Citizen Of Heaven 🙌🏽

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. ~James 4:14

Our days are numbered and one day I’ll be absent from the body and present with the Lord. In my absence, rejoice because I’m a Citizen of Heaven. I will be united in spirit with my Savior.

For so many years I chose not to become a citizen of the United States because I didn’t want to serve on jury duty or worse, give up my citizenship to my birth country of Jamaica 🇯🇲. I never considered it’s importance nor it’s privileges.

However, my decision 10 years ago to file for U.S. Citizenship was not because I felt a sudden sense of patriotism, but rather, I started to experience its disadvantages.

My deciding factor came about in 2009 when Pete and I decided that our honeymoon destination would be Tahiti in the South Pacific. I had to go to the French Embassy to apply for a temporary visa to visit the French Polynesian countries. It was such a hassle, not to mention, their requirements were quite extensive.

So, in retrospect, was it all worth it to become a U.S. Citizen? Certainly! It most definitely has its share of privileges.

Being a U.S. Citizen, you:

• Have the right to vote. …

• Be able to run for public office. …

• Be eligible for federal employment or benefits. …

• Be able to travel abroad for long periods of time. …

• Not be deported. …

• Be able to sponsor your family for green cards. …

• Benefit from US tax laws. …

• Become eligible for free money.

• Become a US passport holder

I remember the day that I would swear in, I felt a sense of pride to be an American and the honor and privilege of supporting my country. It would be the day that as an immigrant, I would pledge allegiance to the United States.

It was pure exhilaration amongst the crowd of participants, who were all accompanied by their families that came to support them. You could feel the excitement in the air, hear the joyful chatter, and see the expressive elation as each country was recognized for being present. There were loud cheers and congratulatory good wishes among everyone as we celebrated such a momentous occasion.

As exciting as that day was, nothing will ever compare to the life changing moment when one makes a decision to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.

Yeah, becoming a U.S. Citizen you experience that momentary patriotism and devotion, but that feeling eventually wears off and becomes a distant memory. But can I share with you, nothing is more sacred than when one hears the gospel, is convicted of the truth of what Jesus did for us on the cross, understands the need for salvation, and chooses to accept Christ rather than reject Him. It is the leading of the Holy Spirit’s inner calling in one’s heart; that uncontrolled urge to surrender your life to Christ and become a citizen of Heaven. Not only is this moment transformative, but also unforgettable.

As a Christian, you are enrolled in the highest school that exists – the university of Mount Zion. Your education and training in this life will prepare you for ruling the world to come, together with Jesus and His saints. There is no higher calling or purpose in life.

~Joy Efseaff

To step into the family of God and become a citizen of Heaven, this means we are reconciled to God and adopted into His family. God passes on His blessings to us in the same way He gave us His Son. Jesus blesses us with His Holy Spirit, and His Holy Spirit blesses us with the Fruits of the Spirit. Because God’s blessings are abundantly full, we experience the countless privileges of being a Citizen of Heaven.

• All your sins are instantly forgiven and we are released from eternal perdition and are reconciled with God Himself!

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ~1 John 1:9.

• We get help to stop consciously sinning altogether!

For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. ~Hebrews 2:18

• The Holy Spirit starts to teach us and free us from ourselves.

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. ~John 16:13

• We have peace and joy that nothing can take away.

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. ~Romans 14:17

• Jesus is our mighty Helper and Friend!

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. ~Hebrews 4:15-16

• Our earthly and material needs will be taken care of.

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:19

• Our life will become stable.

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. ~Ephesians 4:14

• We will always have something to do.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. ~Ephesians 2:10

• We will have meaningful relationships.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. ~1 John 1:7

• We will be a light in this world.

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. ~1 John 4:4

• We will rule in the world to come, and as His children, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory.

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. ~Revelation 3:21

https://youtu.be/GwirdlbkUD8

Getting caught up in the here and now

Has a tendency to wear me down

Am I really free if I’m thinking ’bout

Only temporary things?

