God on Monday
But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting
a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 3.20)
We are heaven’s citizens living on earth with people of various citizenships.
Citizenship gives people rights and obligations. As a UK citizen, for instance, I am both protected and held accountable to certain laws - even when I am not in the UK. Likewise, as a citizen of heaven, my rights and obligations are not limited to the sphere of the church but extend into my daily living.
Although our earthly lives demand much of our attention, our focus needs to be on heavenly, rather than on earthly, things. In our work, for instance, it is not our boss but God we need to keep central to our thinking and doing. This will transform us, as God is always watching, guiding and teaching us so that we increasingly resemble Jesus. God will help us to serve our clients, colleagues, and employers as if we are serving Christ - with excellence and humility.
In Paul, we are given an example of what this looks like. Indeed, Paul encourages the Philippians to follow his example (Phil 3.17). Paul was a tentmaker; he earned a living for himself, from which he gave to others in need. He was also meticulous with his time, making space in his schedule to work, serve, pray, teach and disciple.
Patterning our lives on Paul will keep us focused on what is important because he patterned his life on Christ. And it will keep us looking forward to the full realization of our rights and privileges when Christ returns.
How can we keep our heavenly citizenship at the forefront of our minds, especially when our earthly citizenship is compromised by others?
Make it a mental habit, in everything you do, to think about how God would want you to do it. Practice letting your accountability and entitlement as a child of God influence your attitude and behaviour at work.
Father, thank you for granting us citizenship of heaven. Help us to live in the truth of that citizenship as we await your promised return. In Jesus' name, Amen.
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Iyete Apeji is a business owner and management consultant. She is passionate about helping people in the marketplace work with excellence.
God on Monday is produced in partnership with the Church of England. The reflections are based on the scriptural readings designated for the coming Sunday in the Church's lectionary. You can sign up to Faith in Business here to receive each God on Monday instalment.
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