Thursday, July 22, 2010
"In" but Not "Of"
Good Evening to All!
This verse was spoken by Jesus as He prayed to his Father to glorify him, to preserve his apostles, and All other believers.
I have given and delivered to them Your word (message) and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world [do not belong to the world], just as I am not of the world. (John 17:14 Amp. version)
The verse for tonight teaches us that as believers, we are in the world but not of the world, which means that we cannot take a worldly view of things. Not becoming like the world in our ways and attitudes requires constant vigilance. Watching too much graphic violence in the form of entertainment, as happens in the world, can sear or harden our consciences and reduce our sensitivity to God's voice. Many people in the world today are desensitized to the agonies real people suffer because they see tragedies portrayed so often on television.
The news media frequently deliver negative reports or tragic stories in unemotional, matter-of-fact ways and we often see and hear these things without feeling. We hear of so many terrible things that we no longer respond to tragedy with the appropriate emotions of compassion or outrage we should display.
I believe these things are part of Satan's overall plan for the world. He wants us to become hard-hearted and unengaged emotionally when we become aware of horrible events that take place around us. He does not want us to care about those affected by such things. But, as Christians, we should care, we should feel, and we should pray. Whenever we hear about what is happening in the world, we should ask God for His perspective and inquire as to how He wants us to respond. We then need to listen for His response and act accordingly. This is one way we can be in the world by not of the world.
God's Word for You Today: Take a stand for godly values and never compromise.
We must not do things just because it is the "accepted thing" to do in today's society. We are getting deeper and deeper into the latter days, and the time for Jesus' coming for us is getting closer and closer. Last night at church, our Pastor had us watch a DVD of a conference where a pastor was preaching about Mercy. He spoke of when God has to pull His mercy back from us. As long as we are walking toward Him even when we fall or stumble God's Mercy will reach out and save us. If we have been in contact with Him, if we have felt His presence whether it be in church or out of church, and then walk away from Him toward the worldly side of life then as much as He may love us, He has to let us go. It is our choice to walk toward or away from Him. Therefore, if we choose to walk away from Him, we cannot expect Him to "hang on to us" because then it would not be by our choice.
After we have been in church, and know what He expects from us it is our choice which direction we want to go. If we choose to go out "partying and drinking" we know that this is not what God wants for us, therefore we are walking toward the world. If we choose to watch R or X rated movies, that is our choice to walk toward the worldly side. The more "worldly acclimated we become, the harder it is for His mercy to reach us until it is finally TOO far. Not only that, the more worldly we become the harder it is for us to return to Him (in our hearts). Yes, it is possible to be worldly and go to church, but just remember, God looks at your heart. It is impossible to hide or disguise what is in your heart. God knows all, God sees all. You might be able to hide the drinking and drugs from family or friends, or even church family but Not from the ONE to whom you will be accountable. Remember, a moment's pleasure is not worth an eternity away from God.
A quick thought... Just think, you might be the person someone else is looking to as an example and you might not even know it. Wouldn't it be neat if one day, someone came up to you and said, " thank you for NOT accepting that joint that was being passed around, I didn't have the courage to pass it up until I saw you do it." " Thank you for not going out drinking with those people. I really didn't want to, but I thought I'd get laughed at for not wanting to go, until you declined." Wouldn't those comments be much nicer hearing than "Man! We got so wasted!" I can't even remember what happened!" "I can't believe "Mary" overdosed that night!"
Anyway, what I am trying to say is we need to be concentrating on being a blessing to others, rather than a curse. We ALL influence people we come in contact with whether we know them or not. I remember seeing a movie called the "Butterfly Effect" years ago. It was about how one event can trigger many events all around us, and we wouldn't even know it.
In case you might be interested in looking up some other scriptures related to this verse: according to my new Thompson Chain-Reference Bible (which is SO cool!) You can look up Romans 12:2 Which says : And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.
1 Corinthians 7:31: And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.
Galatians 6:14, 2 Timothy 2:4, Hebrews 11:24-25, 1 John 2:15 and many others.
I LOVE this Bible. I can look up ONE scripture, and just like a chain, it will give me many others to look up for that specific topic all in one place. I don't have to search and search for each verse! I wish I had known about this Bible a long time ago.I know the pictures only depict one side of choices, but I decided not to give Satan the benefit of notoriety. After all he is the "ruler of this world."
Good night to All and May God Bless!
Devotional taken from Joyce Meyer's "hearing from GOD in the morning"
References: Thompson Chain-Reference Bible KJV