I live in the United States and am extremely thankful for that! I’m also proud to be a Texan (got here as fast as I could). Deep within, however, my roots – my birthplace – is in Western Montana (Ronan, Montana to be precise – a little town in the Mission Valley of, at most, a thousand people or so). Grateful for my citizenship here and the freedoms I enjoy. But I’m often grieved today at the moral and spiritual climate of American culture! We, as a nation, have degenerated from the moral and spiritual legacy that once characterized our nation.
I was thinking about that – and my responsibilities as a citizen – when I read the following this morning during my time of devotions (I call it “coffee with the Lord”)…
“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles [the unconverted – in this passage it refers to those who are not yet followers of Jesus – those who have not yet experienced “new birth”] honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.” (from I Peter 2:11-12 ESV)
You see, I have a citizenship that “trumps” my earthly citizenship – by the grace of God I’m a citizen of “the Kingdom of Heaven” or “the Kingdom of God!” I live my life here on earth as a “heavenly ambassador” (check out II Corinthians 5:17-20). I want to live in such a way that I am an attractive, winsome, representative for my Heavenly homeland and kingdom. I live in America, but I want the values that guide my life to be Heavenly values – God’s values! Believe me, I want I Peter 2:11-12 to be fulfilled in my life! And if you’re a citizen of the “Kingdom of Heaven” through “new birth” I bet you want to live that way as well!