Live as citizens of heaven ...
Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. ... For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it. -Philippians 1:27,29-30 NLT,
In your day-to-day life, when you look around, is it obvious to you which people are living as citizens of heaven? Sometimes it is hard to tell, even in our own lives, what one of these citizens look like. In this passage Paul tells us that they are people who are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith. He also says that these have the privilege of suffering for him. And he tells us that we citizens are in this struggle together
The thing that stands out to me in these words is the idea of togetherness. Following God is never something that one does alone. Being a citizen of heaven encapsulates the idea that we who believe in Jesus are members together of something greater than ourselves and greater than the churches that we attend. In truth we all belong to the church of heaven and should therefore act like we do. We who name the name of Jesus must always stand and suffer together.
Help us today Lord to look past ourselves and embrace those who attend churches that are not like ours.