Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:13–16
A. This weekend America celebrates the cherished concept of freedom upon which this republic was built.
B. As threats increase against our liberties as American citizens, we need to remember that our true citizenship is not earth-bound.
I. Some of the most faithful have lived as strangers on this earth.
A. Abraham was a stranger nearly everywhere he ever lived (Hebrews 11:9; Genesis 12:10; 17:8; 23:4).
B. Abraham’s descendants often lived as strangers as well (Genesis 26:1–3; 32:4; Psalms 105:23; Deuteronomy 26:5; Acts 7:6, 29).
C. David also knew what it meant to be a stranger (1 Samuel 27:1–7; Psalms 39:12; 1 Chronicles 29:14–16).
D. Jesus was never at home in this world (Matthew 8:20).
E. The apostles were also wanderers (1 Corinthians 4:11–13).
II. We expect strangers to be different.
A. They are different in appearance (Romans 12:2).
B. They are different in speech (Judges 12:5–6; Mark 14:70).
C. They usually know little about issues that are important to us (Luke 24:18).
III. We need to act like the strangers that we are in this world.
A. We need to abstain from the lustful activities that this world promotes (1 Peter 1:1; 2:9–11).
B. We need to be honest among the people of this world (1 Peter 2:12; Genesis 21:22–32; 23:6; Romans 12:17–18).
C. We need to understand that we will be disliked by the world (1 Peter 2:12; John 15:18; 1 Peter 3:15–16).
As the people of this world behold our appearance, our language, and our behavior, do they see a stranger in their midst or one of their own?