Only Jesus can make a person into a citizen of heaven. When you put your trust in him, you receive your new citizenship. If you can point to a process of bringing your life under his jurisdiction, then you are one of heaven’s citizens. So live as one. Make no apologies for your loyalties. Wear the colors of your native land proudly. Live by heaven’s values in whatever place you currently reside. Make your home and church into little colonies of your heavenly homeland. You don’t have to be hostile to those whose citizenship is elsewhere; in fact, the policy of your King is that you should be loving. But, you can’t be like them. You don’t have to be different for the sake of being different, but you shouldn’t fit in all that well, either. After all, your citizenship is to another homeland.
We can’t live any longer as if we have no memory of where our homeland is. The scriptures remind us of who we are and where we belong. The Spirit of God living in us sings the songs of our heavenly homeland.
When our Savior comes and it’s time for us to see our home, may we not be strangers. Until then, let’s carry a picture of our homeland in our hearts. May it be as familiar as our own backyard. May we be ready when our “hometown hero” comes!
Today let me reassure you that God knows right where you are, and He knows how to get you to where you need to be. Even when things don’t go the way you planned, His hand is on you. Do not be afraid. Trust that God is working behind the scenes on your behalf, and that He will lead you into the life of blessing that He has prepared for you.
All throughout scripture, God has promised to be your Protector, Defender, your Strength, your Shelter and so much more. Even when the storms of life come against you, as long as you are dwelling in Him, you dwell in safety and trust — nothing can take away your peace and joy. What does it mean to dwell in Him? One of the definitions of the word “dwell” means to keep your attention directed toward something. The more you keep your attention directed toward God, the more you will know Him, and the more confidence you will have in Him. When you focus your heart and mind on the Word of God and declare His promises over your life, you are dwelling in Him. When you lift your voice in worship and give Him glory and honor, you are dwelling in Him. When you spend time meditating on Him and connecting with Him through prayer, you are dwelling in Him.
Are you facing a difficult situation? Give your attention to the Father. Do you need His peace and protection? Focus your heart and mind on Him. As you dwell on Him, you will see His goodness, and you’ll live in peace and victory all the days of your life!
“Come close to God, and God will come close to you…” (James 4:8, NLT)
God promises that He will draw close to you when you draw close to Him. How do we draw close to Him? First of all, this verse goes on to say that we must turn away from sin because sin separates us from God. When we turn away from the things that displease Him, we are turning toward Him. That’s the first step. Then, the Bible tells us to come into His presence with thanksgiving in our hearts and give Him praise. When you have a thankful heart, you are drawing closer to Him. Thirdly, scripture tells us that God opposes the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. When you live with an attitude of humility, you are drawing closer to Him.
Friend, there’s nothing more important in life than drawing close to God the Father. Seek Him with your whole heart, and you will find Him. Let Him speak to your heart by reading your Bible, praying and meditating on His promises every single day. Worship Him with a humble and open heart because when you seek Him, you will find Him, and He will fill you with His peace, comfort and joy all the days of your life!
Do you need new mercy today? Receive it by faith. You don’t have to beg God to forgive you. He forgives you the first time you ask, but it’s up to you to receive that forgiveness. Open your heart today and receive His mercy. Let Him wash over you with His peace and joy. Then choose to extend that mercy to others. Remember, you are God’s representative in the earth. As you show His love and character to others, He’ll pour out His blessing upon you and use you in ways you never dreamed!