Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Citizenship--Voting Day special

Here's what I am thinking about as we reach the culmination of months of arguments, accusations, reporting, factions and strife:

This world isn't my home; I don't really belong here now that Jesus has made me a new person. Just as Paul was first a citizen of heaven, I am also an ambassador of Christ in a foreign land.

Philippians 3:18-21
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. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Hebrews 11 contains testimony about people throughout the Tanakh who were faithful to God. They knew by faith that their true home was elsewhere, and they trusted that God would someday bring them to this home they had never seen.

Hebrews 11:13-16
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country--a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

As the citizens of America go to the polls, I want to remember where my true home is and where my allegiance lies: solely in the Kingdom of Heaven, and solely at the feet of Jesus Christ. I'm not saying 'don't vote'; I'll be voting tomorrow. But I know there's something much greater I am expecting and longing for.

Which brings me to my favorite verse!

Titus 2:11-14
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

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