Monday, August 08, 2016

He Looked Forward to the City

Repeat and or meditate on this verse until your thoughts are centered on God.
According to thy promised grace,
 thy favor, Lord, extend:
Make good to me the word, on which
 thy servant's hopes depend.
 —Psalm 119:49
Suggested tune: Marlow (CM)

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
—Hebrews 11:8-10
Abraham’s whole life was shaped by the commandment, ‘Go from your father’s house to the land that I will show you.’ He never dwelt with his kindred; all his days he was a pilgrim and a sojourner, a stranger in a strange land, an outcast in the midst of Canaan. Why? Because he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. And now he has gone to it, he is gathered to his people. The life of isolation is over, the true social life is begun. He is no longer separated from those around him, or flung amidst those that are uncongenial to him. ‘He is gathered to his people’; he dwells with his own tribe; he is at home; he is in the city.

And so, brothers and sisters, life for every Christian must be lonely. After all communion we dwell as upon islands dotted over a great archipelago, each upon a little rock, with the sea dashing between us; but the time comes when, if our hearts are set upon that great Lord, whose presence makes us one, there shall be no more sea, and all the isolated rocks shall be parts of a great continent. Death sets the solitary in families. We are here like travelers plodding lonely through the night and the storm, but soon to cross the threshold into the lighted hall, full of friends.
 —Alexander Maclaren
In faith give me grace to serve you as long as my earthly sojourn lasts, O Lord, that in faith I may look to the day when I may be gathered with all your people in the heavenly Jerusalem...
Allow the above to help guide your own confession, praise, thanksgiving, and/or petition.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
 —Matthew 6:9-13

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