Have You Secured Your Citizenship?

In 1998, Jimmy Donaldson was born. Today Jimmy is better known as the YouTube celebrity MrBeast. He began posting homemade videos on YouTube at age 13. By age 24, MrBeast had used his YouTube platform to generate a net worth estimated at over 500 million dollars. His celebrity and wealth have enabled MrBeast to earn praise for donating millions of dollars to charity.

Jesus was a different kind of celebrity. Instead of cashing in on His fame, Jesus gave away all He had. Jesus could have taken the crown of a king. His early followers hoped He would. Instead, Jesus took a crown of thorns. Instead of sitting on a throne, Jesus hung on a cross.

It's natural to want to accumulate resources. Wise people share their resources with others to cultivate an image of generosity. If you give away enough money it might make you a celebrity.

But Jesus' supernatural way of life turns the natural way of life on its head. Instead of working to gain status as a celebrity, Jesus calls us to treat the lowest among us as celebrities. In Jesus' kingdom, the first shall be last and the last shall be first. He who tries to save his life will lose it. If you give up your life for HIs sake, you will save it. There is no greater love than this, that one
should lay down his or her life for another. This is the character Jesus desires and develops in the citizens of His kingdom.

The church is to stand in contrast to the world around us where we are encouraged, and even praised for working for our own benefit. The church is a school designed by Jesus to help us orient to citizenship in His kingdom.

The Apostle Paul describes the church as a body. The church is not a building, and not an institution. The church is a living entity of people working together with Christ as their Head. In the church, each member is called to work together for the benefit of others and to extend charitable love to everyone around us--friends, strangers and enemies. Those who infiltrate the church to benefit themselves at the expense of others, Jesus describes as weeds among the wheat to be plucked out and burned at harvest time.

The problem is that working for the benefit of others isn't natural. It runs contrary to what the Bible refers to as the sinful nature. Living as sinners, we can't possess the citizenship purchased for us by Jesus and offered to us as a gift. We need to experience the transformation that comes from receiving and living in fellowship with the Holy Spirit and with each other.

Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
(Romans 8:5-8, NLT)

Related Information