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Strangers and Pilgrims

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Mentoring Manna:  Strangers and Pilgrims

© 2003 Pastor Keith Hassell



Strangers and Pilgrims:  “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” (Hebrews 11:13)  If you believe in life after death, you know that you are only passing through this life.  This life is only a stop along the way.  How we view this life will determine how we live this life.  Those who know the Lord---those who truly love and follow Him---do not live like others.  They talk different.  They think different. Their dreams are different.  Their lifestyle is different.  Their priorities are different.  Their choices of where to live, what career to pursue, how to invest their time, who to marry, what kind of commitments to make, how to educate their children, and their view of suffering are all outside of the mainstream.  To be honest, their whole perspective is similar to that of a foreign culture.  To be honest, it is.  Those who belong to Christ have chosen to do so because they have come to realize that this world cannot offer them lasting peace, joy, and happiness.  They know that this world is passing away.  Jesus said concerning His disciples in John 17:16, “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”  The children of God are no longer at home in this world.  They are looking for an eternal home with their Heavenly Father:  “For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland…But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country.  Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared for them a city.” (Hebrews 11:14, 16)  When a person is born again, he or she has a new identity with a heavenly family in a heavenly home as an heir to a heavenly inheritance under a heavenly citizenship in a heavenly city within a heavenly country!  No wonder they always seem to have their mind on things above rather than on the things of this world!  Those who belong to Jesus have resigned themselves to a life of pilgrimage as they journey through this world.  They consider themselves to own nothing in this world.  They are simply stewards of God. They live according to the Apostle Paul’s admonition “that those who buy as if they did not possess, and that those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away.”  (1 Corinthians 7:30-31)  Rather than feel as though they are missing out on this life, they have joy and peace in their heart.  You can’t talk them out of it.  Their heart is set and their gaze is fixed.  They are living the reality of Psalm 84:5:  “Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage.”


Application:  Are we living this life with our gaze fixed upon heaven?  Or are we fixing our minds upon the things of this world.  This world is passing away.  Beauty doesn’t last.  That masculine physique doesn’t remain.  Material things do not satisfy.  Our lust always wants more.  The love of this world only leaves us hurt and disappointed.  People are waiting in line to take our job.  Wealth can take up wings and fly away.  Graveyards are filled with people who thought the world couldn’t go on without them.  There are no U-Haul trailers pulled behind hearses.  You see the only thing worth living for is that which is worth dying for.  The only thing worth dying for what we cannot yet see. Like Abraham, can we leave the security of what we know and begin a journey toward our heavenly home?  Dare to live as a stranger and pilgrim in this life.  While some may wonder where you are going, others will become inspired to join you on the faith-filled journey to that heavenly homeland.


Prayer:  “Heavenly Father, help me to live as a stranger and pilgrim in this world.  Help me to always remember that this world is passing away.  Help me to live so that others will recognize the same.  I choose to keep my heart set and my gaze fixed on that homeland above. As I live my life as a stranger and pilgrim in this world, I ask You to inspire others to do the same.  I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”


Grace Fellowship     P.O. Box 260       Rusk, Texas 75785       (903) 683-6550

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