August 22, 2012

Strange?  Who?  Me?

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Philippians 3:20 (NASB)

Do you know what your name means? I do. Well, I don’t know what your name means but I know what mine does! I was reminded by it today while doing my Bible study for Sunday. We’ve been reviewing the life of Joseph for several weeks. Today’s lesson made a special impact on me.

I discovered many years ago what my name meant through baby books, online searches, etc… I imagine that most of you at some point quenched your curiosity about your name by doing the same. I have used the meaning of my name to poke fun at myself for years and doubt that I’ll ever stop. But today, I need to get serious.

Today’s lesson’s point was that when all was said and done, Joseph lived in a foreign land with foreign wives under a foreign ruler, all the while, remembering that Egypt was not his home. His home was in the land that God had promised his father and grandfathers before him. Thus at the end of his life, he charged his family, his people, with burying his bones back home. His body had been absent from the place God birthed him in, but his heart never left. And while he was absent, God used Joseph in ways too numerous to list right now.

Paul tells us that our citizenship as believers is not here, regardless of what our birth certificate indicates. When we called on the name of Christ and surrendered our lives to Him, our eternal citizenship changed from earth to heaven. Right now folks, we are just passing through.

So how do we pass through the world without living as if we’ve become part of the world? (Read I Peter 3 for starters. I did.) This would be a good place to mention that the lessons we are studying come from the Lifeway series called Masterworks. We are reading from portions of Alistair Begg’s The Hand of God.

Mr. Begg says we could drop out of society and look down on people or do something else eccentric. However, I like his 3rd idea. I quote from page 162 of my Masterwork book for summer 2012:

“But the far harder thing is to drive the same kind of car, wear the same kind of clothes, shop in the same stores, and go to the same schools as the people around us and yet live in a way that marks us, not as weird, but as distinctively belonging to Jesus Christ”

I will leave you with that thought to mull over as you live for Jesus in your neighborhood! Oh, and in case you are wondering, my name is Greek for foreigner, stranger and alien. And mom thought she was naming me after a cousin!

Strangers together until God takes us home!