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. Hebrews 11:16.
After the judgment of the wicked dead had been finished, at the end of the one thousand years, Jesus left the city, and the saints and a train of the angelic host followed Him. Jesus descended upon a great mountain, which as soon as His feet touched it, parted asunder, and became a mighty plain.
Then we looked up and saw the great and beautiful city, with twelve foundations, and twelve gates, three on each side, and an angel at each gate. We cried out, “The city! the great city! it is coming down from God out of heaven!” And it came down in all its splendor and dazzling glory, and settled in the mighty plain which Jesus had prepared for it.—Early Writings, 291.
As the prophet beholds the redeemed dwelling in the city of God, free from sin and from all marks of the curse, in rapture he exclaims: “Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her.”
“Violence shall no more be heard in thy land,
Wasting nor destruction within thy borders;
But thou shalt call thy walls Salvation,
And thy gates Praise….”
The prophet caught the sound of music there, and song, such music and song as, save in the visions of God, no mortal ear has heard or mind conceived…. “They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the Lord.”—Prophets and Kings, 729, 730.
With God at Dawn p. 356
—-Please pray for my co-worker’s niece who has covid. Wanangwa
—-Please continue to pray that God will take complete control of E’s and children’s situation for their good and for their future. R
—- I’m in the hospital with the father of my children who is having some complications after his surgery of three days ago. Please pray. Haydee
—-Update: Maya’s friend Keegan had been extubated and is on BIPAP. He was going septic, so thankfully he got to the hospital in time. The plan was to emergency airlift him, but their area was dealing with fog and bad weather, so he had to be transported by ambulance, which took longer. They have switched him to CPAP, which is great improvement. But they don’t knwo if he will make it home for Christmas. But any improvement is always a good sign Jenny and Keegan’s mom Maran both thank everyone for your continued prayers. Jennifer
After my mother, Geneva Harmon, was laid off from work in the late 1970’s, her friend Mary Esther invited her to move down to Florida. There was a small house for rent next door to her that would be just right for my mother. Soon my she sold everything that she could not pack into the car and headed the long 1200-mile trip. When she got there, my mother was delighted. Not only was the house ideal, so was the yard. Several orange trees, a palm, and many flowers and plants were arranged attractively around the fenced yard. She was so happy.
When we went down to visit her sometime later, she happily served us fruit from her own orange trees. We were so surprised at the taste of that tree-ripened fruit. It was not a bit of acidic that is the characteristic of what you can get in the store. Only the most delightful sweetness was in this fruit. While we were there, Mary Esther also shared some grapefruit from her trees. Again, the taste was much sweeter and better overall than what we were used to.
So it is in the Christian’s life. The longer we are connected to the Vine, the sweeter should our “fruit” be. Our Dear Saviour tells us, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” John 15:1-11
Often, during this abiding with the Vine, we must pass through painful processes to sweeten our fruit. Christ’s parable of the fig tree becomes our experience. “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.” Luke 13:6-9 So the trials and troubles of our life are part of His plan to make us a sweet and beautiful part of His vineyard.
Paul encourages us, “My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Heb 12:5-14
May we allow the Master Gardener to do His work in us. May we yield ourselves fully and completely to His leading. May the sweet fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance—be found in our life each day.