This past Wednesday evening in our Bible study we had such a very enjoyable energetic discussion followed by the song “This World is Not My Home.” One of the passages we considered in our discussion was what the apostle Paul stated to the Philippian brethren in Philippians 3:20-21 that says, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” In this passage, Paul provides a distinction of how they were different than those he mentioned in verses 18 & 19, those who were living their lives “according to the flesh” and were “enemies of the cross.” Paul wants them to know that their citizenship is in heaven! Their affections are as he told the Colossae brethren in Colossians 3:1-3, “set on things above, not on things of the earth.” We’ve heard the saying “Home is where the HEART is” and that is certainly true as Jesus even spoke on (cf. Matthew 6:19-21).
Yes, the Philippians were under the rule of Roman government as they were a colony of Rome, however Paul is reminding the Christians there in Philippi, that their citizenship was beyond the azure blue. Think about how exciting it is to have a heavenly citizenship! There was a sermon I recalled from a while back that I had listened to by Brother Leon Goff, where he remembered an old preacher saying, “We have a lot of Christians who believe that they have a home in heaven, but they’re not home-sick yet!” I can see the reason Paul had such joy in his life amidst terrible circumstances that he dealt with on this earth. He lived his life with heaven on his mind! That’s why he was so powerful and influential in his day-to-day life! If we lived with heaven on our mind every single day, it would change the way we see people. We would see them as souls that Jesus loved and died for. It would be a driving force to compel us to share the love of God, to share His holy and divine word to a lost world. When our minds are centrally focused on Christ, on things above rather than things of this earth, then our perspective and outlook toward everything will change dramatically and I mean change for the better.
Everyone says that this is what we desire! We want this type of life, this type of joy. The reason we don’t have it is because we too struggle with the flesh and all too often allow the flesh to win. Our minds seek our own selfish interest. We let the god of our own desires take over, which only brings temporary pleasures, temporary happiness. If we are Christians, then we will have the attitude of Moses who is described by the Hebrew writer in Hebrews 11:25-26. Is our citizenship in heaven truly important to us?!
The song that we sang together Wednesday evening says, “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through, my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.” You might remember that I said for us to “sing it like we mean it.” I think that if Paul would have sung this song it would have truly been sung with conviction. Because he was truly home sick for the place his heart was already at – heaven! Just as Philippi was a colony under the Romans, governed by Roman laws, one has mentioned that we are a local body of believers here, a colony of heaven, governed by the Lord and His holy and divine word, the perfect law of liberty. We are a people that look forward to that day, we “eagerly wait for the Savior.” We live right now on this earth with the joy of home. It reminds me of another song we sing, “Anywhere is Home. Yes, it is!
Let me add what Paul expressed in Philippians 4:1 as Paul said that the Philippians were his “joy and crown.” These brethren were very important to the apostle Paul, because they were fellow-workers, fellow-citizens of a kingdom ruled by the King of all Kings and Lord of all Lords. If we all could keep this mindset, to keep this perspective. The joy of home being lived right now with fellow-workers, fellow-citizens as a colony of people bound for heaven! May we stand fast in the Lord together!
Friends, we have yet to arrive as “we eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body.” While we wait for that day, we tarry here below doing the work He has given us to do zealously, standing firm in the Lord as a colony of heaven, citizens of the kingdom of the Most High God (Matthew 6:33).
If you have found your joy/happiness only dependently set on the things of this world, with your mind on earthly things, you will never have the fulfilling joy and happiness that the abundant life Jesus came to give (John 10:10).
If you need to change your spiritual address from the “god of your belly” to the God of heaven, then you are invited to do just that by putting Christ on in baptism or as a disciple of Christ who has found your mind taking up residence back on earthly things getting tangled up in them, and need prayers on your behalf as you get your heart set back on things above, then please let me know and I will gladly assist you.
I hope we all find ourselves home sick for that wonderful place called heaven as we sojourn on this earth.
Something to think about. Have a great week! – DJ 😊