Dual Citizenship

By Emily Pollard

Civic freedom is a privilege Americans have had for centuries. It is also something many people around the world have never experienced. Throughout history, both free and tyrannical governments have risen and fallen. As Americans, we bask in the glory of our freedom. We exercise our rights. We even take freedom for granted, while citizens of socialist and communist nations long for the freedom we have. When our freedom is threatened, we feel like it’s the end of the world. But the bottom line is, whether living in a free country or an oppressive one, Christians are citizens of a different nation altogether. We are a “chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation” of God’s (1 Pet. 2:9). Paul explains this also in his letter to the Philippian church…

But our citizenship is in Heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself.”

Philippians 3:20-21

At every turn, we’re bombarded with news of corruption, injustice, and oppression around the world. Fear strikes our hearts at immorality that is accepted and even encouraged. We react with fear because we know our native country to be our homeland, and as the world moves further from Truth, we feel less and less at home. Certainly, Paul knows exactly how this feels as he wrote the book of Philippians in jail after being arrested for sharing Jesus.

            But the beauty of belonging to God’s kingdom is that we have a better home waiting. Through civil unrest or persecution, Christians on earth have an opportunity to live exemplary lives (1 Pet. 2:11-12, 15) and become more like Christ (1 Pet. 2:21-23) through trials. Even more so, in death, the faithful Christian has nothing to lose and everything to gain (1 Cor. 15:53-56). Whether we’re talking about cancel-culture or blatant persecution (both of which happen today), Paul’s message rings true. We must never let the instability of this world overshadow the glory of Heaven. No matter what happens, our homeland is Heaven, and our Ruler is God.

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(Photo credit:  Kellsey Erin Photography)

Revive Me #46–Live Victoriously

Revive Me, Week 46–A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord

Live Victoriously

Have you picked up any anxious vibes lately?  We went to lunch with some friends a couple of days ago and as soon as the waitress greeted us she launched into her fears about our nation.  I’ve heard other conversations swirling around me involving words like unsafe, need protection, and division.  The fear is palpable.

Fear, doubt, insecurity, anxiety, mistrust, timidity, alarm, dread…surely these are the devil’s tools.  How will we react to them?  Will we freeze up or faith up?  Will we cry out or carry on?  Will we shudder or shoulder?  God’s people are armed with His strength.  That should make us view things differently:

  • “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4).
  • “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
  • “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Eph. 6:10).
  • “Salvation belongs to the Lord.  Your blessing be upon Your people!” (Psa. 3:8).
  • “Stand firm in the Lord, my beloved” (Phil. 4:1).
  • “The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but victory belongs to the Lord” (Prov. 21:31).
  • “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57).

Courage!  Inspiration!  Power!  Victory!  These belong to us because we belong to God.  Oh, how the world needs to see that in us.  We are not of this world (Col. 3:1,2).  Our hope rests in Christ Jesus (1 Pet. 1:3).  Our peace cannot be taken away (John 14:27).  So let us smile more, teach more, love more, and shine more.  We can do it (Phil. 4:13)!

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written,For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;  We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(Rom. 8:31-39)

Suggestions for the Week:

  1.  Choose a verse about power or victory to memorize.
  2.  Have a song in your heart (like “Victory in Jesus” or “Faith is the Victory”).
  3.  Don’t be driven by fear.  Pray for confidence in Christ to saturate your thinking.  This should affect your choices, temptations, speech, demeanor, and relationships.

Read it.  Memorize it.  Live it.

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image credit: sparkpeople.com