Fourth of July. Fireworks. Families sit on lawns. Kids ride bicycles. In the warm generosity of this night, the neighborhood remembers it’s heroes. Not for battles won, or points on the map, or even decorations for valor. But they remember the kid who lived here, grew up here, who played basketball on a hoop fastened above a garage door.
This is an American neighborhood. We applaud together for the sound and the flash of the fireworks. We cheer, as we celebrate our being citizens of this country. Being citizens, we also celebrate our responsibilities.
But we are also citizens of another country: God’s Kingdom. Our citizenship in God’s Kingdom gives us God’s perspective of our responsbilities. Phil 3:13-14 (KJV)
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
The Apostle Paul urged us as citizens of God’s Kingdom to look forward and to keep the prize in view. Paul had lots of reasons to look back. In Paul’s past, he had lots of achievements, as well as failures. He was accomplished and brilliant. But he doesn’t appear to be interested in looking backward. He is only interested in continuing to move towards his destination in Christ.
Citizenship requires looking forward. We will continue to look directly at Jesus and His work in our lives, as we trust Him will continue to direct our lives daily.
Our Hope is in front of us.