“But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.”
Hebrews 11:16 ESV
God was not ashamed to be called as the God of those people who were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland that God Himself has prepared for them. God our father is not ashamed to be called the God of His children not because of anything that they did. But because of all that He did for them!!. God in His sovereignty did everything for our redemption and eternal life and now all He needs from us is to have the desire for something better, ie the heavenly home he has prepared for us. He does not want us to settle for things of this world which is perishable. But instead our Heavenly Father wants us to desire for heavenly things. Scripture says for the children of God, their citizenship is in heaven. We are called to live a life set apart for Him.
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”
Philippians 3:20-21 ESV
For we live by FAITH and not by sight!
Before saying that God was not ashamed to be called their God,the writer of Hebrew in chapter 11 talks about FAITH and men and women of Faith. Because for living a life pleasing to God, Faith is not an option, but it is a necessity!!.
Saving faith is a gift from God. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
And it is impossible to please God without faith.
Faith is a simple yet very powerful word. In the beginning few verses of chapter 11, we see these people of great faith. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Issac and Jacob. We read about their journey of faith and obedience to God. They all lived on this earth by faith and not by sight. They had complete faith in God and His promises. By faith they saw the promised land from afar and they all desired for that better place.
And this is the promise that he made to us — eternal life.1 John 2:25
Before His crucifixion Jesus told His disciples that He is going to prepare a place for us. And Jesus said He alone is the truth, the way and the life. So through Him alone we can enter that place. (John 14:1-4)
So let us think about this
- God the Father made us for His glory.
- We grieved His heart with our disobedient sinful lives.
- Because He loved us so so much, Jesus Christ who is God Himself, came down to this earth to save us from our sins and to redeem us back to Him again. He took the human form, humbled himself, dwelled among us. And for our salvation He chose to die on the cross and took the punishment of our sins upon Him.
- He finished His work of redemption. He defeated death and conquered the grave. He is preparing a home for us where He can be with us and we can be with Him forever and ever.
- And there is only one way to enter that heavenly home and it is through CHRIST Himself.
So how foolish we must be if we are forgetting His work on the cross. If we are enjoying all His blessings, more than that praying for more and more blessings only to live and enjoy this earthly life?!. While living this short life on this earth don’t forget the greater plan of our dear Father. Be careful to remember His promises to us, remember we are not of this world, we are heavenly citizens. We are just passing through here and we have a heavenly home where there is no more sorrow, no more pain, no pandemic, no more discrimination, no more injustice.
And Almighty GOD is not ashamed to be called the GOD of those people who by faith is looking forward to this home He has prepared for them.
There is sickness, troubles, pain, hunger, anxieties, worries, death and all sorts of suffering in this world. But even in those situations, we will have perfect peace and confidence. We will be of good cheer, because Jesus said, “ take heart, I have overcome the world’!!!. We can overcome it all with Christ on our side!!. But if we are stuck in worrying for the future and working only for things of this world, we are loosing our focus on what is set before us by God and we are of all people most to be pitied.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians chapter 2 that we are able to understand this truth because God has graciously revealed it to us. And for others this will sound foolish. Because it is not revealed to them.
How can we live on earth as citizens of heaven?
“So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” 2 Corinthians 5:6-10 ESV
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality. Colossians 3:23 ESV
Apostles Paul and Peter clearly talks about the way we should live on earth as members of His body. Few of them are listed below.
- Wives, should submit to their husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
- Husbands, should love their wives, and should not be harsh with them.
- Children, must obey their parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
- Fathers, should not provoke their children, lest they become discouraged.
- Workers, must obey in everything those who are their earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.
- We should subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.
- We should forgive and show mercy and grace to others as we received those in abundance from our Father in Heaven.
- Not only that, we must abstain from the fleshly passions and walk in Spirit.
- We as people who are free, and we should not use our freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. So we Honor everyone and love the brotherhood.
Because we are God’s people, we have to live a life in a manner worthy of our calling. So as the citizens of heaven, day by day we choose to walk in obedience to God’s word, transformed by the renewing of our mind. Jesus Christ has set such a great example for us to follow. And He has given us His Spirit, so we can live a victorious Christian life on this earth. So let the Holy Spirit mold us and shape us, that our life will reflect Christ in every way.
“True citizens of the heavenly city are the best residents of the earthly city.”– Timothy Keller.
Salt of the earth; light of the world.
Jesus said we are the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13); let us not loose the taste. But be the people who adds taste and flavor to everything we engage in. We are called to preserve what belongs to God and stop the spiritual decay of humanity.
We are the light of this world (Matthew 5:14); let us not hide behind the things of this world. But let go of every weight and sin in our lives and use the light in us for bringing others closer to Jesus. The talents, time, energy, resources, wisdom everything to shine for Jesus. We are called for a divine purpose. We are here on this earth for a short while for that purpose and soon we will go to our eternal home.
Not to be ashamed of the gospel.
While God is not ashamed to be called our God, God is calling us to proclaim His good news and not to be ashamed of the gospel; because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.
Jesus said “For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” Luke 9:26 ESV
Confirm the calling and election.
So these days let us all fix our eyes upon Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Let us run this race with endurance. Looking around there are temptations, weaknesses, disappointments, discouragement and struggles of life that pulls us backwards. But we can do this, because He has promised His presence and strength to us!!. Scripture says His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to our life and godliness.
For this reason, make every effort to supplement
- faith with virtue
- virtue with knowledge
- knowledge with self-control
- self-control with steadfastness
- steadfastness with godliness
- godliness with brotherly affection
- brotherly affection with love
These qualities will help us to be effective and fruitful in His kingdom. Therefore, let us be all the more diligent to confirm our calling and election. For in this way there will be richly provided for us an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:5-11).
May God help us all to set our hearts on things above and desire for heavenly things. Let us rejoice and be glad because He is our greatest reward. Jesus Christ has prepared the best for us. And He is coming soon to take us home with Him. Be ready to receive Him!!!🙌