Are you an Alien?
Lord, as I come to you in prayer today, may my thoughts be set more on your plan of redemption of this world than on how to make my life more comfortable in it.
Read: Hebrews 11:13, NIV
13 "All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.”
I have always admired the young people from other countries who want to leave their families and come to live for a year in America as a part of AFS (American Field Service). This is also referred to as being an “exchange student.” When my wife was a senior in high school, her family hosted a young lady from Honduras, named Doris. Doris studied English growing up in Honduras, but when she arrived in Kansas, she could not “speak” any English. She was definitely an alien in a foreign land. However, she worked hard to understand the language and started picking up the “speaking” of English quite quickly! Everyone in her Kansas family loved her! Though she thoroughly enjoyed her time in the states, her family in Honduras was excited to see her return as well. After her year-long stay, Doris thought she might return to the United States to go to college here. She ended up staying in Honduras and not long after my wife and I got married, she married a young Honduran man and they have three wonderful children and a beautiful home there now. Though visiting the USA was exciting, remaining in her home country with her family was where her heart was.
The writer of Hebrews tells us in Chapter 11, the ‘Hall of Fame of Faith’, that the Old Testament heroes of faith looked forward to a promised land, even though they never reached it. They considered themselves strangers in the world, yet they had never seen the promised land. Abraham trusted God to lead him to this place, yet he never got there. Abraham considered anywhere else that he was a foreign land, and himself an alien in it. He felt this way because God had promised it and that was enough for Abraham. In the new testament, Jesus tells of a rich man who amassed so much wealth he decided to build bigger barns than the ones he already had chuck full of grain. This man was more focused on amassing treasures on earth than on accumulating treasures in heaven. Jesus tells the man how foolish he is, because his life on earth can end in a moment and then he is lost for eternity. Jesus elaborates in Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV), “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroys and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal, for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Where do you invest your time and resources? In his book, The Treasure Principle, author Randy Alcorn speaks of the value of giving our resources away while here on earth to invest in eternity. So rather than keep all the wealth you can amass here for yourself, how can you put it to use for God’s kingdom. After all, as citizens of God’s kingdom, eternity is a far better investment than an earthly one! I encourage you to read this book and consider how you might act if you truly live as an alien and stranger in this world, with your home in heaven in the forethought of your daily life. Perhaps we will come to understand Jesus’ caution about the danger of serving two masters: (Matthew 6:24 NIV – “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
Dear Lord, help me to consider my citizenship in heaven today and how being a fully devoted follower of Jesus looks in that regard. We don’t know the day or the hour of your return, so let us be about your mission to reach the lost while we have breath, with all our resources.