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Seeds of the Kingdom

Temporary Residents

by Gemma Gardner

6 September 2019

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Dear friends, I warn you as ‘temporary residents and foreigners’ to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbours.
1 Peter 2:11-12, NLT

Since Dean and I have been married, we have lived in three different homes. Our first home was a bungalow in Norfolk, England. We were very happy there, and had good neighbours. We were there over ten years, but when the Lord called us to get more involved with Ellel Grange, we left our bungalow in Norfolk and moved to another one in Morecambe, just twenty minutes’ drive from Ellel Grange.

We lived there for five years, and again, were blessed with good neighbours. None of our neighbours were Christians, but we tried to share the Gospel with them whenever there was an opportunity. We were happy in our home at Morecambe, but our circumstances changed, and we needed to be nearer to Dean’s parents as their health was failing. Norfolk is a long way from Morecambe, so last year we moved back into Norfolk, this time into a terraced house with four bedrooms.

Moving house is always very stressful and full of uncertainties, and it was hard having to uproot and leave the homes we loved, but we reminded ourselves that really, nothing is ours to keep. We are temporary residents on the earth, and the most important thing for Dean and I was to know that we were in the centre of God’s will, living where He wanted us to be, and doing what He wanted us to do. It was hard leaving the Ellel Grange family, but we have been back twice since we moved and have enjoyed precious fellowship with brothers and sisters in the Lord.

After our most recent visit to Ellel Grange, we decided to go to Morecambe, and while there we visited our old home. It was sad to see the state it was in. It looked uncared for, the hedge was growing wild, and an old mattress was outside leaning against the wall. We felt sorry for our previous neighbours who lived either side.

The Bible tells us to live as temporary residents and foreigners here in the world. ‘Dear friends, I warn you as ‘temporary residents and foreigners’ to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbours’ (1 Peter 2:11-12).

It’s easy to get caught up in worldly pursuits and earthly comforts and fill our time with pleasures and take our eyes off the Lord. One way of keeping on track is to remember that we are foreigners and temporary residents. We are awaiting our permanent home in heaven. What matters most here is that we make it our goal to please the Lord in all we do and say, and then He will keep us safe and protect us from all the devices of the evil one.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I thank You that You came to give us life and want us to live life abundantly. Please would You help me to keep walking with You day by day, and not let the things of this world get in the way of my relationship with You. Help me to always remember that I am a temporary resident and that I brought nothing into the world, and I can take nothing out of it. I ask this for Your glory. Amen.

Gemma Gardner lives in Norfolk with her husband, Dean, who until recently worked at Ellel Grange. They are both part of the Associate Ministry team which Gemma joined after completing the Modular school. Gemma has experienced the Lord`s healing and restoration over many years and longs to see Him healing other broken people. Gemma loves listening to music, cooking, knitting and crochet as well as outdoor exercise. She enjoys playing guitar and singing worship songs.

 

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