Temporary Residents

Temporary residents - this doesn't exactly indicate we will be staying very long, does it? I use a timeshare from time to time, getting away from the busy city life and getting a little closer to nature. I pack up all I will need for the week and then off we go. We settle into the place as though it were our own, but we know we are there for just the one week. We are 'temporary residents' in a very comfortable place, but it never really becomes our own. The furnishings are not as comfortable as those we have at home. The kitchen has most of the necessities, but we might not have all the things we would like to nosh on because we brought very specific things. It is 'home away from home' for us, but it isn't quite our long-term dwelling. I wonder if we treat this earth a little bit too much like our long-term dwelling, forgetting that we are just 'temporary residents' in this world - our long-term residency is with Christ!

And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as “temporary residents.” For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake. Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory. You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. (I Peter 1:17-22)

The ransom has been paid - to save us from the 'emptiness' of this life. If we were honest with ourselves and others, we probably might come to the conclusion that all the 'stuff' we amass and the things we 'do' to be 'comfortable' in this world are really masking just how 'uncomfortable' we are living apart from Christ. The 'long-term' has been paid for, so why on earth would we settle for anything 'temporary'? The enemy of our souls is hard at work attempting to keep our eyes off the 'eternal' in hopes he can persuade us to get wrapped up in the temporal. If he manages to get our eyes off the eternal long enough, he might just get us to believe that all this world has to offer is better than what Christ offers us both now and into eternity. That would indeed be a sad state of affairs.

We share this 'temporal' life with others - those who also have said 'yes' to Jesus. We also share it with a whole lot of others who have never acknowledged God as their Lord or Jesus as their Savior. Our purpose for living in the 'temporal' is to be a witness of the truth that has set us free to live beyond this world's confines. Our love for one another is to be a supreme example of grace - evidence of a life change and a 'change of focus'. We aren't just to 'love one another', but we are to do so with all our hearts. In a deep, genuine manner - seeing the needs around us, sharing the hope within us, and working to meet a need wherever possible. This is how faith is passed on - not just in the preaching of the Word on a Sunday morning from behind the pulpit - but in the everyday evidence of a life lived with a focus that sees clearly 'beyond this world'.

Obedience to Christ's commission is one of our responsibilities. We cannot positively exemplify the mission if we are so caught up in the temporal around us. We must remember that all that is before us here on earth is 'temporary'. Our 'permanent' stretches from here into eternity - something we might not fully understand today. Love today as though your tomorrow counted on what will be accomplished as a result of that loving action. You never know who you will be bringing along with you into eternity as a result of showing others where your heart is firmly anchored. Just sayin! 


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