We live in the tension of the now, the tension of being where we are and of still being who we are. We are immersed in all the advantages and perils of our world at this historic time. Our beliefs as consumers, citizens, parents, and church members matter. We are normal people of our own century within the culture of a particular nation. The challenge is to be in the community, in the work force, in the family, in the church and in all our relationships as “salt” and “light”. Daily, our senses are pounded by local, national, and international news, media of all kinds, social pressures. Jesus did not expect his followers to live in a cocoon, nor can we. As we consider our culture’s ways of thinking and acting, what does it mean for us to be “in the world” but to live differently?
Confirm us in truth.
How is our lifestyle influenced by our culture? How does it impact on our attitudes when we shop, listen to the news, reject or accept people and ideas, educate our children, and all the usual things in life? Does it bring light and savor to others?
I do not ask that you take them out of the world
but that you keep them from evil.
They do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world,
so I sent them into the world.
Jesus teaches us another way: Go out. Go out and share your testimony, go out and interact with your brothers and sisters, go out and share, go out and ask. Become the Word in body as well as spirit.
Jesus is ideal and wonderful, but you Christians – you are not like him.
Jesus does not give recipes that show the way to God as other teachers of religion do. He is himself the way.
The world needs to see Christians burning, not with self-righteous fury at the sliding morals in our country, but with passion for God.
Make sure of your commitment to Jesus Christ, and seek to follow Him every day. Don’t be swayed by the false values and goals of this world, but put Christ and His will first in everything you do.
Where there is no total commitment to the gospel, there has been no total liberation by the gospel.
We do not have time to waste our lives coasting out casual, comfortable Christianity.