Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pastor's Perspective - Lily's Store


This morning I woke up in a place other than the place I fell asleep. Can you say, "Whoa!" Predictably I fell asleep in my bedroom, but woke up in 'Lily's Store'. One more time.....Whoooooaaaaaaa. (Cue the creepy keys and enter Rod Serling). Seriously, Chelle and I got a good laugh over the whole thing, and the Lord reminded me of some good stuff I'm passing along to you. (Remember the whole freely received, freely give thing?)

To me the large room in the back of our house where my bed, dressers, nightstands, lamps and skivies are kept is called "My Bedroom". Tracking me so far? Its a place to relax, unwind and let down my (continually greying) hair. Its familiar and kinda cozy. However, to our youngest child Lily its a totally different place - it's her satellite office to play - her imaginary store.

In Hebrews 13:14 and 1 Peter 2:11 we are reminded as Christians that this world is not our home. To quote the grand old finger-snapping hymn, "We're justa passin through"! However, like my bedroom, for many of us its become comfy, predictable, comforting and relaxing; when to God it's something quite different. Its a passin through place where He unashamedly calls us aliens, foreigners, strangers and ambassadors. While sometimes through complacency we see the world as a bedroom, to Him its Lily's Store - something quite different.

One of my favorite titles as a modern-day follower of Christ is 'ambassador'. Though I'm not the best toy in the Happy Meal, I do know that ambassadors are foreign representatives. They live in a strange place very different from their homeland; yet they are serving in an alien culture quite intentionally as aliens. Likewise they serve in a place called an embassy. An embassy is a representative culture in a foreign place that retains the identity of the kingdom in which it was sent. Still with me? Though only a relative few faithfully serve as ambassadors, each represents an entire kingdom, king, population, and way of living. Each is in a foreign territory temporarily. Each speaks a different language, lives uniquely, and recognizes a different sovereign. An embassy is a place where people find help, identity and safety on foreign soil. Ready for this? Believer, you're the ambassador, and the Church is the embassy in which we serve! Each of us is on Kingdom assignment, serving faithfully an undetermined term known only by our King. The cool news is, when our time of service is finished, He'll bring us home and reward our selfless ambassadorship.

So in conclusion, remember your ambassadorship. Now is not our time to sleep and treat this world as our bedroom. This world is not your home. Its an amazing opportunity on our way home. You represent so much more than you could ever imagine. You represent a literal everlasting Kingdom led by a literal benevolent King - Jesus the living Christ!

By the way, I think I'll keep the sign on our door as a good daily reminder. If you stop by, Lily's currently running a 'Clearance Sale'!

6 comments:

Jeramy Sossaman said...

great reminder. thanks steve. good post!

Cheryl said...

You're blogs always encourage me -
I certainly feel like an alien in a strange land right now, but not so much an ambassador, I'll have to work on that one.

james said...

Im glad Anni cant read yet....LOL

Chelle said...

I'm so glad this world ISN'T our home. So glad.

Natalie said...

I like that this is just " a stop along the way." I sometimes long to just go home... Thanks for the encouragement Pastor Steve!

The McLeans said...

Pastor,
What a GREAT reminder that we are "Ambassadors" for Jesus here in the Azores and EVERYwhere we go. You and your precious family are missed, loved, and cared for by the McLeans. Love, Jeff, Karin, Hope & Jackson