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SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:14-16

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Heb 11:14-16  For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.  (15)  And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.  (16)  But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

In our text, we read that those of faith, “declare plainly” that they seek a country.  The meaning of the phrase “to declare plainly” is the idea “to put on exhibit, to uncover, or to reveal publically”.

These Godly men and women did not live their lives for the accumulation of the wealth, comfort and fame that this world has to offer. They knew a “better country awaited them”.  But their testimony did not stop there. Through their actions and voices they “put on exhibit” to everyone that they were on a pilgrimage.  Their travels were taking them THROUGH this fallen world and TO another world yet to come.

The world to come is called “heaven” or the “New Jerusalem” (Rev 21: & 22:), the city that God has prepared for each one of His chosen people of faith.  The existence of heaven proves that we are loved, a part of God’s family, and heirs of wonderful blessings to come (John 14:2-3)

Are we living our lives as if we are on a pilgrimage through this world?  If so, are we verbally explaining to others our motivation, the “great hope” that we possess of eternity with Him?

By God’s grace alone, might we all aspire to be like the faithful servants of Hebrews 11 who, by their voices and actions, “declared plainly that they seek a country.”

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org


12 Comments

  1. Noel Williams (prhayz) www.prhayz.com says:

    Thank you very much for this wonderful post Rob. It is like music to my ears. I am one of them who seek a country, because I know this world in it’s current form is not my home. I take great comfort in the words of the Apostle Paul; “Henceforth, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who eagerly await his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).

    God bless

  2. pj54 says:

    Hey Rob! Here we go! You are I were almost on the same page again. The other night I posted about how I wish that we as a society would be as strong in our faith, and live for God as outwardly and strongly as they did back in Biblical times. We unfortunately don’t though. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are very faithful Christians out there, but back in biblical times they lived their lives AROUND God, they stopped what they were doing at certain times to focus and pray to God. They quit working at a certain time and celebrated certain feasts in HIS honor. For the most part, we don’t do that. If we have a job that requires we work on Sunday morning which makes us unable to attend worship service, “oh well,” God understands that I have to do it to keep my job and support my family. If we have a child in sports and he has a game on Wednesday or Sunday, we don’t want to let our children down so we go to the game instead of church. Tithing is the worst (even I am guilty of it sometimes) If I make $50.00 cleaning someone’s house, and I have a 50.00 payment due on something. Guess where that 50 is going? You notice I said 50 and not 45? I try not to do that. The majority of the time, I pay all of my tithes, and make up for the one week that I have to skimp,but that isn’t the point. We should not (me included) do that. If we know we are going to have a short week, take out a little extra the week we have extra for that purpose. That way we don’t rob God of what belongs to Him.

    I can’t help but wonder if the Israelites ever “shorted Him”. I know they sacrificed and tithed with their “first fruits” or livestock, but I would think that some would also have jobs that actually brought in money. I doubt with their devout faith in Him that they didn’t keep it from Him.

    We as a society seem to take Him for granted. We tend to forget that He is a living God that is still guiding us, helping us and STILL deserves our attention just like He did back in Moses’ Isaac’s, Jacob’s, Abraham’s and Job’s time.

    When I look at us NOW, and think about or read about how much faith, how they showed their faith and how they loved Him it kind of puts us to shame. I know that the Israelites fell alot, but God would chastise them and they would get back up, dust off and get back in line with Him.

    Now it seems like if a person goes into a church and the Pastor is preaching about what God expects from us, or what we need to do to be saved, and to go even further, heaven and hell issues, people get insulted and change churches because the Pastor had the nerve to preach about something other than love and mercy. Yes, God is love and has a lot of mercy, but that still does not mean that the whole world will be going to heaven. If that were the case why was hell created? People need to hear the WHOLE STORY. God is love, but He is also a God of judgment, and the sooner people understand this, the sooner they can get on the right track to heaven.

    I know, I wrote another book, but thank you for allowing me to be so open about the way I feel. You are a wonderful blogger, and IF I were a betting person, I would bet that you are a wonderful and loving Pastor. Your congregation is lucky to have you.

    God Bless,
    PJ

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Pj,

      I think you would find that even in Bible times, the general public had real problems accepting the truth and being faithful to the Lord. Keep in mind, there were very faithful men in those days, but also as a whole, the nation of Israel consistantly backslid and received God’s chastening hand upon them. As long as we live in a sinful, fallen world, things will be this way. We should always strive to serve Him. knowing that we will be faced with opposition from the fallen world.

      As far as your comments go, you are alwys welcome to write as long as you desire. Your postings really add to the blog. I’m not pastoring right now, the Lord is really dealing with me about another area of ministry, so time will tell whats next. Lord bless you PJ. Thansk again for your wonderful comments.

  3. “This world is not my home: I’m just a-passing through.
    My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue.”

    Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God.

    I tell people I have 3 citizenships – Great Britain, Australia and Heaven – and I treasure them in the reverse order, with the last waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay ahead of the others.

    May we live accordingly and be true ambassadors for our heavenly home.

    We serve an amazing God!

  4. Thank you for your words! I too am one of those who seeks a better country, longs for it with my whole Spirit, where the Savior will be right there with us!

  5. Debbie says:

    Wonderful word for us to think on today, Rob! Thank you and God bless you as you continuously seek Him!

  6. granbee says:

    All through reading this post, Pastor Rob, I kept humming inside myself tunes from “Climbing Jacob’s Ladder” and “Higher Ground”. It is indeed that heavenly country towards which I travel, sometimes skipping and leaping and running, sometimes tripping and falling down and crawling until He sends refreshment! Let us always have our faces turned towards that “Higher Ground”!

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