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Thursday, July 23, 2020

Christian Hess House restoration, Lititz, PA
Stone restoration work on the historic Christian Hess house in Lititz, PA
Click on photo to enlarge

"God's Solid Foundation Stands Firm"

Message summary: "Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm." It always has, always will and is most vital for our assurance today.

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"Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm" (2 Timothy 2:19).

Christian Hess home, Lititz, PAMonday afternoon I drove over to Lititz where our friend Jesse is presently working on a large restoration project on the Christian Hess house. It's an historical stone house built in 1778, which happens to be 198 years before we got married.
You can see this home from the Lititz to Ephrata Rail Trail where there's a sign about the history of the place (right). Jesse is a stonemason and an excellent one I might add.

In our lead photo he, along with two of his sons, Moses and Eli James, are repointing the stone wall which includes removing the old mortar and placing in new. The original stones remain in place, although they will be sandblasted. This will give the original stone a beautiful, clean finish. We are so thankful that so many of the homes, barns and mills here in Lancaster County have been restored to their original luster.

Christian Hess house foundation, Lititz, PAThe inside of the house is essentially being gutted but Jesse told me they will use the original 242 year old foundation, as I already suspected. When we first moved to Lancaster County in 2001 our neighbor gave us a tour of Risser Mill near our rented farmhouse. He was a descendant of the builder and pointed out how deep and wide they made the foundations so they would last, much deeper than most foundations in buildings built today. As we recall we were amazed when he told us the original builders had dug down 17 feet for the foundation!

Today let us consider another very old foundation, the historical reliability of the Bible. If the Bible can't be trusted in regard to the past, what confidence can we have regarding the future (prophecy) or assurance regarding our present?

However the Bible can be trusted fully regarding the past (history). Archeology has done so much to confirm this. This provides confidence regarding its reliability concerning the future, especially the overarching theme that God triumphs. "And He shall reign forever and ever!"

But where we may struggle is the trust needed day in and day out in our present day. We wonder what the unexpected events of life may mean as we look at the crumbling world conditions and the hectic state of our own country. What does the immediate future hold?

Having confidence in the historical reliability of Scripture leads to a confidence in the future reliability of its pronouncements. This in turn can fill our hearts with peace and assurance regarding God's control right now in our present day.

Today let us consider the foundation that the people of faith have in God. Our daily Scripture portion calls it a "solid foundation". This foundation stands firm and always will.

The prophet Isaiah twice used the image of a foundation to illustrate the great stability we have in God. He wrote, "He will be the sure foundation for your times" (Isaiah 33:6) and our Lord is "a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed" (Isaiah 28:16).

Get a good grip on today's Scripture portion. "Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm". The word, "nevertheless" is significant. Paul had written concerning those who had wandered from the truth and destroyed the faith of some (v.18). This is still happening today of course and destroyers of the faith abound. One commentator writes, "The conjunction 'nevertheless' is one which expresses strong contrast. Thus the dismal scenery of man's perversion (2 Timothy 2:16-18) is now set in contrast with the majestic reality of God's protection and preservation."

But "God's solid foundation stands firm". This foundation remains firm and ever will. Great classic hymns express this truth such as "How Firm a Foundation", "Christ is Made the Sure Foundation" and "The Church's One Foundation", all filled with rich doctrinal teaching. These hymns have brought comfort and assurance to believers for generations. Much of the doctrine we learn directly from reading the Bible is often written on the tablets of our hearts indirectly from memorizing hymns and worship songs that teach in a pleasurable, melodic format.

All of us need to hide this Scriptural assurance deep within our hearts. Hide it deep so that you are not easily swayed when the assailing trials besiege you, when billboards or the public square declares God to be a fairy tale, when your own family turns against you shaking the very foundation of your faith. There will always be skeptics who attempt to confuse you or belittle your stand for Christ. We just don't know when other foundations in life will crumble, such as our health, marital bonds, a seemingly secure job position, the loss of a loved one, a troubled relationship, etc.

Read the daily verse slowly several times and accept its truth deep within your spirit: "Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm". It always has, always will and does so today.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we thank You for the hope we have which is an anchor for our soul, a hope both sure and steadfast. We'd like the world to believe in and comply with the teachings of Scripture so that our sojourn here is smooth with others affirming our decision to walk in Your ways, but Scripture tells us otherwise. If we are to share in Your glory we will also share in Your sufferings. But it's not in vain, for in our suffering perseverance is developed, character is built and unending hope will anchor our faith. Our foundation is unshakeable as we anchor it in Your remarkable provision for our sins forgiven, abundant life provided right here on earth, and future eternal bliss in heaven. We are a blessed people, so much so, that words fail to express our gratitude! Amen.

Today's Scripture portion in several other versions:

"Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands" (NASV)
"But God’s firm foundation stands" (ESV)
"But the firm foundation of (laid by) God stands, sure and unshaken" (Amplified)
"Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure" (KJV)

Brooksyne's Note: Today's message is so very important for every believer, especially those young in the faith.  I remember speaking with a young man who was a newer believer in the Lord. He was raised in a Christian home with godly parents, but chose to walk in rebellion and got caught up in drugs and all the devastation that goes with it.  I asked him how his Christian walk was going. He grimaced somewhat and then very honestly shared, "Pretty good until something happens." His girlfriend recently broke up with him which tempted him to go back to the old vices and destructive attitudes. I reminded him, "If it isn't your girl there will always be something else." He smiled and said, "That's just what my mom said."

And it's true. That's why the firm foundation of God's Word must be the anchor for our soul; not our spouse, our job, our title or our family name. I concluded my conversation with the young man by asking what he does when he's tempted to go back to his old ways. Thankfully, he has a couple of solid believing friends he met as he was recovering from his sinful lifestyle and he calls on them. I also reminded him of how blessed he was to have a praying mom.

Whatever you need to do, believing friend, to keep standing on the foundation of God's Word make sure you do it. As the hymn writer wrote, "His hope, His covenant, His blood support me in the whelming flood; When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay." Read the Word, sing the Scripture, pray and be accountable to a godly brother or sister in the Lord. Never, ever give up!

Ray Pritchard has an interesting comment on "nevertheless" writing that...even in days of moral decline, the Lord says to us, “Nevertheless.”

Do false teachers seem to abound?
The Lord says, “Nevertheless.”

Are perilous times upon us?
The Lord says, “Nevertheless.”

Do we fear for the future?
The Lord says, “Nevertheless.”

Are we worried for our children’s safety?
The Lord says, “Nevertheless.”

Do we wonder how the church will survive?
The Lord says, “Nevertheless.”

Do we see some falling away from the faith?
The Lord says, “Nevertheless.”

Are we tempted to despair?
The Lord says, “Nevertheless.”

Could persecution come to us?
The Lord says, “Nevertheless.”

Do evildoers rise to power?
The Lord says, “Nevertheless.”

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"How Firm A Foundation"  Video  Together For The Gospel Live

"Cornerstone" Video  Calvary Church Choir and Orchestra

"In Christ Alone"  Video  Shane & Shane

Christian Hess house
Here's another view of the Hess house being renovated with the date stone at the top.

Christian Hess house date stone
In our area many old houses like this have the date stone. I assume the initials stand for Christian Hess. The house is located here on Google map.

Lititz to Ephrata bike trail
This week on a 90+ degree day I rode 14 miles on a local bike trail from Lititz to Ephrata. Unlike our river trails this trail is on an old railroad line through some tree-lined shade but mostly open farm land. It begins in downtown Lititz and goes to downtown Ephrata. Drone view video (silent)
Click on photo to enlarge

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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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