Our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
How do you live successfully in two worlds? Paul said we need to focus on our heavenly expectation. In Philippians 3:20-21, Paul said, “Our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory.”
The Philippians understood this concept of living in two worlds. Philippi was a city in Macedonia, which was located in Greece, but it was a Roman colony. Rome was eight hundred miles away. So the Philippians were citizens of both worlds. They resided in Greece, but they were citizens of Rome. Paul was saying, “Even though earth is where we reside, our true citizenship is in heaven. One day the clouds will part, the Lord Jesus Christ will appear, and in an instant, your body that is filled with sin and sickness will be transformed, and you will spend eternity with God. Be captivated by that thought.”
Have you ever heard the cliché about people who are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good? The fact is, I’ve never met a person who thought about heaven so much that they were of no use to God here on earth. Our problem is not that we think about heaven too much; it’s that we think about it too little.
In his book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” Stephen Covey said high achievers have developed the discipline to begin with the end in mind. In other words, they know exactly where they’re going, and they pattern their lives accordingly. That is true for successful men and women of Scripture as well. They had a firm idea of where they were going, and they patterned their lives accordingly. Hebrews 11:10 tells us Abraham “was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” Because he was focused on that heavenly city, he was willing to obey God. Hebrews 11:26 says Moses considered “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt.” Moses knew where he was going, and he patterned his life accordingly. In the same way, Paul said, be focused on that day when Christ will appear and transform us in an instant. Knowing our future ought to profoundly affect our lives right now. John said in 1 John 3:3, “Everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” What you believe about the hereafter profoundly affects how you live in the here and now. What is the focus of your life? Is it this world, or is it the next one? Highly effective Christians are those who live their lives with the end in view.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Between Two Worlds” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2007.
Stephen Covey, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” (New York: Free Press, 1989), chapter 2.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.