strangers in a strange land

by Pastor Mark Jordan

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“Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens.” (1 Peter 2:13, MSG)

Today’s verse really made me think. The overall context is about living well with your neighbors as well as the authorities. Peter’s point is that the way we live in our spot in the world can help change that spot, helping to change the world. We must be cautious, though, because we aren’t supposed to live as citizens of this world, but of heaven (1 Peter 2:11). Peter taught that the way we live — even in the times we find ourselves at odds others in the world whether they are fellow citizens or the authorities — can point people to God.

That is your job in being a good neighbor — to point people to God. As a Jesus follower, your citizenship is in heaven. Living this way makes you a stranger in a strange world. Don’t get comfy-cozy in this world, but point people to God’s. Jesus wants to save you and make you a new creation, making you born again. Your baptism becomes your birth certificate for your new life. Then living under the law of grace, your behavior and relationships are based on God’s presence in your life so your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control serves as your passport, allowing you to move freely in this world while maintaining your heavenly citizenship.

We will spend some time this week looking various points about what it means to move freely in this world while being strangers in a strange world. It isn’t always easy, and can sometimes put you at odds with the culture around you. Still, this is God’s plan…not that you allow this world to change you, but you can change the world by being a good heavenly citizen.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for making me a citizen in heaven. Forgive me for the times I get too comfy-cozy in this world, and by the power of your Spirit, help me to point people to you. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.