Our Home And Native Land

Friday, July 1, 2022
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Canada"1 (Lyrics)

On this Canada Day, I think back to when our family became Canadian citizens. Having come to Canada from Singapore, which, at that time, was a British colony, we were British subjects, so transferring our citizenship to Canada, with its ties to Britain, was the natural next step. I wasn't aware of all the steps, but I do remember admiring the citizenship certificates that we received in the mail. Each of us had our own — my dad, my mum, my younger brother, and I. In flowing script, the certificate stated that we were "entitled to all the rights and privileges" of a Canadian citizen. It also said that we were "subject to all the responsibilities, obligations, and duties of a Canadian citizen". Although we children didn't understand all the implications, we could tell that our dad was now pleased to be a citizen of Canada.

My dad was glad to feel settled, to have the freedom to travel easily with a Canadian passport, and most importantly to him, to have a high quality of education available to his children. He was glad to belong and wanted to be at home in Canada. Although Canada was not his native land, it was the country that he chose to live in.

Hebrews 13:14 – For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. (NLT)

People are born and live in various places as their home and native land in this world, but for believers in Christ, these places are not really their home — they have chosen to belong to another country, the kingdom of God, a kingdom not of this world. They were reborn into this eternal kingdom the moment that they said "yes" to God. Many of us have taken this step.

1 Peter 2:11 – Friends, this world is not your home, so don't make yourselves cozy in it. (MSG)

In this verse, the King James Version uses the word "pilgrims" to describe Christ-followers, implying that we are on a journey to a holy place — heaven. We are not here permanently, but only as temporary residents. We can't get too cozy here, copying the culture around us. Our real loyalty is to the kingdom of heaven. The main privilege of this kingdom is eternal life — not only in the future, but a new quality of life beginning right away. Other privileges are the forgiveness of our sins and living in community with, and being supported by, other believers.

Colossians 3:2 – Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. (NLT)

We also have responsibilities in this kingdom. Our focus needs to be on eternal things, not only on pursuing temporal goals. Our biggest priority is to become like Jesus, by learning from His Word and learning from other Christians. Our mandate is to love one another and to tell others the good news, so that they, too, can belong.

Can we truly view God's kingdom as our home and native land? Can we value it as much as we value being citizens of a particular earthly country?

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the country that we live in. Thank You that we can also belong to Your eternal kingdom. Help us to take seriously not only the rights and privileges but also the obligations that we have as citizens of heaven. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Alice Burnett <terrencera.burnett@gmail.com>
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Happy Canada Day to you.

    Our home … HAPPY CANADA’S DAY.

    Thanks for the encouraging words, Alice.

    Amen, Alice! Thanks for the reminder. Blessings.

    Thank you, Alice, for this clear message of the focused life.

    Thank you for the devotion today. It was a wonderful message.

    Nicely said Alice.
    Happy Canada Day to you and Terry!

    Great post and reminder for July 1st, Alice! Blessings and Happy Canada Day!

    Amen Alice.
    Enjoy your Canada Day festivities.

    Thank you, Alice, for another very special devotional today. We truly need be thankful for this country, Canada, that we live in and can also be thankful that we can look forward to the home our loving Lord prepares for us. Blessings for these beautiful writings you prepare.

    Good afternoon, Alice
    Thank you for your good words today. My parents too came here from another country. I don’t know if they were really anxious to become citizens or not, but I guess they figured it was the thing to do. I have their citizenship papers in my file.
    And you are right, this world is not our home.
    Blessings on you, your family, and our land.

    Good morning, Alice,
    I truly enjoyed your devotional. I am a proud Canadian (born and raised here). I am also proud to be a Christian. I have never thought of those two things in the way that you have explained it in your devotional.
    I was interested in why your dad chose Canada for his family and what it says on citizenship papers.
    How you explained these two concepts the country you live in and the Kingdom of God we choose to belong to was really well done.
    Your prayer says it all. As we pray with you today your prayer help us to really understand our rights, privileges, and obligations. Thank you for sharing more of your life and thoughts. Blessings and Happy Canada Day.

    Thank you so much, Alice, for a wonderful Canada Day devotional challenge.

    Amen – My husband was a missionary working in Brazil for many years. His goal was to love people into the Kingdom of God. This meant serving their physical and spiritual needs. Physical needs included a medical clinic, primary school, shelter for the homeless, and food for the hungry.

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