Sunday’s thought-provoking message (Donkeys and Elephants vs. The Lion and The Lamb) focused our attention on the importance of acting like citizens of heaven. It underscored the critical need for a believer’s primary allegiance to be to Christ and not a political party affiliation.
As I have be ruminating on the three points of application (trust God, honor those in authority and learn to pray for our leaders), it got me to thinking about the specific qualities of a good citizen. What makes an individual a good citizen?
Last year, a Pew Research project listed the top traits that were identified as the most important qualities for an American citizen. In order of their importance, this was the list:
Always follow the law; pay all the taxes you owe; respect the opinions off those who disagree; vote in elections; volunteer to help others; follow what happens in government and politics; serve jury duty if called; participate in the U.S. Census every decade; protest if you think government actions are wrong; know the Pledge of Allegiance and display the American Flag.
As I reviewed that list, I couldn’t help but notice all the action verbs: “follow the law, pay taxes, vote, volunteer, serve, participate, protest and display the flag.” Apparently being a US citizen is something we DO, not just something we ARE.
I am thinking that a citizen of heaven has similar qualities and that many of those qualities are things that we should be DOING, not just things we should AFFIRM as important.
As a citizen of heaven, we are asked to be involved in God’s work on earth. Until He returns, His church needs our active participation. We are called to be productive members of our spiritual society and active in our service towards each other.
As a citizen of heaven, we are called to show devotion to our King. We are asked to know something about our spiritual heritage and enjoined to obey the laws that our King has set down. We can’t ignore His claims on our lives. We have to respond.
And as a citizen of heaven, we are asked to remain vigilant against THE enemy who seeks to destroy our lives and minimize the importance of our unity. We must stay informed and aware of Satan’s wiles. We need to be able to respond when our spiritual values (personal or corporate) are threatened.
Involved. Caring. Informed. Those are the touchstones of a productive member of God’s family.
So, this week, let’s spend some time thinking about our eternal citizenship. Let’s cherish our part in God’s plan and actively participate in what matters to Him. Remember, it’s our affiliation with the Lion and the Lamb that really matters!
Sherry Worel is a Bible teacher at heart and lives a life of ministry. She’s been involved at Coast Hills teaching Women’s LIFE, Bible studies, online courses, devotionals, participating in Upstream conversations, and much more. Having a love for education, Sherry has over 50 years of teaching experience with schools, churches, and mission agencies. As well as earning her Master’s at Talbot Seminary, she rounded out her education with 35 years as Head of School at Stoneybrooke Christian School. Sherry is happiest with a book or fishing pole in hand.