“I’m A Stranger Here”
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.
I Peter 2:11
A stranger does not feel at home where he is, and neither does a Christian in this world. He is not a citizen of earth trying to get to heaven but a citizen of heaven sojourning on earth. This world is “his passage, not his portion.”
We of the Heavenly Commonwealth do not feel at home here, we just “don’t belong.” We speak another language. When the cocktails are offered we refuse and when the dirty jokes are told we do not join the laughter, not because of a Pharasaic self-righteousness but simply because we are “strangers.” It is not always comfortable to be a “foreigner.” And they will think it strange if we don’t “make ourselves at home” (I Pt. 4:4), especially if we once took part with them.
The world will do its utmost to make us “one of the crowd.” Nothing is more insidious than the hospitality of this age. But, while we need not be discourteous, we must not be deceived.
What’s In A Surname?
And Simon he surnamed Peter.
Our Lord had two outstanding apostles, Peter and Paul. Peter He surnamed and Paul He renamed. To Peter He said, “Thou art Simon…..thou shalt be called Cephas.” A lot had to happen before the handful of sand become a rock. But Jesus saw not merely the man he was but the man he was to be. Not that our Lord went around “seeing the good in everybody,” the latent possibilities, calling out “hidden powers.” He knew what was in man.” He saw within Simon nothing that Simon could make of himself, but rather what God would make of him.
To educate the old Adam is to make him doubly dangerous. To polish him is to render him far more deceptive. To make him more religious is to leave him tenfold more the child of hell. When Jesus saw Simon, he saw Peter, not by reformation but by transformation.
“Thou art…thou shalt be.” Move out of your name into your surname! Come to Him just as you are, and by His grace be what you may become! What’s in a surname? Everything, when it means that! “And Simon he surnamed Peter.”