And what are Paul’s final words in these verses?
Therefore…STAND FIRM in the Lord IN THIS WAY.
Not simply by “believing”. Not by simply "being devoted to what happens at church", or by giving large amounts of our excess to God and His Kingdom.
But by actually LIVING as CITIZENS of heaven. Now. By renouncing any other people/things/powers that try and claim you as a citizen under their authority.
This can be an incredible gift – For those of us who have messed up. For those of us who have very little in this world. For those of us who are suffering. None of these things can claim our identity….for we are citizens of HEAVEN even now.
This can also feel/seem like a sacrifice – For those of us who have more than plenty. Those of us who are comfortable, and have built up a today and tomorrow that we are tempted to put faith in. For those of us who have accomplished something that the world ascribes to us as our identity. We renounce all of these things, reminded by Paul that our minds are not on things of this world. We are CITIZENS OF HEAVEN.
I’d venture that for most of us, we have moments of both. Moments where we cling to that citizenship for all we’re worth, as it frees us from what threatens to bind us today, and promises hope and life for eternity with Jesus. But also moments where we are challenged to serve Caesar. Tempted to think our identity might be bound by a success or potential success in this world.
Into both moments, come the Truth of Jesus Christ about our citizenship…a citizenship that is offered to ALL nations and people around the globe. A citizenship we did not, could not ever earn or purchase.
Will you live as a citizen of heaven this week?
What will that change from last week?
What Caesars is God calling you to turn away from?
What Caesars is God freeing you from?