The world’s screaming so loud

When I’m locked to the middle of my doubt

When I’m lost in the rythm of the crowd

I hear heaven calling me

Don’t want to be another victim

Falling prey to the system

When You’ve called me to the kingdom

I know I am a citizen of Heaven

My identity forever is Yours, Yours

I know I am a citizen of Heaven

The threat of being exposed to the COVID-19 has caused a negative impact on so many lives. There is so much panic on the earth now. Social distancing has kept many of us believers from being able to meet at church, where we find strength in numbers and unity in our faith. People are being quarantined in the confines of their homes, taking all precautions necessary to stay healthy and holding close to their loved ones.

In fear of the scarcity, many resort to stocking up on food and toiletries, which are all good precautionary measures, BUT my friends, do not miss the big picture. If we thought this pandemic has rocked our world, like in countries where hospitals have to ration out supplies such as gloves and masks essential to job performance and even in some hospitals around the world, where medical staff have to make a decision of who will get a respirator to continue living, eventhough the sick are gasping for the breath of life.

Well, that grim and hopeless image I painted pales in comparison to a time that will come, the Tribulation, when this world will encounter far greater adversity than we could ever imagine. Christians will experience the triple threat of devilish characters as the dragon, the Antichrist, and the false prophet. They will step on the scene to rule the world and cause damnation and suffering. Many will have to either choose the mark of the beast in order to survive and be able to buy food or decide that to die is Christ and choose death than take the mark of the beast.

I realize that many might consider this pandemic as hell on earth with all the suffering that many are enduring, but my dear friends, make no mistake, the worse is yet to come.

Does that mean we should go in a state of panic? Absolutely not!

The truth is, it doesn’t matter who you are, we live in a sinful world and we will have to endure suffering and trials, but the important message I’m trying to convey is, you must know who you are in Christ our Lord.

We all need to take the stance, for Christ I live and Christ I die.

I’m reminded of the song:

Oh when the saints go marching in.

Oh when the saints go marching in.

Oh Lord I want to be in that number

Oh when the saints go marching in.

Are you one of those saints?

If so, your name is written in the Book of Life and you are Heaven bound because your a citizen of Heaven.

For many, there’s a sweet, unexplainable peace that is felt in knowing that they are a citizen of Heaven. It changes your outlook on life, the way you envision your future is different from how an unbeliever sees theirs. You live with a secure sense of identity that this life is not the end, there is greater things in store. You live with this guaranteed seal of your promised future because you know that if we have died with Christ, we will also live with him. ~Romans 6:8

Our God is “Mighty to Save”! He will deliver and protect us. Isn’t that what the lyrics of Hillsong Worship says.

“My God is Mighty to save

He is Mighty to save

Forever

Author of salvation

He rose and conquered the grave

Jesus conquered the grave”

Check out what the song continues to say we ought to do…

Shine your light and let the whole world see

We’re singing for the glory of the risen King.

Being a child of the Most High King, your light illuminates with an eternal flame and because our God is the Light of the world, the spotlight is always on Him. So as a citizen of Heaven, you never take your eyes off Him because you know that our help comes from the Lord!

I am always reminded how important it is to let my light shine for Jesus no matter what lies ahead. So even though it’s always a time of wondering, of what the results of my three-month follow up CT scan will be, I refuse to allow negative thoughts to dim my light for Christ. Yes, the human side of me leaves me in a state of wonder, of what the imaging will show, but then the spiritual side of me leaves me in a sense of calm that no matter what appears on the images, God shows up every time. He floods my spirit with a soothing balm of peace, reminding me that the images will never reveal something that He hasn’t allowed to be there.

Pete received a message mid week from my doctor saying, “great results from CT scan.” Though his message was not packed with details, it left us with a sparkling glimmer of hope of much to rejoice about.

Immediately I went to praising because I know that whatever my God does is good!

I serve a God that is mighty to save and He makes no mistakes. He continues to give me life and no matter what, my future is secure because I’m a citizen of Heaven.

