“But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ,” (Philippians 3:20, The Message)
That verse came to mind Wednesday as I watched the unbelievable images from our Nation’s Capital. Regardless of your political views, I’m sure you’d agree that our nation is in great turmoil.
The disheartening events reminded me that this is not my home – not really. It is temporary. My real citizenship is in heaven. The author of Hebrews warns us that everything that can be shaken will be shaken, but “… we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,” (Hebrews 12:28). Ultimately, our allegiance and loyalty lies with Jesus’ Kingdom – whose government is on HIS shoulders (Isa. 9:6).
Peter reminds us: “Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.” (1 Peter 2:11) I must admit, I feel more like a stranger and alien today than I did last week. Nevertheless, our role as “resident aliens” hasn’t changed. We must continue to:
- 1) Abstain from sinful desires and continue to glorify God with our good deeds (1 Pet. 2:11-12);
- 2) Submit to those in authority that God has placed over us – whether we voted for them or not (1 Pet. 2:13-17; Rom. 13:1-7);
- 3) Pray for those in authority “…that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” (1 Timothy 2:1-3);
- 4) Show respect for all – especially our brothers and sisters in Christ (1 Pet. 2:17); and
- 5) Contend for the faith (Jude 3).
There is great division in our nation…and anger on both sides. I’m angry. You’re probably angry. But you and I believe a “…man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” (James 1:20). What God wants for you and me: “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
Over the next several weeks, we’ll be discussing the idea of justice – what the world calls justice and what the Bible calls justice – so that we can continue to be salt and light in a dark and dying world. Our new sermon series, “And Justice for All” begins Sunday.
I hope you’ll join us!