Historians have debated for years on whether or not there were really Scientists and others who once believed the earth was flat. Many historians now claim it was a legend created by an American historian prior to 1800. One thing we know for sure is that in 1492 Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain in hopes of finding better trade routes by sea to the Indies. He accidentally stumbled on the Americas or as some called it “The New World.” A few years later, inspired by the discovery of The New World, King Charles V of Spain coined the Latin phrase “Plus Ultra” which means “further beyond”. To this day it is still the national motto of Spain. That phrase has been used by armies, sport teams, and others as a metaphorical suggestion of taking risks and striving for excellence.
The average American lives for the next day off, the upcoming weekend, the next golf outing, the beach vacation, the next fishing or hunting trip, and a plethora of other activities that bring us great pleasure. As Christians we need to remember this world is not our home, there is something “further beyond”, a place where innocent children are not murdered in classrooms, a place where babies lives are not snuffed out before they take their first breath, there will be no political debates, no cancer, no sadness, just an eternity of sitting at the feet of our Creator and Savior! Paul reminded us in Phil 3:20 that our “citizenship”, same word as “conversation” is in Heaven, not here on earth.
“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:” Philippians 3:20
Peter referred to Christians as “strangers”, “pilgrims”, and “sojourners” (temporary residents) in this land and as such we should live right and do right.
“And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:” 1 Peter 1:17
“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.”
1 Peter 2:11-12
There is nothing wrong with taking time for rest, relaxation, and recreation. We must however, stay focused on using the time God has given us here on earth to bring glory to Him. We must strive for “spiritual excellence” and “take risks” by telling everyone we meet about our permanent home in Heaven, about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “Plus Ultra, Further Beyond” is a great motto for us as Christians!