An alien living in the U.S. could potentially face the risk of deportation when they defy the laws of our country, but as a citizen of Heaven, not only are our sins washed as far as the East is from the west, but we are Heaven bound and we are made righteous through Christ.

In our virtual chat with my doctor regarding the results of the CT, he shared with us how impressed he was by the results. Certain areas where the cancer was once visible is now gone, areas where it had metastasized, has decreased significantly in size. He said the goal is to complete this round of treatment, which should be done by June and then put me on maintenance drugs.

CT Results

So what does this all mean when you consider people who are strong in the faith, yet they are not getting their prayers answered and they continue to endure the same heartache and suffering?

Well, for a citizen of Heaven, we know that God chooses who He will use or refuse, who He reveals to or conceals from, delivers or reconsiders, whose prayers He will deny or delay. I know it’s a harsh way to look at an all loving God, however, how do you judge the author who writes your story or even condemns the Creator who designed the blueprint of our existence. He is the Author and Perfecter of our faith.

My point is, only He fits the puzzle pieces of our lives in the precise spot. Only He determines where He will connect the lines. Only He can determine the end.

How big is God in your eyes?

It’s when we praise and exalt Him, that He magnifies our image and perception of Himself. He sees past our struggles to our breakthrough. He orchestrates events in our lives with unequivocal precision, extreme techniques, and He customizes every aspect of our future.

So rather than trying to figure Him out or question why He does what He does, we will gain greater trust and dependency on Him when we look to Him as our all sufficient Provider, who is omnisciently aware of the end results because He makes no errors.

In a song by Tauren Wells, the lyrics says:

“You give the sparrows everything they need

You light the stars and You paint the leaves,

You clothe the lilies with Your majesty

And You don’t even love ’em like You love me…”

So whether the results of the CT scan was good or bad, Tauren’s song, “Like You Love Me” reminds me that…

“Who am I in light of everything,

That You would choose to set Your eyes on me?

It blows my mind to think

That You would know my name

And I’m adored by the King of Kings”

So in light of who we are in Christ, which is a citizen of Heaven, our allegiance should forever be pledged to God!

Prior to giving up my Jamaican citizenship to become a U.S. Citizen, I was torn because I thought I would be giving up my Jamaican heritage.

The day I was going to be sworn in as a U.S. Citizen, there were a lot of excitement that permeated the room. Everyone stood united, right hand raised to take the pledge of oath. As memorable as that experience was, it differs significantly from when someone makes a decision of faith to become a citizen of Heaven. There is no need to pledge to our country, the believer confesses his faith to the Son of God as Lord and Savior.

So, even though becoming a U.S. citizen might be an epic experience for a foreigner, it will never compare to the feeling of eternal satisfaction one experiences when you are baptized into the family of Christ. There are no hands raised in the air because we go through a different state of matter, our bodies are immersed in water, and the end result is more than just a physical change of being wet, but rather a spiritual transformation of having been raised up with Christ with a resurrected and cleansed body.

So the next time the media causes you to feel a sense of emotional unrest and distress because of the state of the world due to this COVID-19 pandemic, don’t let your heart be troubled. Be reminded of the goodness and mercy of God and that as a “Citizen of Heaven” we will face troubling times and though we might have to live through it, we can know that God shelters us from the trials we don’t need but allows us to experience what will strengthen and grow our faith. But, be reminded that…

My identity forever is Yours, Yours

I can see your breaking through the clouds

You made this soul to be glory bound

I can hardly keep my feet on the gorund

‘Cause I know I will be free

Lord, won’t you open up the gates wide?

Gonna step into a new life

No way I’m ever leaving Your side

I know I am a citizen of Heaven

As a child, being a foreigner to this country, I was considered an alien; which is a person who is a permanent resident of the country in which he or she resides, but does not have citizenship.

Today, I rejoice in the fact that as a Citizen of Heaven and a child of God, I am reconciled to Christ. I might pledge allegiance to the U.S. flag, however, my declaration of faith gives me my identity in Jesus Christ.

