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Tuesday, July 4, 2006

"Heavenly Citizenship"

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Philippians 3:20).  "After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.  And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." (Revelation 7:9,10).

Here in the United States today is a national holiday and I believe it is proper to reflect on my blessings in this regard.  My greatest memory of this holiday was when we went to the Esplanade celebration along the Charles River in Boston one year. The Boston Pops orchestra played in unison with the fireworks display. It was really a moving time and I'm sure scores of New Englanders will be enjoying the annual celebration again this year.

I am sure each country has similar types of days and I hope all readers in one way or another can recognize the blessings in their national identity.  Paul claimed Roman citizenship and recognized the benefits of having this status. 

But our primary citizenship as true children of God is in heaven.  The apostle Paul wrote, "Our citizenship is in heaven."  Regardless of where we live we share this common citizenship as the Redeemed of God.

This is not a contradiction. In fact today some have dual citizenship. But it is vital that we always keep before us our primary citizenship. I enjoyed my time at the Boston celebration many years ago but there's a celebration coming that all of us will have a part in. We see it in the astounding glimpse of heaven in the second daily verse. It will make any earthly celebration pale in comparison.

We are gathered as the citizens of heaven, a great multitude that no one can count.  We come from every nation, tribe, people and language. We are standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb wearing white robes and holding palm branches in our hands.  We are proclaiming together in a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."

Our citizenship here on earth is temporary!  Our citizenship in heaven is eternal!  Which is of greater worth to you?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's prayer: Heavenly Father, with great anticipation, I look forward to the crowning day when I will be among Your faithful followers!  I am so eager to join brothers and sisters of every nation where we will at last speak one language and with one voice exalt the Lamb of God who sits upon the throne!  Amen!  Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever.  Amen!

Here's another great passage that goes along with today's theme: "For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone" (Ephesians 2:18-20).

Paul's Roman citizenship.  Acts 22:27-29

Here's a website about the celebration in Boston and a photo gallery.

"Salvation belongs to our God" is a beautiful song of worship based on the latter part of today's passage. Audio file

Yesterday afternoon we arrived home from our trip to Wisconsin. It's nice to travel but for us it's always great to be home!  We've had lots of rain, but thankfully no flooding.  Our plants are doing well except we are dealing with pesky insects!  Here's a photo of a day lily I took this morning.

Photo of day lily

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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