We are citizens of heaven.
— PHILIPPIANS 3:20
Every year Pacific salmon, having lived five to six years in the ocean, suddenly get the urge to return to the headwaters of their birth river. Battling fishermen, bears, and giant hydroelectric dams, they fight their way upstream determined to reach their home.
Scientists don’t know how the salmon make their way back to the exact river in which they were born after being in the ocean for several years. Some think it’s because they can taste or smell the fresh water from their river. Others think they may use the stars to navigate. Regardless of how they do it, we know they don’t use charts and compasses; their journey is intuitive. They have a longing for a particular river, and it can’t be satisfied until they find it.
That’s exactly how it is with us. God created us for Heaven, and nothing in this life will fully satisfy that longing (see Ecclesiastes 3:11). Just like those salmon—we’re in this world but we’re not of it. Yes, we find joy in fulfilling the assignment in life God has given us, but it’s nothing compared to the joy that awaits us in Heaven.
Paul puts it this way: “We are citizens of Heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for Him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like His own, using the same power with which He will bring everything under His control.” (Philippians 3:20–21)
Think and pray
Home is where we belong. We are just visiting here!
Father, thank You for the promise of heaven. Help me to live as a faithful ambassador as long as I’m alive here on earth, inviting others to accept Your gift of citizenship in heaven as well! Amen.
Dr. Joe Pettigrew served as a college Dean and professor of Leadership and Management prior to founding Leaderpoint Consulting where he worked with business leaders at more than half of the Fortune 500 companies. In 2007, Joe co-founded In The Zone Ministries that provides resources, events and daily devotionals to engage men and women in their local church and encourage them in their faith. Learn more at joepettigrew.org.