Friday, July 10, 2009

July 10 - Morning

The theme of both devotions today is Heaven. I couldn't help but marvel at the way in which Spurgeon, yet again, manages to dissect a passage in such a way that it reveals to us the meaning in a way that makes me want to slap my forehead and say "Why didn't I think of that?"

The passage for the morning's devotion is Eph. 2:19 - "So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God..." (ESV) What Spurgeon reveals in this passage is something that I have missed in my readings, and I would say that a great many other believers have missed it as well. What Spurgeon focuses on is this: We are, as the passage says, ALREADY citizens with the saints and members of the household of God. Spurgeon calls us "citizens of heaven."

What does this mean? Citizens of heaven? It gave me pause, because like most people, I view heaven as the place Christians go when they die. The end goal of Christianity is heaven, right? The Christian walk is a journey through a foreign country on our way back home, isn't it?

This is all very true, but Spurgeon argues that many of the expected rights and privileges are already ours. He says, "The glory that belongs to beatified saints belongs to us, for we are already sons of God, already princes of the blood imperial; already we wear the spotless robe of Jesus' righteousness; already we have angels for our servants, saints for our companions, Christ for our Brother, God for our Father and a crown of immortality for our reward."

This, of course, throws a whole different perspective on the present Christian life, and my responsibilities, and rewards in it. It challenges me to live every day, not as a citizen of this world, certainly, but more than that, to live as one who has already had a place laid for him at the Lamb's feast. It challenges me to never forget that, not only am I journeying through this life on my way to heaven, but that I am already a citizen of the Celestial City. It encourages me to remember that I will not be greeted at the heavenly gates as a wanderer seeking to find rest, but as a returning prince, as a well-known member of the family of faith, as a companion of the saints and full-blooded child of God.

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