America Is Not First | Citizen of Heaven

Philippians 1:27 (NLT) Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News.

ABOVE ALL I am a citizen of Heaven. It is so easy to get entangled in the affairs of the world, the politics, the arguments, the patriotism. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a patriot and I love my country, but I am a citizen of Heaven before I am an American. That means there will be moments that I must lay down my preferences for the sake of building the Kingdom.

I’ve seen so many heated arguments lately and I find myself grieved because it seems many would rather fight for their rights than carry out their responsibility to love their fellow man. There is such disunity in our nation, this is a time the church should be shining as a beacon of love, conducting themselves in a manner worthy of the good news about Christ, yet the church is just as divided as the rest of the world– just only between churches and denominations, but even within a single body.

I reflect on the the prayer of Jesus before He willingly laid down His life.

John 17:20-23 (NLT) I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.

His prayer was that our perfect unity would be the message to the world that the message of Jesus was truth. Sadly, when the world looks at the church, if we happen to do anything worth looking at, too often what they see is angry, hateful hypocrites who can’t agree on anything.

It seems to me people are so easily offended that we struggle to love properly. Or maybe it’s the other way around, we struggle to truly love and so we are easily offended. All I know is that something HAS TO CHANGE. This isn’t the church Jesus is coming back for. He is coming back for a pure and spotless bride, unified in His glorious purpose.

I pray today that we would stand together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith and not amongst ourselves, but be so singularly focused on the Good News that we become again fully defined by the love of God on display in our lives.

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