Citizens of Heaven

Mark Clayton
Pastor
High Point Baptist

But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself. – Philippians 3:20-21 NRSV
I love living in Patrick County, Virginia. Though I was not born in this place, I have lived here for 12 years now and have a great love for both its beauty and its people.
When people ask me where I am from, I generally pause in deciding how to respond. I was born in Roxboro, N.C. (another beautiful place with fine people) and have lived in several different places in my life. At the end of the day, I am much less concerned with where I have been than with where I am now and with where I am going.
God’s Word speaks clearly and prophetically in these verses from the book of Philippians. For those of us in Patrick County, for those of us who feel blessed to be citizens of America, and particularly for those of us who proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord, it pushes both our vision and our priorities to a higher and more holy place. We live in this community, this nation, and in this world where we are subjected to all of the joys and sorrows, blessings and discouragements, hopes and disappointments that inevitably come with it. Yet as Christians we are also called to bear witness to an eternal reality.
We are not just people living in this community or this nation or this world. We are, by God’s grace, citizens of heaven. Even as the polarizing cries of politicians, advertisers, and a myriad of other voices call us to the interest of SELF above all others and appeal to the lower aspects of our natures, we are challenged to remember the words and witness of One who lived, died on the Cross, and was raised for the sake of the amazing love of God and the whole world’s redemption. “For God so loved the world” is both a blessed witness and a formidable challenge to each of us.
Remembering our heavenly citizenship can offer us so much more than a “pie in the sky, by and by” vision for life in this present world. Through a life of faithful prayer and witness, our Lord’s desire and intention is to shine the light of eternity through us into everyone we meet, offering food for the hungry, comfort for the suffering, and heavenly citizenship for those still struggling to find their place in life. This is our task and our calling as citizens of heaven.
May the living Christ grant you joy for your journey and grace to live out this calling.

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