faith to the believer.
We were blessed to see the grandeur of famous sights like the Grand Canyon. But we do well to remember all that we see with the visible eye is temporary, and that which God is building and designing in heaven will last for eternity. It will make the grandeur of this world pale in comparison. Let us fix our eyes on the unseen, which includes an eternal glory that far outweighs the visible trials on this side.
When we fully embrace this perspective it will make our troubles seem very light and momentary. But if we fail to do so the trials of life will rob us of the wellspring of joy that Jesus gives to each believer to help us endure, overcome, and triumph on our foes. To keep the eternal perspective we must remember to "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer" (Romans 12:12).
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: In the maze of life's events where we're often a passenger on the rollercoaster of life's ups and downs, may we never lose sight of You, Jesus. You are the unseen but ever-present Shepherd who protects, guides and tenderly comforts us in all our trouble. Thank You, Lord, that when change is constantly about us, You remain steadfast, faithful, and dependable. You are the Anchor that keeps us grounded in the unseen but eternal truths we build our lives upon. Keep us faithful and help us to fix our eyes on the unseen as we await that glad day when our faith will be rewarded with the visible, eternal blessings You have stored up for those who believe. Amen.
Grand Canyon photos
Brooksyne's first Grand Canyon view
Without a doubt I was in awe of the beauty, splendor, and immensity of the Grand Canyon up to 18 miles wide in some areas. The multi-hued rock formations captured my attention and I could hardly pull myself away from any spot we viewed. In my youth I loved to climb big rocks and look down to the earth below, so each viewing brought back that sensation and desire once again. Of course, I knew that was ridiculous to even go there in my mind, as I looked out at the impossibility of exploring these rock formations - all I could see was extraordinary beauty and vast danger.
But then, it was as though the Spirit of God began to remind me of the difference of that which we experience and view on earth to that which He has for us in heaven. I considered that He has an even more immense and spectacular grand canyon in heaven, many rock formations formed from jasper, sapphire, turquoise, diamonds and other beautiful jewels. But the thoughts that especially brought a joy to my heart is that I won't just be viewing it from afar due to the danger of climbing or the exhaustion from walking to these sights. There will be no death in heaven, no danger of falling will be present, no breaking of limbs, no knee pain for aging joints, no warning signs of "Danger Ahead" and perhaps we will even fly to the very spot we want to look at up close, to feel its texture and view its beauty.
These thoughts remain with me today as I consider what an awe inspiring time I had visiting the Grand Canyon, and I hope I'll never forget the conversation I had with God about what He has in store for us when we reach our final destiny in heaven.
The mules used for the famed trail walk down into the canyon. Only one person has ever died while riding a mule up or down the canyon, a mule train employee crushed by one of the animals in a fall.
While on our bike ride, following a light rainfall, we saw this faint rainbow over the canyon. In fact, we saw two but this one we captured on camera.
One of the disquieting features for me concerning our visit was the people standing right on the edge. I don't have a fear of heights as I can be in a tall building, on a mountain or in an airplane. But I have a very rational fear of edges, especially when people are standing at the edge of a deep canyon!
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Exalted Over All" Video Calvary Church choir and orchestra from yesterday's service. What a powerful reminder!
One name is higher,
One name is stronger.
Than any grave, than any throne,
Christ exalted over all.
The only Saviour, Jesus Messiah.
To You alone our praise belongs,
Christ exalted over all.
"How Big Is God?" Video Big John Hall (He's been around a long time since he was popular while we were in Bible College visiting our chapel services.)
"How Great Thou Art" Video
"Good, Good Father" Video Casting Crowns
Early yesterday morning as Brooksyne was rehearsing with the choir I visited with Grover Devault, a 90 year old retired Army chaplain. Grover had a vital role as a State Police chaplain during the very tragic Amish schoolhouse shooting in Nickel Mines. He makes an annual visit to the affected families and had just done so this past week on the 13th anniversary of that horrible event. Here's a report that Grover made following the shooting. (PDF) What an example of a faithful minister of the Gospel!
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Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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