Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,
Today (Tuesday, July 24 as I write) Daniela and I received our residence permit cards (Aufenthaltstitel) in the mail. That really made our day! We began the process of applying as soon as we arrived three weeks ago, and other work was done in the preceding months. So we are so glad to finally have them. It means we now have official permission to stay and work here. In addition, we can do other necessary things like open a bank account and receive the shipment of our goods from Malaysia.
Of course, neither Switzerland nor any country gives these residence permits out freely or indiscriminately. A person doesn’t get one just because they want one. There is paperwork to fill out and forms to complete – both by the employer (IBCZ in our case) and by the applicant. There are fees to pay. A background check is conducted. One has to demonstrate that there is a legitimate and compelling reason for you to receive a residence permit. If the host country determines that for some reason the applicant is not deserving of a residence permit, one will not be granted.
Aren’t you glad it is not like that in the Kingdom of God! As Eph. 2:8-9 reminds us, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” Our salvation is God’s gift to us, made possible by the atoning death of Christ (Rom. 3:23-25). It is all God’s grace, we don’t have to earn it. We simply open our hearts to receive the grace God freely offers us.
I know this is nothing new for most if not all of us. But each day it is good to take a couple minutes and reflect anew on the wonder of God’s saving grace, that we are not merely residents but citizens of God’s Kingdom now and forever. We can experience the fullness of God’s love for all eternity. When we live in light of God’s grace and love, joy fills our hearts. God offers this to us each and every day.
May you live this day and always centered in the grace and love of God.