Declaration of Faith

We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.

We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.

We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.

We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful man, regeneration of the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.

We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.

We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.

We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

So, with everything that we see and hear on the news, the social media posts, text messages that instructs us to share with others, can all become overwhelmingly draining and discouraging. I encourage you instead to take control over what you pour into your mind. Fill it with the promises of God and His everlasting truth that He will crush the head of the serpent. The dragon, the Antichrist, the false prophet, every unbeliever who had died apart from Christ, as well as all those who had taken the mark of the beast will be thrown in the pit of fire.

My friends, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deut. 31:6

The COVID might take lives, but Jesus Christ will restore it for all those who are citizens of Heaven.

Oh glory, glory

Oh hallelujah

When I rise, come alive

I’m gon’ fly to You

Oh glory, glory

Oh hallelujah

When I rise, come alive

I’m gon’ fly to You

I know I am a citizen of Heaven

My identity forever is Yours, Yours.

Since my diagnosis in 2018, Pete has never missed any of my appointments. But sadly, because of hospital rules due to COVID, he was not allowed to accompany me.
Though, he was physically absent, this portrait I drew of my hubby, occupied the empty seat.
How did I forget my husband has a beard, not a goatee. Ok, i’ll blame it on the chemo. lol 🤦🏽‍♀️

Author:

Young, vibrant, and physically fit...Patrice is living life! Married to a devoted, God-fearing man, who not only loves the Lord but loves his wife just as Christ loved the church. Keeping Christ interwoven at the center of our marriage, we are reminded that, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves, but a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” With a very fulfilling and rewarding profession, teaching is my passion. I absolutely love and adore my fourth grade darlings. Seeing the sparkle in their eyes when they are ecstatic about doing a fun project or their expression of excitement when they have done well on a test. But the truth is, nothing warms my heart more than when they tell me that I’m the BEST teacher they’ve ever had! Let’s just put it out there that going on a memorable and unforgettable vacation makes life worthwhile. Experiencing the food, the culture, the scenery, the people....now that’s living! This was the year we were going to Spain and Portugal. On a past summer vacation, we enjoyed 21 glorious days with our daughter and son traveling throughout Italy. As my vacation planning was on the way, my hubby suggested that we skip a trip this year and focus on the renovations we had already started on our home. Reluctantly, I had to agree with him. With the kitchen completely gutted and confined to living in the family room as a result of the whole house being retiled, junk foods and take outs became my specialty. During this time of renovation unrest, the various symptoms I began to experience all seemed like just the regular ailments that resulted from poor nutrition and diet. After all, Cheetos, Crunch and Munch, and Goobers were all my cravings of choice after a long day’s work. Symptoms of gassiness, constipation, and gas pains that I started experiencing, I figured would have gone away once my unhealthy eating choices changed. Well, it was not until I witnessed my stomach bloating up and that unbearable feeling of abdominal fullness that my husband suggested I go get it checked out because something didn’t seem right. The sight of my stomach was enough proof that this was MORE than just gas pain! I figured I would confess to the doctor that I haven’t been eating healthy as of late, hence the reasons for my discomforts. Instead, “You have Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer” became my new reality. I was bombarded with treatment plans, appointment dates, endless procedures, and the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial. I decided after hearing my diagnosis that I would stand firm on the Word of God and not on the word of man and their statistics for my recovery. No fear! No crying! No self-pity! No questions asked, “Why me Lord?” Instead, I lifted my hands to Heaven and said, “Lord, I surrender this sickness to You because in my weakness You are strong and this battle is Yours to fight.” With God fighting my battle, I knew I was already victorious. I was ready to put on the full armor of God in order to stand firm with the belt of truth. I must be geared with the breastplate of righteousness, having my feet planted and fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace. I would pick up my shield of faith, take up my helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit; the Word of God. Come with me on my faith-based journey to cancer recovery. I hope you will find courage to face your own “giants” and be encouraged by the strength I have found in relying solely on the Healer and not the healing.

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