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An ambassador lives in a city that is not his home. While he may love his neighbors, appreciate aspects of their culture, and find a measure of happiness in his post, he knows that he is not really home.
No matter where you live, if you are a disciple of Jesus Christ, you are not really home either. Your home is heaven and your current assignment in this world is to be Christ's ambassador, as though God were making His appeal through you (see 2 Corinthians 5:20).
True joy comes only to those who keep their eyes fixed on the City of God.
Read Hebrews 13:14. Like any ambassador, your primary job is to represent your homeland well. Your homeland, heaven, has a message for the residents of the City of Man: "Accept the free offer of salvation made possible by Jesus Christ and His death on the cross—before it's too late!"
Sadly, we often forget that this world is not our home. Even the godliest among us can allow the problems and pleasures of this earthly life to steal our focus from heaven. We become so concerned about the cares of this world that we make business plans, life plans, and retirement plans as though we are going to live forever.
The Scripture is clear: Only what you give to the Lord in this life will be waiting for you on the other side (see Matthew 16:27). Where we invest our time, money, and energy is an indication of our focus, and too often we have our hearts set on the City of Man rather than the City of God.
The early church lived and worked to glorify the name of God in this life because they were looking forward to the next. They planned for heaven and eternity. Their priority was holiness; ours is happiness. Their priority was sacrificing for God; ours is self-satisfaction. They measured success with an eternal perspective; ours is measured by how much we can accumulate.
True joy comes only to those who keep their eyes fixed on the City of God. As the writer of Hebrews reminds us, "For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come" (Hebrews 13:14).
Prayer: Father, help me to keep my heart and mind set on eternity with You. May my heavenward gaze serve to align my daily routine and priorities with Your Kingdom. And may I have eyes to see how I can serve You and love others as Your ambassador in this world. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come" (Hebrews 13:14).