Friday, March 01, 2019

Dare to Be Different

Today's Reading:
2 Kings 6:1-7:20
2 Corinthians 6:14-7:7
Psalm 101:1-8
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Focus Verses: 2 Corinthians 6:14-17
14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." 17 "Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord."

Christians have always struggled with being in the world and yet not shaped by it. Our place in the world is, in many respects, a role of being different from the world—light in the midst of darkness; truth in the midst of deception and confusion; love in the midst of hate; humility in the midst of pride; generosity in the midst of selfishness and greed.

To truly follow Jesus, who's Kingdom is not from the world, we must embrace his mission to change and redeem the world. We cannot subvert the evil and sin in our world without being different from it. We cannot serve two masters. We must turn away from any allegiance or bond that would hinder our loyalty and faithfulness to Jesus.

Response and Action:
I need to be very careful about the ties and commitments I make. I need to be in the world, but I also need to not let the world squeeze me into its mold (Roman 12:1). I must follow Jesus' example to love, minister, serve, and save. I must also follow his example to challenge, confront, reject, and resist evil.

Dear Lord, help me to be in the world as Jesus was in it. Help me to be truly engaged with my world and culture, and yet truly different from it. Help me to be an instrument of your grace and power. Where there is hatred, let me bring love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is discord, unity. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is darkness light. Lead me away from temptation and deliver me from evil. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: 1 John 2:14-16
14 I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
 15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 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.

Too Christian, Too Pagan
by Dick Staub

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