Tuesday, March 03, 2009

In Not Of

"...for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world." (John 17:14)
"They are not of the world, even as I am not of it." (John 17:16)
Christians are not of this world. We are to live a life that is holy, or "set apart", and pleasing to the Lord.
"Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world...'" (John 18:36)
We love Jesus because He first loved us. He invited us to join Him in His Kingdom and those who chose life, who chose Jesus, are to live a life worthy of the Kingdom.
"If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world." (John 15:19)
As Christians, our lives should reflect our Kingdom values. Our lives should be "set apart", they should be holy lives.
"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world." (1 John 2:15-16)
I've been thinking about being "in" and not "of" the world a lot recently. I've pointed the finger at myself because I realize I am so eager to throw stones. I've been examing how I'm working out my salvation.

I've been asking myself what does salvation look like? What does living a holy life look like? Does it look the same to everyone?

I believe that a Christian's life should look different than a non-Christian's life,

"A life that is totally and completely dependent on God will always look different!"

just as Jesus' life looked different to the non-believers of His day. His disciple's lives looked different too. A life that is totally and completely dependent on God will always look different! A person who loves the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind and strength, will live a life that expresses that relationship and I really don't see how it can be avoided.

I believe that if I grabbed a person off the street and had them spend the day with a non-believer, and then another whole day with a Christian, that those days would, or should, look different to the person off the street.

I consider whether my life looks different? I think some things do. Somethings, unfortunately do not. Other things, I know aren't different...especially my thought life.

What kind of things do I fill my life with that reflects the fact that I dwell in His Kingdom? There are a few different things about my life that I would say shows that I am not "of" this world. One is that I am very discerning about what music I listen to. I choose to listen to mainly Christian music, and music that carries positive messages. It's been quite awhile since I purchased anything secular. The radio is tuned to Christian music stations and mostly talk radio, but I listen mainly to my CDs which contain music that edify and glorifies God.

Television is another aspect in my Christian walk that has really changed. Basically, I haven't watched tv since 1999. I have a tv in the house, but no cable, which means we can receive one channel, the local ABC affiliate. I don't watch it. No one here really does, except now and then the news and Katie does enjoy Lost. I don't think the kids are being deprived either, at least not watching tv keeps them from being depraved!

I do watch movies, but again, I am very discerning about what I watch. I won't go to movies rated above PG-13, and I usually "screen" movies at Plugged In before going to view any. The movies I watch at home used to be Clean Films versions, until they were forced out of business. Still, we try to avoid movies that glamorize sex and/or violence, and have no redeeming value at all.

I am selective about what I read as well. Most of my reading material consists of Bible studies, theological studies and apologetics, and devotional material. Lately though, I haven't been reading enough of that stuff! I also read Discipleship Journal magazine and enjoy Reader's Digest, and other Christian magazines I subscribe to. I do read a lot of blogs too!

Then comes my finger pointing. One way I do NOT do very well with leading a holy

"As a Christian, our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit"

life is giving my body as a living sacrifice. I am not big on excercising and should probably do better taking care of this body. I need to improve in my eating habits. I consciously try to eat healthier foods, fruit instead of snickers bars, and water, instead of Coke, and did well for awhile, but do you realize how much easier it is to find a candy bar instead of fruit when you are hungry and trying to hold out until dinner? And I'm not very good with the water drinking! As a Christian, our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and how we care for them should reflect that fact. I am very convicted.

I'm not always the tidiest person around either. I wonder sometimes if Christians should work a bit harder to maintain a clutter-free life and keep things simple. I pile things. Mail piles up all over the counter and my clothes pile up on my dresser. This is definitely an area I need to improve in and should, since I should be preparing for my mansion in paradise!

Another area of my life that is probably not serving Christ well all the time is the addiction I have to this computer and the Internet! I don't do anything "bad" on here, it is just possible that I spend too much time here and not with God. Katie keeps reprimanding me for making this an "idol". ugh. She's probably right.

I wonder sometimes what my life looks like to other people. I wonder if they can actually see that I live for God? I do believe it should be noticeable, and if it isn't, maybe I'm living too much like the world.

I am in this world, not of it. The world should "hate" me. If the world doesn't hate me, it is quite possible that I look too much like it.

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