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Thursday, March 19, 2020

The Foxcreek Covered Bridge near Schoharie, NY 3/15/20
The Foxcreek Bridge near Schoharie, NY, a replica built in 1982 as a walking bridge!

"Our Most Important Reservation"

Message summary: It's always a good time to consider our most important reservation!

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

ďBlessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last timeĒ (1 Peter 1:3-5).

When we were children we didn't travel much and if we did we stayed overnight with relatives. It's hard now to imagine how many adults and children crowded into that old farmhouse my Uncle Gentry and Aunt Dora lived in. We just made space to fit another one in to sleep on the floor and thought nothing of it. Anybody else have a memory like that?

Motel vacancy signOn the few occasions we stayed at a motel my parents, to my recollection, never made a reservation. At that time the roadside motels where we stayed had a Vacancy/No Vacancy sign.  Mom, who had a pretty extreme Depression era thriftiness mindset, would expect Dad to stop the car, jump out and ask at the front desk the cost of the room (of course we all stayed in one room). If she thought it was too high we would drive to the next place that had a vacancy sign until we finally landed upon an acceptable rate.

Brooksyne and I did that when we first got married, but for many years now I make our reservations ahead of time, which of course is a lot easier with
the online reservation system that most hotels offer these days. Actually I rather enjoy preparing for a trip this way. When you're tired from travel itís great to have a room waiting and to know in advance just how much it will cost!

Speaking of reservations, let's consider today the most important reservation we can make, the reservation for our eternal dwelling place! Let us especially consider the phrase in our daily text, "reserved in heaven for you".

Notice the last two words in that phrase, "for you". Praise God! Heaven is not just about some remarkable doctrine. Itís not merely a colorful destination we can only dream about when things are turning ugly on this side. Itís not just a nice sentiment of comfort for those who attend funeral services. Peter said to his original readers and through the sacred Scriptures to all of us that itís "for you". Praise God for His eternal provision!

Our future inheritance is reserved in heaven, solid and secure. It is "an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away". Jesus said itís where "moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal" (Matthew 6:20). Paul described it as "an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands" (2 Corinthians 5:1). The Revelator John declared itís where "there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away" (Revelation 21:4). Heaven is a place that surpasses human vision and defies our limited terminology!

Vitally important notes about our heavenly reservation:
  • A reservation is required; unlike many restaurants and hotels where you can walk in unprepared and still get a meal or room we must prepare for heaven and make our reservation before we die!
  • A reservation is available to all who call upon the name of the Lord. During this grace period you won't find a "No Vacancy" sign posted!
  • This reservation has already been paid in full through Christís atonement.
  • This reservation is confirmed when we surrender our life to Christ.
If you havenít already done so, now is the time to make this most important reservation. Godís reservation system is always available! "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:8,9).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we thank You for making us joint heirs in this wonderful eternal inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade kept in heaven for us. We gratefully claim this inheritance and await the appointed date when we will experience in full the blessings it provides. Troubles in this life diminish our hope, but rejoicing in the life yet to be revealed gives us a glorious living hope! Help us to fix our present hope on the future return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thank You for making my reservation in heaven since it is only there that enemies such as disease, aging, pain and loss will not exist. I want to keep this eternal perspective today so that I will set my affections on things above, not on things of this earth. Amen.

A true story: My Uncle Gentry was a very colorful man full spunk and vigor till he died in his mid-eighties. I recall we once had stopped in our car at a rail crossing for a slow moving freight train to pass outside tiny Harwood, Missouri where they lived. Uncle Gentry, who had been following us, flew around us in his car and dashed across the track right in front of the train! (Now to be fair he lived in that area and was probably very accustomed to just how slow the train was going.)

Uncle Gentry and Aunt Dora had four children, their youngest being George, the only boy, who became a Baptist preacher.
George, (AKA Dub) and Joy have been married now over 57 years. He brought his newlywed wife Joy to his childhood home for a family gathering shortly after they were married and she experienced an unusual form of family togetherness.  Joy's a great storyteller and last night refreshed the story for me in her own words. I think you'll enjoy it along with her pleasant southern accent.  Audio (4 minutes)

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Living Hope"  Video  Calvary Church Choir, Orchestra and congregation.

"Living Hope"  Video  Phil Wickham

"When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder"  Video  Dailey and Vincent

In Yesterday post  I mentioned that last weekend I took an Amish group up to a very rural part of New York state (west of Albany) to see family. This part of New York is altogether different than what most people think of when they hear New York (the city). Over the last fifteen years Amish from Lancaster County, as well as Plain groups from other areas, have moved and established settlements in this area restoring abandoned farms and establishing small businesses. Here are several more photos.

Amish skating rink in upstate New York 3/15/20
Amish skating rink.
However they have had a rather mild winter like us up that way and didn't use it as much as most winters.

Test drive in upstate New York 3/15/20
While up that way we went to horse farm where Jesse test drove a horse for his son Moses. Turns out he didn't feel the horse was suitable.

Horse treadmill in upstate New York 3/15/20
The horse farm had a treadmill for the horses. See video. Jesse told me the horses really seem to enjoy it.

John's wood shop in upstate New York 3/15/20
Jesse's brother-in-law, John, took us to where he works, an old train station where they restore old window sashes for historic buildings. They use belt driven equipment.

The Foxcreek Covered Bridge near Schoharie, NY 3/15/20
Another view of the Foxcreek Covered Bridge near Schoharie, NY

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLEģ, 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 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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