Thursday, November 1, 2012

An Answer for Anonymous

your website truely inspired me - I am doing a small talk in my school about being not of this world and instead living this world for god and you have really helped me to grasp some ideas! I would love to hear your views on 'conforming to the patterns of this world!'
Thanks - x

Let me answer in two parts- first about living in the world without being of it and then about no longer conforming to the patterns of this world.
When we become believers, we are changed. We continue to live in this world, but we are no longer of it. When we turn our lives over to God, accepting Jesus' sacrifice for our sins, we come alive spiritually and become a son or daughter of God. This is only the beginning of a brand new life!  Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.  What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?  Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?"
-Matthew 16:24-26 
 In other words, our old selves with our old desires are set aside in order to seek God's will for our lives instead.  Instead of living our lives to satisfy ourselves, we live our lives to satisfy our Father and that is when we find peace and happiness beyond anything this world could ever offer.  After all, he is the one who sees the future and knows the best path for our lives.
 It's the Holy Spirit within us that is able to ascertain God's will and we understand his word through new eyes.  As Jesus said, "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.  That is why the world hates you.  Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.'  If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also..."-John 15:19-20  Surely our Lord was persecuted, even unto death; the very death that saves our souls.  So when others laugh at us or mock our faith, don't take offense and do what Jesus said: But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven....-Matthew  5:44

As our souls are transformed, so must be our ways of thinking and living.  No longer should we conform to this world, because If we continue to conform to this world, we will be just like everyone else and have no testimony; and without a change in our lives we can't show others what God has done for us.  
As it says in Romans 12:2: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is- his good, pleasing, and perfect will.

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful.-Colossians 3:12-15 

So we live in this world as lights that shine in the darkness, and this world is dark indeed. 
Have you ever been in a pitch black room, feeling along for a light switch and unable to find one?  It doesn't take long to start feeling panicky.  But then a friend comes and throws on the lights and we can see everything around us.  The switch may have been right in front of us the whole time, but it took someone who knew where it was to turn it on.  This is what we should be like; one who floods the room with the light that is our Father and his love.   People are lonely, hurting, and grasping for any straw of love.  These are the people we are called to help.  Simple acts or words of kindness go a long way in a hurting heart.  When in doubt, ask what our Savior would do.   He always loved the down and out, even when the religious people of his day looked down on him for "eating with the sinners." 

If we stay in our tight little circle of believers, how do we reach the lost?
This calls for wisdom.  I wouldn't advise going to a kegger and preaching!  
But that girl that no one ever talks to...you could look her in the the eye, smile and strike up a conversation.  When a homeless person asks for money, give if you feel led, but always ask if you can pray with or for them.  Sometimes instead of giving money I pass on by (if I'm in my car) and come back with a sack lunch and offer prayer then.  When we keep an active prayer life, the Spirit will direct us to those he'd have us minister to.

This world is all about me, myself and I.  What can I get?  But walking with God means asking instead: what can I give?

I hope I've answered your questions and that your talk at school goes well!  
Anyone else out there with questions, I welcome them and will always do my best to answer them.  Wishing you lots of blessings.



2 comments:

  1. your writing always inspires us. love u

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  2. LOL, love you too, Mom and Jack :)

    ReplyDelete