The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Silverton CO
This photo near Silverton Colorado was taken by Brooksyne's cousin Peggy Stepp.
Years ago Stephen rode the Durango & Silverton Railroad through this beautiful area.

"Over The Horizon Faith"

Message summary: May the Lord give each of us a distant heavenward focus using an over the horizon faith!

Listen to this message on your audio player.

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:18). “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them” (Hebrews 11:13-16). “For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come” (Hebrews 13:14).

Over the horizon counterterrorismLately we have been hearing "over the horizon”, a term used as an intelligence gathering strategy in counterterrorism. As best as I can determine this means that "eyes and ears on the ground" intelligence assets are not needed but rather a country can get the needed intelligence (in a military sense) from a long distance. This, by using a type of radar system that has the ability to detect targets at very long ranges, typically hundreds to thousands of miles beyond the radar horizon, which is the distance limit for ordinary radar. Sadly and tragically recent events has revealed that this does not always work properly.

Today let us consider "over the horizon faith". We may have a focus on the close up view but have trouble seeing and focusing on the bigger picture spiritually; that which is at a distance. It seems that spiritually speaking having a distant "faith" focus does not come automatically. I have to very purposefully focus on that by faith.

Hebrews 11 is known as the Faith Chapter and is a great commendation of men and women who lived by faith. “This is what the ancients were commended for” (v.2).

Hebrews 11:13-16 is an incredible interjection by the unnamed, but divinely inspired author of Hebrews. Prior to this Scripture passage and afterward Abraham is the focus, but this section broadens the scope using the phrase, “all these people”, which may mean those who were with Abraham, or it may be referring to all the people of faith mentioned in this chapter.  Either way you consider it, this powerful portion is certainly true of all people of faith!

But the part that grips my heart is the phrase concerning the “things promised” they had not received at the time they died. “They only saw them and welcomed them from a distance".

In developing over the horizon faith:

1) We must have divine enablement, recognizing faith "is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8).
2) We must fix our eyes for distant focus. "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:18).
3) We must train our will to seek God's will. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).
4) We must place our minds on that which is above. "Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory" (Colossians 3:1-4).

I struggle with a lack of over the horizon faith when I am not focusing on God’s promises that are yet to be fulfilled. I am not seeing them and welcoming them from a distance. In fact the spiritual distance may become invisible since my focus is fixed upon that which I see with little to no effort.

Like the people who long ago lived by faith we need to regularly confess, “I am an alien and stranger on earth". Like them we want to be “longing for a better country—a heavenly one".  May the Lord give each of us a distant heavenward focus using an over the horizon faith! “For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the everlasting city which is to come."

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, so much of what I need to do today and in the near future consumes my time and energy. The commitments and problems I face can easily crowd out the solemn moments that redirect my attention and focus upon the future You have planned for me. My soul is refreshed and my hope renewed when I consider that all of heaven with its splendor, majesty, absence of sin, and the presence of Jesus is mine to receive. You prepared it all and promised it as an inheritance for all who live by faith. Though my eyes cannot presently see, my heart believes by faith all that You have in store for those who are looking for the city which is yet to come, our eternal dwelling place. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"My Faith Looks Up To Thee"   Video  Steve Green

"Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me"  Video  Lee University Singers  What a joy to see these young people joyfully expressing their faith!

"Is He Worthy"  Video  West Coast Choir  More young people singing to the glory of God.

Regarding lead photo: See here for some of my photos of my train ride on the Durango & Silverton Railroad. An amazing experience!

Psalm 118:24
We enjoy seeing and reading this faith statement upon entering Sunset Grocery in Lebanon County. Somebody sure has good penmanship! The entrance also prominently posts the nine fruit of the Spirit.

Church sign in Lebanon County
It's great when churches provide a thought-provoking inspirational witness on their signs!

Roadside stand in Lebanon County
This roadside stand is spread out along Mount Zion Road in Lebanon County.
(Click on photo for larger image)

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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 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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