A Resident Alien
Have you ever visited another country? Americans stick out like a sore thumb in other countries because we have a different way of life than most other countries. The people from other countries know you are American by a few things: your language, your manners, your values, your behavior
Chris in Finland waiting for a bus- you must be from country that has small talk”
A list of American traits:
- Americans are extremely independent, individualistic, and like to be different from each other.
- 66% of Americans are overweight; 37% of those are obese.
- Americans believe in freedom of choice.
- Americans need a lot of “elbow room”; they like personal space around them.
- You must be over the age of 21 and you must have an identification card with a photo to buy or drink alcohol.
- In most states, it is illegal to buy cigarettes if you are under the age of 18 and often you can only smoke in certain places.
- Americans are extremely informal and call most people by their first name or nickname.
- Americans smile a lot and talk easily to strangers, sharing personal stories.
- Asking “How are you?” is simply a greeting and is not a question about your health.
- Americans don’t push or stand too close to anyone in line. They always wait their turn.
- Never ask Americans a direct question about their religion, age, money, salary, weight, or dress/suit size
- Never go to someone’s house without calling first to see if it is convenient.
- If you are invited to an American party, do not bring your children, friends, or family members without first asking the permission of the host.
- Time is money. Never be late to classes, employment interviews, appointments, parties (especially your wedding!), etc
- American parents speak to their children as adults and teach them how to be responsible for their actions.
- American parents encourage their children to question and always ask “Why?”
- It is normal for American children to have very messy rooms.
- It is common for young Americans to carry security blankets or a stuffed toy.
- Americans do not hit their children but discipline them by taking things away.
- Americans hire “babysitters” to take care of their children when they go out or are at work.
- Americans love their pets, sometimes more than they love people.–ask an African how they treat dogs- Kumi
- The majority of older Americans prefer to live in retirement homes for independent living rather than to live with their grown children
As an American, we have been shaped by our American culture.
What is a ‘Resident Alien’? A resident alien is a foreign person who is a permanent resident of the country in which he or she resides, but does not have citizenship.
We are residents of this world, but our citizenship is in Heaven
Philippians 3:20New King James Version (NKJV)
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
One’s conduct reflects one’s citizenship since one’s entire worldview is shaped by one’s country of origin.
If we are citizens of heaven, our thoughts, language, values, priorities, principles, and behavior will reflect godly standards instead of worldly ones. The value we place on earthly things will be admittedly limited as we look to store up eternal treasures in heaven—our home and land of rest.
Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them,[c] embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 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 a city for them.
Say this with me, “I am just a stranger passing through this world”
- Our thoughts need to reflect that our home is in Heaven.
I think like an American. Americans in general follow rules. I thought it was interesting how we will wait patiently in lines for our turn. I think if I wait my turn, I will get to go but this is not a common practice in other countries, especially when it comes to driving. Jamaicans drive like crazy people. No lights, they honk for everything.
Do you think like the world? or do you think like you are a citizen of heaven?
Romans 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
The flesh represents our old, sinful nature that walked according to the ways of the world. Paul tells us if we are living according to the ways of the world, that we are “fleshly minded”
Let me ask you this: do you side more with the world then the Word??
Are you wrapped up and consumed by what is going on in the world more than the things of God?
There is an old expression that states, “Don’t be so heavenly minded that you are of no earthly good.”
Clever and catchy cliché, isn’t it? The only problem is that these words are unbiblical. The Bible says,
Colossians 3:2 “Set your mind on things above, not on the things that are on earth”
Contrary to popular opinion, being heavenly minded always inspires us to be more earthly good. Thus, our goal as Christians must be to set our minds on things above and faithfully serve the Lord.
How do we set our mind on heavenly things? Put on the mind of Christ!
1 Corinthians 2:14-16New King James Version (NKJV)
14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?”[a] But we have the mind of Christ.
Romans 12:2 – And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
When we are born again of the Holy Spirit, we will begin to see things differently, because our eyes have been opened to the truth. But we still have the same mind, with the same stinking thinking that has always plagued us.
We must put on the mind of Christ and get into the Word to begin changing our thoughts to line up with His thoughts and His ways.
Everyone has an opinion- BUT Your opinion on things does not matter!! The only thing that matters is what the KING decrees to be good and right and true
Nothing will ever change if you first do not control your thought life.
