(Francis Bourdillon, 1864)
“They admitted that they were strangers and pilgrims on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country–a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them!” Hebrews 11:13-16
Every true citizen of Heaven not only has his home in Heaven, but his heart is there too. Not only does he look forward to dwelling there hereafter–but even now he seeks to be holy and heavenly in life and character. Thus he is known by all that he does and says–to be one who belongs to Heaven, and that more and more, as he gets nearer to his eternal home.
Those who live the life of faith, and love their Savior, and strive to serve God–are different in their whole conduct from men of the world. It is plain that they are not of this world. Their life shows it. Their citizenship is in Heaven.
There ought to be no mistaking a citizen of Heaven. But, alas! There is too much of worldliness and carelessness even in those who are in the narrow way. Too often it would be hard to know them as travelers towards Zion, seeking the heavenly country.
What! Shall those who are to live forever with God–have so little fellowship with Him now? Shall those whose treasure is in Heaven, where no rust nor moth can corrupt–care so much for the perishing things of this world? Shall those for whom Jesus has gone to prepare a place–fret against the little hardships and discomforts along the way? Thus the Christian should often remind himself of the heavenly home to which he belongs. It would help him to be heavenly in heart and life.
“Our citizenship is in Heaven–and we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ!” Philippians 3:19-20
We look for Jesus–we expect Him–we are waiting for Him. He said that He would return, and told us to watch for His coming. He has told us to be ready, so that when He comes, we may receive Him with joy.
This is the position of the Christian on earth–waiting for his Lord and Savior!
We do not know when He will come, and we do not know how He will come. He may come while yet we are living–or we may die before His coming; no one knows.
To be thus looking for the coming of the Lord . . .
must have a great effect on a man’s character and life,
must keep him from living in sin or in carelessness,
must make him watchful, diligent, and in earnest,
must tend greatly to a spiritual mind,
must lead him to draw off his affections from the world–and to fix them upon eternal realities!
Thinking of Him,
looking for Him,
wishing for Him,
doing His will,
engaged in His work–
this is what Jesus would have us to do and be.
Lord, make us so more and more!