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Citizens of the Kingdom

It’s the Fourth of July, which means that if you live in the USA, odds are you’re on your way to the nearest beach, park, or backyard cookout to celebrate Independence Day.

American Christians are understandably proud of their nation’s history of religious tolerance and freedom. An ocean of ink has been spilled over the years debating the influence of Christianity on America’s founding people and documents—and no doubt citizens of other countries can point to ways in which Christian ideals did or didn’t shape their own laws and cultures. But today, as many of us fire up the grill and look forward to fireworks, it seems fitting to remember that Christians have a profoundly different understanding of their own “citizenship” than the rest of the world does. Philippians 3 declares:

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

The national borders in which we live our lives on earth are of only passing importance in the grand scheme of eternity. There is only one kingdom to which we are ultimately called, and sharing Christ’s invitation to become a citizen there is one of the noblest duties we can perform.

That said, there’s plenty to celebrate and be thankful for today. Enjoy your day off of work, time spent with your family, and any festivities you have planned today!

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