I am very patriotic. I love the land where I was born. The United States of America will always be precious to me even though I live in a foreign country. But I must admit, there is a country I love more than America.
One of my absolute favorite books, My People by Mike Patterson, has one of my all-time favorite quotes:
"Because of the call of God, and an allegiance far stronger than patriotism, we are serving today on foreign soil."
Allegiance stronger than patriotism? Far, far stronger."
Dwelling on Heaven this morning because of Philippians 3:20-21.
Philippians 3:20-21 "For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself."
I am a firm believer that an American citizen should be a good, faithful citizen... involved in his or her country and investing in it, sacrificing if necessary.
But I am first and foremost a citizen of Heaven. How much more should my loyalties be! How much greater should my investment be!
Heaven... my Father's country.
Heaven... the home of my blood bought family.
Heaven... it isn't just my final destination. It's HOME!!!
As a citizen of that Country, I want to represent my country well.
I hate to admit it, but when we have American tourists here in this country, they don't always leave a good impression. Arrogance, slothful lifestyles, complaining, unwise decisions, attitudes, even the clothes they wear often do not leave a good representation of The United States of America. It sometimes makes me blush. I want to represent my country well. But even greater than representing USA well...
I want to represent Heaven well! I want to make my Father look good! I want to leave a good impression behind everywhere I go for future fellow countrymen who come behind me. How I dress, the attitudes I have, the habits I have, the decisions I make... I want them to think highly of my Country of Heaven, my Father, and my brothers and sisters.
And I want to invest in my Heavenly country. If need be, sacrifice even unto death for my Country. I want to carry into battle the flag... the bloodstained banner of my Country. So how about you? Where do your loyalties rest? Do you have an allegiance greater than earthly patriotism? Would you be willing to give up the land of your nativity for your Heavenly country? Are you representing that Country well? Are you carrying the bloodstained banner... the Gospel... holding it high so that all may see?