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July 14, 2021
March 21, 2024

Summer Selah: Grace Green Card

Summer ought to be a season when we’re able to rest well—a time we can spend with the Lord and His goodness. But, oftentimes, we actually fall out of healthy spiritual habits and end up trying to rest from the Lord instead of resting in Him.

That’s why we’ve created the Summer Selah Series. Over 40 days, we’ll be sharing daily devotions during a season where you may not feel very devoted.

Based on excerpts from his book Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion, Ross Lester, our Pastor of Preaching and West Congregation Pastor, will provide readings from select Psalms, a brief devotional reflection, and some prayer points for each of the 40 days.


Take some time to read Psalm 87. Then, come back and read the following verses again.

“Among those who know me I mention Rahab and Babylon;
behold, Philistia and Tyre, with Cush—
‘This one was born there,’ they say.
And of Zion it shall be said,
‘This one and that one were born in her’;
for the Most High himself will establish her.” (Psalm 87:4-5 ESV)


A few years ago, my family moved from South Africa to the U.S. You can’t just do that. You have to have the proper permissions and paperwork. It costs tens of thousands of dollars, countless hours of administrative work, and the willingness to be vaccinated within an inch of your life against every known ailment that has ever threatened humanity. We had to go through this process for myself, for my wife, and for my daughter but my son was exempt. Why? Well, he was born in the U.S.A. (cue Spingsteen) and is therefore a U.S. citizen, which is a status that brings certain privileges along with it.

Psalm 87 speaks of the divine privileges bestowed upon those born in Zion, God’s own city—their tremendous birthrights. These birthrights were way better than carrying a US passport. They were the guarantee of the full rights as sons and daughters of the King. They were diplomatic immunity and trust fund cash all rolled into one. The Psalm then goes on to say something remarkable though, something that must have annoyed anyone who had a Jerusalem passport. It says,

“Among those who know me I mention Rahab and Babylon;
behold, Philistia and Tyre, with Cush—
‘This one was born there,’ they say.”

These were cities that were seen as wicked and abhorrent, yet God says that, in His grace, there would be a day when people from those cities would be given the full birthrights of those from Zion. God held a green card lottery through salvation, and we are all recipients of new passports as a result.

The point of all of this is simple. It doesn’t really matter where you are coming from, what matters is where God says you are going. Your past restrictions, because of your sin, don’t have to eliminate you from your inheritance as a son or daughter and your citizenship in the new Jerusalem.

Just think of it, in the great passport and customs line in the sky, all of us who are in Christ can expect the warm greeting, “This one was born in Zion. Welcome home.”


Father God, Your grace is just so marvelous. Thanks for making me, a foreigner and alien, into a citizen of Your great kingdom. Help me to start to represent that kingdom well.

Ross Lester, Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion (Magnolia, Texas: Lucid Books, 2017)

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