I was visiting my infant grandson when his Canadian birth certificate came in the mail. I said to him, “Elliott, you may not understand what you have just received, but this shows how really blessed you are. An infrastructure is set up to provide safety, education, health care, and so much more! Hopefully, in a world where many risk life and limb to enter this country, you can grow to appreciate this great gift of citizenship, and you, in turn, will contribute to the welfare of this country.”
We must never forget though, as Paul reminds us, that we are also citizens of heaven. God gives us life itself—along with protection, healing, and sound teaching for full life with him! We show appreciation for this gift by following Jesus and keeping our eyes on those who live by faith in him.
Sadly, as Paul points out, there are many others who are enemies of the cross. In other words, they do not want to recognize their sin that Jesus paid for on the cross. “Their god is their stomach”—all kinds of fleeting appetites—and they occupy themselves with selfish gain and the power, status, or fame (glory) that this world thinks is important. But all these things only fade away.
To be included as citizens of God’s kingdom, we do not have to risk life and limb; rather, we place our hope, trust, and love in Jesus Christ, who has the power “to bring everything under his control.” How truly blessed we are!