But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
I am South African! It’s not an earth shattering statement, but it does mean I belong somewhere and I call it my home. In international law if you are not recognised by any state you are called ‘Stateless.’ I can imagine that having this status would be somewhat perplexing and sad, with nowhere to call home and no one to protect your rights. There is a basic human need to belong, even if just to a national entity. As Christians we are blessed because we have a dual citizenship, we belong in this world and in Heaven. But the more important citizenship, the only one with a passport without expiry, is Heaven. It is the place we call home and truly belong, and it is what shapes us and gives us hope.
The hope we have is that there is a day coming when Jesus will return to take us home. Home to a life without suffering, pain, hardship and tears. A home filled with joy, peace and eternal life. Our hope is not only in what this place will be like but what will happen to us when Jesus returns (verse 21). He will transform our bodies so that they will be like His glorious body. He will do this by the same power He has to bring all things under submission to Him. Our bodies will be glorious, indestructible and used for the glory of God and in service of one another. Don’t you long for that day? The citizenship we have is not like the one we have now in this world, with all its empty promises and false hopes. It’s one that delivers, endures and will give us the presence of our God. But we must never forget how much it cost to gain this citizenship, not a cost we bore but the cost our Saviour bore upon Himself. The cross was the cost of our passport to Heaven and His resurrection the stamp of approval. It’s because of this that we can declare an earth shattering truth: I AM A CITIZEN OF HEAVEN!
Heavenly Father, today we rejoice in Your precious love for us, that while we were still sinners, unworthy to be citizens of Heaven, You gave your Son that we might live and belong. Thank You for Your love and we pray that you would empower us by Your Spirit to live as true citizens of heaven, bringing glory to You. Amen.