A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Monday, October 5, 2020
A beautiful Saturday morning drive on I-99 in Tioga County, PA near the New York border.
"Architect and Builder"
Message summary: Let us joyfully serve Jesus Christ today as we also direct our thoughts and affections on things above where our lives are hidden with Christ in God.
Note: Due to travel no audio prepared for this message. (Slow internet in hotel)
“For he [Abraham] was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10).
This past Saturday we visited the Finger Lakes region in New York state. We traveled north to see the fall foliage and we were not disappointed! Over the next several days we will share photos. We also saw three different sets of friends and we want to share a bit about each of their life's story.
Tom March came across our ministry some 20 years ago when we had a display about our Daily Encouragement ministry in the exhibition hall at a major evangelical conference in Boston. We've had some communication via emails but this is the first time we met him face to face.
It was interesting to hear his life story. He went to Cornell University studying engineering and for 38 years was a professor at the University of New Hampshire. He and his wife Priscilla now spend three seasons of the year on Cayuga Lake where we met them at their cottage.
Tom may be the most creative, innovative and industrious man I've ever met. The cottage is built alongside a cliff where Tom designed and built a two story elevator to get materials in place to build it. (Tom is standing on the platform of his elevator in the photo to left). He explained the various safety mechanisms he had built into it and told me it had a weight design of 700 pounds with a 10x safety factor. He also designed and built the entire cottage which has astounding views of the lake going for many miles in both directions. Last spring we shared an outstanding photo he took of the lake during sunrise.
Above all Tom expressed himself as a Kingdom builder. He became a Christian as a teenager and has sought to live his life to honor God building upon the solid foundation of Christ. I suggested our daily text as Tom's life verse, especially focusing on the words, "architect and builder". The word, architect (architekton) is derived from two Greek words, “arche” which means chief and “technites” where we get the English word “technical”. The word builder translates a word that means, "artisan, builder, maker".
In this 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 and builders have turned to dust, the work of the Master Architect and Builder will remain!
In 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 Jesus Christ 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
Daily prayer: Father, 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 this 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.
Today's suggested song: "Build My Life" Video Housefires
On the way north Friday afternoon we rode about 12 miles along the Lycoming Creek Bikeway near Williamsport, PA. This old iron railroad bridge is over Lycoming Creek.
Heading north from Williamsport for many miles we drove alongside this rainbow.
As we approached Mansfield, PA about 45 miles north of Williamsport the rainbow stub was still visible.
Brooksyne's Note: While Tom and Stephen were getting acquainted outside Priscilla and I sat in the living room and got to know each other. When she was in high school she came to know Christ under the leadership of her youth leader which happened to be Tom's father, though she and Tom were not a couple at that time. She went on to study nursing and spent her adult life as a nurse, the last 25 years as a hospice nurse, as I recall, until her retirement about 18 months ago.
I really didn't know where the men were visiting, but when I walked into the kitchen I noticed a cat snuggled in a blanket in the corner. Initially I thought it to be one of those stuffed animals that look real but as I got closer I could see it was a real cat, 14 years old in fact. I snapped a photo to send to Ester since she loves cats, and it was in my camera lens that I spotted Stephen and Tom in the background visiting on their dock. The entire wall facing the water is made of glass and the view of the lake is stunning. I think standing at the counter and preparing a meal with the enormous lake view would be a delightful experience out of the norm for most homemakers.
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