Monday, November 28, 2011

Citizens of Heaven

Philippians 3:20 "But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ."
Our pastor has been preaching through the book of Philippians.  Last Sunday he talked about being citizens of heaven.  I've been mulling that phrase over in my head.  Isn't it easy to forget that our home is heaven and that are just on a long camping trip here on earth?

As citizens of heaven:
  • Our allegiance must be to our Heavenly King.  Patriotism can be a good thing, but our ultimate love is for a country we have not yet seen.
  • Our dialect should differ from the "locals" here on earth.  Is there a difference in their language and our language?
  • Our customs should be perceived as strange by the unbelievers.  How can we commune with a Father we cannot see?  How can peace and joy fill our lives even in the midst of deepest grief?
  • We should have no attachment to the fleeting temporal possessions we "own."  In fact, we're only steward of all this stuff.  We should be eagerly awaiting our upgrade to our Heavenly Home.
John Wesley wrote a hymn entitled "How Happy is the Pilgrim's Lot." I just read it this evening and it seems to be a good fit. Here it is in it's entirety:

How happy is the pilgrim’s lot!
How free from every anxious thought,
From worldly hope and fear!
Confined to neither court nor cell,
His soul disdains on earth to dwell,
He only sojourns here.

This happiness in part is mine,
Already saved from self design,
From every creature love;
Blest with the scorn of finite good,
My soul is lightened of its load,
And seeks the things above.

The things eternal I pursue,
A happiness beyond the view
Of those that basely pant
For things by nature felt and seen;
Their honors, wealth, and pleasures mean
I neither have nor want.

I have no sharer of my heart,
To rob my Savior of a part,
And desecrate the whole;
Only betrothed to Christ am I,
And wait His coming from the sky,
To wed my happy soul.

I have no babes to hold me here;
But children more securely dear
For mine I humbly claim,
Better than daughters or than sons,
Temples divine of living stones,
Inscribed with Jesus’ Name.

No foot of land do I possess,
No cottage in this wilderness,
A poor wayfaring man,
I lodge awhile in tents below;
Or gladly wander to and fro,
Till I my Canaan gain.

Nothing on earth I call my own;
A stranger, to the world unknown,
I all their goods despise;
I trample on their whole delight,
And seek a country out of sight,
A country in the skies.

There is my house and portion fair,
My treasure and my heart are there.
And my abiding home;
For me my elder brethren stay,
And angels beckon me away,
And Jesus bids me come.

“I come,” Thy servant, Lord, replies,
“I come to meet Thee in the skies,
And claim my heavenly rest”;
Now let the pilgrim’s journey end,
Now, O my Savior, Brother, Friend.
Receive me to Thy breast!

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