A pilgrim is a person who goes on a long journey often with a religious or moral purpose, and especially to a foreign land. After the Mayflower arrived, the first baby born was a boy. His parents (William and Susannah White) named him Peregrine - a word which means traveling from far away and also means pilgrim. Governor William Bradford calls the Plymouth settlers pilgrims when he writes about their departure from Leiden, Holland to come to America: “They knew they were pilgrims, and looked not much on those things, but lifted up their eyes to the heavens, their dearest country; and quieted their spirits.” Governor Bradford also wrote a poem in which he refers to himself as a pilgrim.
'Pilgrim' became (by the early 1800s at least) the popular term applied to all the Mayflower passengers - and even to other people arriving in Plymouth in those early years - so that the English people who settled Plymouth in the 1620s are generally called the Pilgrims.
The Bible calls Christians pilgrims. In his first letter Peter writes to the "pilgrims" of the Dispersion (NKJV). The word pilgrim or sojourner, expresses the temporary nature of a stay in one place. A pilgrim or sojourner is one who does not put their roots down in one place. A Christian pilgrim is one who does not dwell in the world- one whose roots are not anchored to the world or to the world system. We are as pilgrims traveling through until we get to our real homeland- heaven.
Peter writes in 2:11-12 "Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against your soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation."
There is a mindset to adopt. The mindset is that we are passing through as pilgrims. We are to think of ourselves as beloved by God and this world is not our home. In fact, we are on enemy turf!!
There is a war to wage. The war is against sin and lusts which war against your soul. As pilgrims we are to fight for holiness and purity. We are to exert ourselves and fight the battles of temptation while at the same time yielding ourselves to the indwelling Holy Spirit. This is a never ending war.
There is a way to live. The way to live is to live as a Christian. Our conduct is to be that of Christ's and honorable to Him. Let the world live as they may but let the pilgrim live to honor our Lord.
There is a Day to remember. The Day is the Day he visits us- when Christ returns! We live now knowing one day we will give an account to Jesus. we will be found guilty living as pilgrims or living like the world?
Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!
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