Are we claiming our true citizenship?

Our real heritage is not national or cultural; it is spiritual.

Have you ever considered how much our environment appears to govern us? In many ways this is obvious; the Eskimo wears warm furs to shield himself from the cold, and those who live on the equator wear very little because of the heat. But on deeper levels, how much are we unconsciously governed by where we live?

Very often when asked where we live, we reply by stating the country, state, or town in which we reside. This in most instances gives a picture of our surroundings. New York may conjure up skyscrapers; London, the changing of the guard and the Houses of Parliament; Australia, wide-open spaces and surf beaches; Russia, cold tundra and Red Square. But what of the mental environment where we live? Are we unconsciously accepting limitations, false influences, and behavioral patterns imposed on us by our particular location on the globe?

Many great men and women throughout history have risen above national and cultural limitations. This was of course supremely true of Christ Jesus. In an era of strong, sometimes fanatical nationalist feeling among the Jews, Jesus' Jewish background did not restrict his compassionate outreach wherever faith responded to his ministry. The limitations of Pharisaism and other Jewish sects never conditioned his thinking. Yet he did not break with the spiritual trends of thought of Abraham and his successors but rather built on and expanded them, demonstrating the full healing and saving power of divine Truth. Although physically located in the Middle East, he could truly declare, "I am the light of the world." John 8:12. And the Bible tells us that he came "that the world through him might be saved." John 3:17.

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June 29, 1987

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