"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ"- Phil 3:20 (NIV).
Once, after his arrest, the Apostle Paul was about to be flogged. "As they stretched him out to flog him, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty" (Acts 22:25). The centurion went and immediately reported to the commander who on confirming so, held back. "Those who were about to interrogate him withdrew immediately. The commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put Paul, a Roman citizen, in chains" (vv 29)
Throughout history there has always been nations at the top whose citizenship is the desire of all. At the dawn of the millennium the Romans controlled much of the known world and to be a Roman citizen was the ultimate achievement. At one point the British Empire run across a third of the globe and those who were privileged to be British citizens had particular rights and benefits. Lately, we know we have seen the American age and how being a US citizen is craved by many.
People can often go at great length to pay for citizenship of those super powers. "Then the commander said, “I had to pay a lot of money for my citizenship" (vv 28). Even today there are many who would do almost anything. They would wade through dangerous seas. They would sell all their possessions. They would pay any price for that elusive hope of taking on the citizenry of a great nation. Once they have it they walk around with their heads tall holding on rightly to that all important passport.
But one thing with all these citizenship is that there are all of a temporary nature. The citizenship of the nations of this would all come to an end. Yet there is a citizenship that is eternal. When someone surrenders his life to Christ and becomes born again (John 3:16) he takes on a new citizenship of being a child of God. He is now a member of God's precious family.
Today, as a child of God, walk too, with your head high, for what is more than being a citizen of the eternal Almighty God.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of heaven and earth, maker of heaven and earth, what a joy to know that I possess the greatest citizenship any can have, which has been paid for by the precious blood of Jesus Christ and am so blessed!
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23/02/2024 - 24/02/2024 All day
“The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them” – (Deuteronomy 28:2).
Every now and then one chances upon someone despising the importance of being enterprising. To some being enterprising can be equated to the love of money and it’s pitfalls (1 Tim 6:10). Others see it as being overtly worldly. Yet, far from it, being enterprising is clearly an avenue God has given believers to raise resources for their well-being and promotion of the rich Gospel.
The Bible is full of enterprising characters who were used mightily of God. Abraham was apparently a good rancher that he “become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold” (Gen 13:2). Job was hated by Satan who sought to destroy him because “He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. He also had many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area” (Job 1:3).
The Lord Jesus Christ was born and raised in the house of Joseph, the carpenter (Mathew 13:55). Carpenters do not create works of beauty to donate for free. To prosper they must run sustainable enterprises which pay taxes and make profit. The Apostle Paul would often rely on enterprising people to support him in his ministry. One of his worthy converts “was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God (Acts 16:14).
Though Paul was a law don once he went to the mission field, other than cling to his titles by burdening his hosts he often dabbled in tent making to support himself. In Corinth he teamed up with an amazing couple, Priscilla and Aquila, and “because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them” (Acts 18:3). This couple run a successful tent making business that enabled them support mission work.
And then of course, there is the noble woman of character, as told in Proverbs 31, who “selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings.. She sees that her trading is profitable…She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes (vv 13-25).
When the body of believers is filled with such enterprising people it generates resources important to sustain God’s work. Further, the work of God is then supported without being dependent on sources that might compromise the mission, as sometimes we see! Be enterprising!
Prayer for today: Lord father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, you who has given us the gift of enterprise, today I pray to use this gift to take care of my needs and support the expansion of your kingdom on earth, this I pray in Jesus’ Name.