This week I received approval from the government of El Salvador to live here as a temporary resident for one year. First I will receive a card that gives me temporary residency for 3 months. During the 3 months my paperwork will be reviewed and if everything is satisfactory I will receive another card for 9 months. At the end of one year I will need to apply again for another year as a temporary resident. After 5 years of temporary residency you may apply to become a permanent resident. When I was thinking about this today I was reminded of the many scripture verses that speak about foreigners, strangers, sojourners, aliens and I thought it would be interesting to look some of them up. Here is what I came up with and it sort of reads like a letter! I hope you are blessed reading it as I was looking up the verses and writing it! And remember all of us as Christians are strangers and temporary residents here no matter what card we carry – we belong to Christ and where He is that is where our true home is!
1 Peter 2: 11
Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.
1 Peter 1:17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as “foreigners in the land.” 18For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. 19It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.
Hebrews 13: 11 Under the old system, the high priest brought the blood of animals into the Holy Place as a sacrifice for sin, and the bodies of the animals were burned outside the camp. 12So also Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make his people holy by means of his own blood. 13So let us go out to him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace he bore. 14For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. 15Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. 16And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.
Zechariah 7:10 Don’t oppress the widow, nor the fatherless, the foreigner, nor the poor; and let none of you devise evil against his brother in your heart.
Psalm 146:9 The LORD protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.
Ephesians 2: 19Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Philippians 2:10 And so, when Jesus’ name is called, the knees of everyone should fall wherever they’re residing. 11 Then every tongue in one accord, will say that Jesus the Messiah is Lord, while God the Father praising.
And when that day comes and we hear the trumpet call and the voice of Jesus shout “come up here” we will receive our true permanent resident status as members of God’s household!
Under His wing!