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Thursday, March 23, 2023

San Francisco cityview from air
San Francisco
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"The Enduring City"

Message summary: One day we will be transferred to our eternal home. May we always fix our sight on the city that is to come!

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"For he [Abraham] was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God" (Hebrews 11:10). "If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared for them a city" (Hebrews 11:15,16). "For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come" (Hebrews 13:14). "And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband" (
Revelation 21:2).

In the last two messages we have considered cities. Tuesday we considered their origin and man's attempt to build a city with a tower to reach the heavens and to make a name for themselves. Yesterday we considered God's concern for the evil city of Nineveh and a challenge to likewise be concerned for the lost, wherever they may be and wherever it might take us.

The "City of God" is Augustine’s timeless classic about the timeless city. The book contrasts the “the City of God” with “the city of men.” I am blessed with Augustine's brief description of the core of Christianity: “God’s Son, assuming humanity without destroying His divinity, established and founded this faith, that there might be a way for man to man’s God through God’s Man.” (Re-read this quote to get the essence of this foundational doctrinal statement.)

Hebrews 11:10Perhaps Augustine had in mind the selection of verses in Hebrews when he wrote "City of God". The first two verses go all the way back to Abraham and his call from God. Perhaps in this instance "city" is more analogous to a dwelling place than a city as we normally associate.

But our main consideration today is this power-packed promise of assurance in 13:14, "For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come".

"For here we do not have an enduring city". Some cities have endured a long time such as Rome. But we must remember that the city or society that is now our home is only temporary. Elsewhere, the Apostle Paul is speaking of this temporary situation when he wrote, "Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands" (2 Corinthians 5:1). The Apostle James describes this temporary situation quite graphically, "What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes" (James 4:14).

"But we are looking for the city that is to come". We seek for and belong to the enduring city yet to come. While indeed rejoicing and expressing thanks to God for His blessings on this side of eternity the big challenge is not driving the stakes in too deeply. We must take care not getting too settled or comfortable. For one day we will be transferred to our eternal home. May we always be looking for the city that is yet to come!

O God, our Help in ages past,
Our Hope for years to come,
Our Shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal Home!

Heaven for the Christian is best spelled H-O-M-E.

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen and Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, the Psalmist wrote, “His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.” No matter what the immediate future holds, our eternal future is sure as the price has been paid for our salvation through Christ Jesus who overcame death and the grave, establishing a home for us for all eternity. In a world full of bad news it’s the best news of our life that will not change no matter the troubles of our day. We are forever grateful. Amen.

See Psalm 112

Study Note: The Book of Hebrews was written to believers undergoing severe persecution. In the flood of news we are exposed to, many areas of persecution are under-reported or at times it seems completely ignored. Due to having a Nigerian missionary in our class we are regularly reminded of the horrific conditions many of our fellow believers live in that part of the world. But similar conditions are in many places including the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I just read this story yesterday, "Over 70 Christians Killed in DRC in Two Weeks". As I studied the Hebrews passages for this message it struck me how different the reading of this passage would be if you lived in a place like this. "For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come" (Hebrews 13:14).

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"No Doubt About It, I'm On My Way Home"  Click to listen on YouTube  We The Kingdom  
There's no doubt about it, I'm on my way home
I'm not yet where I'm going, but I'm a long way from where I was
I hear a choir of angels cheering me on
I'm not yet where I'm going, but I'm a long way from where I was

"O God Our Help"  Click to listen on YouTube  Reawaken Hymns

What is The City of God? (from gotquestions.org)

Weber family 3/22/23
Yesterday afternoon Stephen's brother Pat and his wife Laverne, along with their son Patrick and wife Kelly joined us for dinner. They were down this way from the Lehigh Valley for a concert at a local Penn State campus where Patrick and Kelly's son, Noah, plays bass in the Penn State Campus band. We joined them for the concert and enjoyed seeing and listening to the talented young people.
Click on photo to enlarge

Weber couple photo 7/3/22
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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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