Our Bible verse for today: “… but our citizenship is in heaven …” Philippians 3:20 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Remember where your loyalties lie.”
For two months now we’ve been exploring the theme of “living a life of love”. I chose that title to emphasize the practical aspect of God’s love. God’s love is more than just an abstract theological truth, it’s a practical reality that should make a real difference in our lives every day. That’s why we’ve been thinking about how to live a life that is grounded in the love of God.
As we conclude our study, I want to focus on the cultural environment that we find ourselves living in today. Many political commentators, social scientists, and historians are in agreement that our nation is probably more divided today than at any time since the Civil War. The political and social divisions are so deep, and there is so much anger and divisiveness between groups of people, that we truly are a nation divided. How do we as Christians live a life grounded in the love of God in the middle of so much anger, controversy, and conflict?
First, we need to remember where our loyalties lie. We are citizens of heaven first, and citizens of the USA second. That was Paul’s point in Philippians 3:20. As we’ll see on another day, the Apostle Peter teaches that same lesson in one of his letters.
This is important. It’s a crucial understanding for Christians. It’s a truth we all probably agree with, I’m sure, but in actual practice many of us act as if we’re citizens of the USA first and citizens of heaven second. We talk more about politicians (those we like and those we don’t) than we do about Jesus. We get more worked up about political and social issues than we do about Biblical issues. We put more time and effort into arguing for our political positions than we do in sharing the Good News of the Gospel and trying to lead people to faith in Christ.
But we ‘re supposed to be citizens of heaven first and citizens of whatever country we live in second – and we need to actually live that way. While we should be good citizens and obey the laws, and we should be involved in the political and social issues of our day, first and foremost we need to be about our Father’s business of blessing others and helping to lead them into the kingdom of heaven.
Living a life of love that’s grounded in the love of God, regularly sharing the love of God, and helping to lead people to Jesus, is a higher priority and should therefore supersede our political affiliations and our positions on social issues. We need to remember where our true loyalties lie. We’ll think more about this tomorrow.