- Our language needs to reflect that our home is in heaven.
A lot of countries now speak English, but Americans are still recognized by their dialect.
Hollywood produces the movies that the whole world sees and hears- it’s west coast English dialect that they recognize.
Do you know that you are recognizable by the language you speak?
Give me an hour with someone and I will tell you whether or not they know Jesus and if they have the Holy Spirit.
Someone full of the Spirit cannot help but have it come out in their language- their home is in heaven and it oozes out of their pores.
Does your language reflect your citizenship is in heaven or that you’re a part of this world?
I can tell you that there are a ton of worldly Christians out there, professing Jesus but their language betrays were they are really from–
Psalm 19:14New King James Version (NKJV)
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.
Ephesians 4:29New King James Version (NKJV)
29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
Matthew 12:36-37New King James Version (NKJV)
36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Does your words reflect heaven?? Do they reflect that you are not of this world and that Jesus is your King??
Ex: I saw a FB post from someone saying “Jesus would march”. Your language just showed that you are of this world!
How do I know He wouldn’t march? Because He is not of this world! Stop with the social justice Jesus- He came not to set right the ills of society or to make everything equal and fair- HE CAME IN ORDER TO SHED HIS BLOOD FOR THE REMISSION OF OUR SINS SO THAT WE COULD LIVE IN ETERNITY WITH HIM.
He came and overcame sin and death so that YOU could overcome sin and death!
Your so-called rights begin and end with the Word of God
What are you speaking? Are you speaking truth and bringing light into darkness?
Are you lying all the time- lying shows kinship to Satan.
- Our values and priorities needs to reflect that our home is in heaven.
Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work.
Your values determine your priorities, and, deep down, they’re probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to.
When the things that you do and the way you behave match your values, life is usually good – you’re satisfied and content. But when these don’t align with your personal values, that’s when things feel… wrong. This can be a real source of unhappiness.
Being a new creation in Jesus-
2 Corinthians 5:17New King James Version (NKJV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Our values should change.
Before Christ, my highest values/priorities were:
partying- getting drunk and presumably having fun
After the Spirit came in, NOBODY had to tell me that the way I was living my life and the things I was doing and saying was wrong- the SPIRIT taught me and showed me!
Ezekiel 36:23-27 And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord,” says the Lord God, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes. 24 For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
Now- my highest priority is to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord
Philippians 3:8New King James Version (NKJV)
8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ
This then affects everything else in my life-
my marriage-am I pleasing God in my marriage?
my mothering- am I pleasing God by raising my children to know Him? KNOW JESUS, that’s my goal
my job- am I preaching and teaching according to my gifting in Jesus?
Do my words, thoughts, attitude, etc PLEASE GOD?
to me- NOTHING else matters if my life doesn’t please Him
- Our behavior needs to reflect that our home is in heaven.
Here’s the crux of it all- if your values, thoughts and words change then ultimately, your behavior WILL CHANGE
Philippians 3:20New King James Version (NKJV)
20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
Are you eagerly awaiting Jesus’ return?
Did you know a lot of the NT Christians were so ready for Jesus’ return that they quit their jobs??
I’m not telling you to quit….
If you’ve ever traveled abroad, at sometime you begin to miss America- just ask any deployed soldier
I have seen soldiers return to America and actually kiss American soil- why because they miss home.
Where is your home? Your behavior reflects your home
Matthew 6:21 NKJV
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
What do you treasure?? DO you treasure the tings of God?? or the things of this world??
I can tell you there’s been lots of prayers of mine wishing to depart to go be with Jesus- not that I want to die, but its utterly clear to me that my treasure is not on this earth- my home is not on this earth- I do not belong here, I am out of place!
Are you storing up your treasures on earth?? or in heaven??
Are you living and speaking like Jesus is returning for you?
Do you have a healthy fear of the LORD?? He is KING of heaven
Your conduct reflects your kingdom
Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
LIVE WORTHY OF THE DEATH OF JESUS- ever held someone’s hand when they died? Eddie and Dmitry
Hebrews 10 tells us that if we continue to willfully sin after receiving what Jesus did for us, that we trample His blood again, calling it a common thing, not worthy of our loyalty
1 Thessalonians 5:22 abstain from every form of evil.
Titus 2:11-12New King James Version (NKJV)
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,