Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. Philippians 3:17-20
I have just finished a wonderful weekend that began â€œConsider Christianity Weekâ€. â€œConsider Christianityâ€ began some 14 years ago when God birthed a ministry to reach out to the non-believer through Eligin and Hannah Hushbeck. (www.consider.org) Easter is the time of the year when our non-believing neighbors, friends, and relatives will come to church as in no other time of the year, even Christmas. (Gift assembly can be a plausible excuse!)
Part of the sermon that I heard on Sunday morning came from this Scripture. It was the final sentence that came like an arrow of truth into my heart: our citizenship is in heaven. I agreed with the carrier of Godâ€™s words this Sunday morning. I, too, am proud to be an American, a citizen of these United States. But I have come to realize that my citizenship in heaven, given through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, is even more precious to me. It is forever. And it comes with love and mercy and many more extra-ordinary gifts. I am the child of the King. He is the great I AM.
I am coming to realize who I truly am. Oh, I have â€˜knownâ€™ who I am for the last 12 years. Iâ€™ve read the Scriptures. Iâ€™ve even given it some thought and written about it here in these devotions. But in my heart; in my spirit; in that place inside of me where I KNOW and so LIVE my life like I know who I am â€“ well that continues to be the journey that I am traveling. It is a wondrous journey. Heaven is now. It is my reality. I am a citizen of heaven NOW and as I live as that citizen I learn to live in that power and that assurance of Godâ€™s love and faithfulness.
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are â€œYesâ€ in Christ. And so through him the â€œAmenâ€ spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
2 Corinthians 1:20-22 (emphasis mine)
Look at that! A guarantee! Now if God is giving a guarantee â€“ I bet it is an ETERNAL one!!! God is the one who speaks to me through His Holy Spirit and shows me the TRUTH of Jesus Christ. In that wonderful, simple (but complicated) God-Trinity I see the revealed truth of Godâ€™s promises as I read His word and experience His presence in my life.
And here is where I plug in to â€œConsider Christianityâ€. I share Godâ€™s promises and how He has perfectly given those promises in my life. I share the Good News. It truly has no beginning or end.
Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. Revelation 22:17