ODJ: Foreigners and Nomads

May 9, 2017 

READ: Hebrews 11:1-16 

These people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they . . . agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth (v.13).

Born in Jakarta, Indonesia, I maintained Nigerian citizenship because of my parents’ diplomatic status. I once met a lady from Indonesia who excitedly launched into her native tongue after learning my birthplace. Embarrassed, I informed her that I was only there briefly and had no knowledge of the language. I was born in the country—but am not of it.

Likewise, the Bible refers to believers as foreigners and nomads on the earth—not of it (Hebrews 11:13). Our identity isn’t created by the secular world; we live out God’s heavenly perspective. The heroes of faith profiled in Hebrews 11 were described as “looking forward to a country they [could] call their own” (v.14). This didn’t mean their birthplace or place of origin, “but they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them” (v.16).

It’s for this reason that Jesus urged His followers to store up treasures in heaven, rather than on earth, for our hearts tend to be centred wherever we have our treasure (Matthew 6:19-21). He went on to describe those who hoard material things in this life as fools who don’t have “a rich relationship with God” (Luke 12:16-21).

Whenever I take a trip for work I focus on the tasks that need to be accomplished, but never lose sight of the fact that my home awaits me. This prompts me to be efficient with my time, so as not to delay or jeopardise my trip back there.

In the same way, we must strive to accomplish the earthly purpose for which we’ve been created in God’s power and leading. He’s the One who will one day renew the earth— uniting it with all that is heaven (Revelation 21:1).

—Remi Oyedele

365-day plan: Job 2:1-13

Read 1 Peter 2:10-12 for further insight into the way we are to conduct ourselves during our time on earth. 
How often do you think about your final destination after this life? What does it mean for you to store up treasures in heaven?