My family and I recently arrived in New Zealand after spending our entire lives as residents and citizens of the United States. We’ve had to adjust to new ways of doing things and new ways of thinking about the world. Often, some event will remind me of the way things were done in America and create a longing for the things I miss.

I tolerate most diet fizzy drinks, but I actually like Diet Dr. Pepper. Unfortunately, New Zealand doesn’t sell it. My favorite restaurant, Skyline Chili, is 13,000 kilometers away. I have to use words like “fizzy drinks” and “kilometers” instead of “pop” and “miles”.

Noticing these things has reminded me freshly that my true citizenship is not in New Zealand, but it is also not in the United States. For Christians, our true citizenship is in heaven and we are eagerly awaiting a Savior from there.

As a heavenly citizen, I find myself longing for the things there that I miss. In heaven, justice is always done. On earth, justice is often incomplete and sometimes entirely missing. In heaven, there will be no tears or sorrow, or even death. On earth, even good things are mixed with sadness. In heaven, no one will ever sin against me. On earth, I have locks and passwords to protect my family. Even better, in heaven I will never sin against anyone else either! On earth, I have to fight my natural selfishness and often lose, hurting others in the process. In heaven, Jesus is King!

I don’t think this is just an analogy. If we’re following Jesus as our Savior and King, we really are citizens of a different country. That truth should affect what we do here. All of us are strangers and aliens, foreign nationals in New Zealand. We are ambassadors of the King of Heaven and should live that commission out in our prayers, words and actions. We should be praying for God’s kingdom to come on Earth. We should be telling others about the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection. And we should take actions on Earth that are consistent with our citizenship, not out of duty but out of a love for our true king and country.

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