Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christian Citizenship

Chuckle:  "Birthdays are good for you -- the more you have, the longer you live!"
Quote:  “I am a citizen, not of Athens or Greece, but of the world.” –Socrates
   The Great Commission from Jesus:  “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age”  (Matthew 28:19-20 NIV).
Socrates was an ancient Greek philosopher who is thought by many to be one of the wisest men who ever lived.  Of course, God gave Solomon “a wise and discerning heart so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be” (1 Kings 3:12 NIV).  As a wise man, Socrates accepted personal responsibility as a global citizen.  Citizenship is a term that implies obedience to the laws and authorities that govern us; social interaction and cooperation with other people; responsibility for the wellbeing of our fellow human beings; and a desire to make our society and the world a better place for all people. 
According to Scripture, Christians have dual citizenship.  We are citizens of this earthly world, but more important, we are citizens of God’s kingdom of heaven.  As citizens of this world, we are responsible to those who govern us (Romans 13) and also to our fellow citizens.  As citizens in God’s kingdom, we are governed by God’s Word, which includes the Great Commission.  “. . . our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, . .” (Philippians 3:20 NIV).  “. . . you are no longer foreigners or aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household” (Ephesians 2:19 NIV). 
As Christian citizens, we sometimes have a very narrow view of our responsibilities as citizens – limiting our concern to our immediate family and local community.  The great commission, from the lips of Jesus Himself, fixes our responsibility as global spiritual citizens.  If we are obedient, we cannot only share Christ with a specific segment of the population.  Jesus further illuminated our global citizenship responsibility in Acts 1:8: “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
In my home church, this week is designated as a Week of Prayer for International (global) Missions.  We emphasize our responsibilities to pray for missionaries around the world and to give to our annual international missions offering.  Your church may have a similar emphasis; but, if not, you can certainly pray and give on an individual basis.  We must be responsible citizens, in both the spiritual and physical realms, and your faithfulness is critical if God’s plan for our world and His kingdom is to become reality.

Love, Jerry & Dotse 


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