I have a goal, Uncategorized

To Know Him

More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ — the righteousness from God based on faith. – Philippians 3:8-9 HCSB

“Coronation is only a week away, Alexandria.” Queen Helena tugged on her daughter’s hand. “Please, don’t throw your title—your life away.”

Alexandria Helena of Aragon pulled her hand from her mother’s grasp. “Title is nothing. He is what I want.”

“Nothing?” Helena stood and braced herself with a hand on a column embellishing the stone balcony. “You, my daughter, could sit as queen. You would have my place. My fame and prestige. You would continue our legacy in the Great Empire. This is all nothing to you?”

Alexandria stood parallel to the queen, passion animating her voice. “Love, mother. Do you not know the power of love? My birthright, all of the power that is endowed with our position, they are nothing compared to him. I consider it all nonsense when I compare it to knowing him. Every day, in every circumstance, I want to know him.”

With scrunched brows, Helena stared at her daughter. “Why?”

The hard determination on Alexandria’s face smoothed, softened. Her focused drifted to the distance and her eyes began to dance. “Because with him, there is life.” Her smile bloomed full. “With the brush of his hand, my heart lifted from slumber. I didn’t even know I was asleep. This life I live here—it is empty. With him I am full.”

“Love is wonderful.” Helena used an index finger to bring her daughter’s eyes back to her own. “But let us weigh the balance. Think reasonably.” She held her hands out, palms up, as if they were scales. “Would it really be worth it, Alex? Consider all you must give up.”

“Everything.” Alexandria clasped both of her mother’s hands and brought them together. “I surrender all of it, Mother. To know him.”

I am a Citizen of Heaven

Joint entry: Proof of Citizenship

passport“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” Philippians 3:20-21, NIV

From Jen:

Citizenship denotes the link between a person and a state. A relationship between me and the kingdom; one that is certain whether I am physically in that kingdom or not.

I can’t help but think on Christian’s pilgrimage to the Celestial City in Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. The narrow path is difficult, full of trials and fearful encounters, but along the way, Christian carries with him his parchment—the scroll with the seal upon it—that he’d received at the Cross. He was to study those words, to think upon them and talk of them. And at the end of the journey, he would hand that scroll over to the gate-keeper, and it would be delivered to the King. Why?

It proved his citizenship. During his pilgrimage, as he struggled along the difficult path, suffered humiliation, wrestled with temptation, grappled with grief, and trembled before Apollyon, Christian carried with him that scroll. Because it wasn’t mere parchment. It was his proof of Citizenship.

God gives us his proof—He gave a deposit. The Spirit of God, dwells with me. Seals me. Journeys with me. I don’t know what the road ahead will look like. Sometimes there are dark clouds ahead. Sometimes I get trapped in the dungeon of doubt. Sometimes the valley terrifies me. But along the way, I carry with me the same scroll. He declares now, and at the City Gate, “She belongs. I am her proof of citizenship.”

From Susan

I love that.  The Holy Spirit, my proof of citizenship.

Do you have a passport?  Do you know where it is?  If you are living in your home country, those questions may not seem terribly pressing to you. “No, why would I have a passport?”  Or perhaps, “I think I have one, but it may be expired . . . hmm . . . Is it in my sock drawer maybe?”

But, if you were to ever travel abroad, you’d know exactly where your passport was every second you were on foreign soil.  You’d know, so you could snatch it up in a fraction of a second if you were ever called upon to flee a political coup.

You’d know, so when the police stopped you on the side of the road, as they often do overseas, you could prove your citizenship.

You’d know, because it would be your ticket inside your embassy.  The only ticket. Without it, you stay on the outside of those tall, barbed-wire topped walls.

And you’d know, because it’s the only thing that could get you back on to your country.

We are citizens of Heaven.  The Holy Spirit is my proof of citizenship, far more precious to me than my tattered U.S. passport.  He is my guide through emotional coups and hostile interrogations.  He rejoices with me when I enter a Heavenly Embassy, otherwise known as a church.

And one day, this weary traveler, sealed with the Holy Spirit, will step into Heaven.

I’ll hear God the Father say, “Welcome home.”