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Devotional - week of October 21, 2007


STRANGERS AND PILGRIMS ON THIS EARTH

 

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

 

The eleventh chapter of Hebrews is known as the faith chapter of the Bible.  The words “These all” in verse 13, refer to all of the people of faith mentioned earlier in the chapter.

 

Hebrews 11:9-10 presents Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as examples of living on earth as strangers and pilgrims.

 

By faith he [Abraham] dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.  Hebrews 11:9-10

 

Paul wrote in Romans, “Be not conformed to this world but be transformed” and the Apostle John told the readers of 1 John not to “love the world.” Both inspired writers were encouraging all believers to live as strangers and pilgrims on the earth. Jesus surely had this in mind when He said, “Store not up for yourselves treasures on earth … but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven …”

 

This earth is not our place of permanent dwelling. All believers are destined for something far better than this.  

 

We are like the person who is traveling through several towns on his way to have a pleasant reunion with loved ones. He is a stranger and pilgrim in the places through which he travels.

 

We can joyfully admit that we are strangers and pilgrims on this earth because we are on our way to a life that is much superior to the life we are living today.  

 

We may join those who are mentioned in Hebrews 11 in confessing that we are strangers and pilgrims on this earth by setting “our minds on things above, not on things of the earth” (Colossians 3:2).

 

When we experience our spiritual resurrection, we experience life in the heavenlies as taught in Ephesians chapters one and two. This enables us to set our minds on things above and not on things on the earth.