Birthdays and Anniversaries:
3-6 Gladys Ramirez
3-8 Dena Weeks
Kennedi Reames, recovering from thyroid surgery.
Marilyn Jones is at Lakepointe Hospital. Brain tumors are causing breathing issues. Pray hard.
Darlyne Stewart, Karl’s sister, her cancer seems to be under control for the moment.
Shirley Weeks, Steve’s mom, is not well.
Sharon Best, Steven’s mom, still recovering from surgery.
Sarah, Chris Girvin’s sister, on hospice care
Eleuterio Oviedo recovering from knee replacement surgery
Doris Coley, regular listener, also recovering from knee surgery.
Gary & Sally Nelson, Gary’s dental surgery Thursday.
Robert and Sue Waller, health issues.
David Shaffer, being treated for leukemia, bone marrow transplant.
Darla Nitti, Wendi’s mom, stage 4 kidney disease, stroke.
Leta, has a recurring cancer, prayer request from her granddaughter via our website.
Condolences and Sympathy:
Charles Couch passed away last week. Also, another classmate of Steve’s, Benny Garner, passed away.
If you have more prayer requests, just message or text Steve and we will update!
The founder of Forthright has lived in Brazil since 1984. Current regular contributors to this publication live and work in countries in Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. Though published in English, one might say that this is an international affair.
Yet in a very real way that is a misnomer. While the writers — and readers — of Forthright live in various places all over this globe, as Christians we are all citizens of the same country.
In one very real sense, Christians are all wanderers, exiles, pilgrims. We are strangers in a strange land (see 1 Peter 2:11). God’s people have a history of being strangers.
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived in tents in a foreign land.
“These all died in faith, not having received the things promised but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth” (Hebrews 11:13).
Perhaps the best preparation for the Christian exile is that of the Babylonian captivity. All those carried away lived in exile in a foreign land (see Jeremiah 29:1).
While the New Testament makes clear that Christians are strangers on earth, we are not hopelessly homeless.
Paul wrote to the saints in Ephesus who were once connected with the kingdoms of this world but disconnected from the kingdom of God.
“Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:11, 12).
Those who are not a part of God’s kingdom today share the same designation as those in Ephesus before they came to Christ. They are citizens of the kingdoms of men, but aliens to the eternal kingdom.
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19).
They have been brought near by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13), who gave them access to the Father (Ephesians 2:18). They were delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of the Father’s beloved Son (Colossians 1:13).
Those who were once at home on earth, have found a new home. Note the contrast in Colossians 1:13 (ESV, LEB), between the “domain of darkness” and the “kingdom” of his beloved son.
From an earthly perspective, Christians are sojourners, pilgrims, exiles, and aliens. But from a heavenly perspective, we are fellow citizens with the saints, part of the everlasting kingdom of the Most High (see Daniel 7:13, 14, 27).
Contemplate for a moment the implications of this phrase, “fellow citizens with the saints.”
This means that I am connected to the fellow saints who contribute to Forthright, not in some nebulous or tenuous way, but we are fellow citizens of the same kingdom!
Christians all over the world, in every country where they may be found, are joined into one everlasting kingdom.
“It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and it shall be lifted up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it, and many nations shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and shall decide disputes for strong nations far away; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore; but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid, for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken. For all the peoples walk each in the name of its god, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God forever and ever” (Micah 4:1-5).
The prophet’s vision of this great kingdom is a reality. May it press upon our minds and sink deep within our hearts.
Lee Parish, link to original article