Monday, July 11, 2011

"IN" the World, but Not "OF" It"

Talk about an inflated ego! Pride definitely took over this little cat.

Good Evening to All!

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)

The NKJV Reference states: This verse has profound implications for discipleship. Our desire should not be to isolate ourselves from the world, but to use Christ's Word and the Holy Spirit's power to serve Him while our life lasts. Yet, at the same time, we should not become like the world, succumbing to the evil influences of the world.

I would like to get a little more indepth. While I understand what this Reference is saying, I must say I take a bit of issue with the word "evil" influence. The reason I say this is because the influence doesn't have to be "evil" to start monopolizing our time, resources and thoughts and steering them away from God.

We go to baseball games, track and field events and all kinds of events. We love all kinds of entertainment. Personally, I enjoy my computer. I can sit at it for hours doing all kinds of things. These are all worldly things, and they are ok, UNTIL they start taking the place of our time with God. When our children cannot go to Youth on Friday night because they have a baseball game EVERY Friday night, then baseball is getting in the way. The same goes for any other school sport. Sometimes is one thing, but EVERY week is a different story. I used our kids sports events as an example, but there are other events as well.

I have had people comment about our faith not believing in watching tv. It isn't the TV that's bad, it's what is on it. It portrays smoking, taking drugs, and drink as the "norm" and ok. Casual sex is another thing. It is portrayed as an everyday occurrence. That if you don't do it you are the odd one! The problem is, the way the world has become, we cannot even watch good Christian shows because the commercials in between are so bad. The "world's mindset " today is if it doesn't have blood, guts and gore in it, then it won't sell. If people aren't running around half nude using all kinds of profanities then it won't do good at the box office or ratings.

What they don't understand is, if they would quit making those kinds of commercials and shows all together, then people would still watch tv and movies because it's either clean entertainment or none. Their idea that tv and movies have to have immorality and violence is all part of the worldly mindset.

As far as "my weakness", it's my computer. I love spending time playing games, typing my blog posts and being involved with blog communities. The problem with this is I don't manage my time wisely. Before I started blogging, I still spent a lot of time on my computer, but it was listening to the Bible on line.

Now, I still do it, but not near as much time as I used to . Therefore, I have replaced my "time with God" with my blog, (which is still God oriented, but not the same as reading and studying the Bible), and playing games. I have let my "spiritual desires turn into more worldly cares, so I need to take a few steps back and get my priorities back in place. I need to quit playing so many "games" on my computer and concentrate on listening to the Bible on line, and then praying about what God wants me to post about. I do pray about it, but I have noticed that since I have cut back on listening on line to the Bible, it seems like I'm more indecisive, which is an answer in itself. I can't hear God speaking to me about what to post if I'm not listening, and studying.

I couldn't believe when I saw the devotion for today which is my topic for tonight. My Pastor just taught on this same thing Wednesday night.

We sometimes make the mistake as Christians thinking that we have to "blend in" with our friends of the world to maybe help them see differently. I have seen Christians with totally good intentions fall by the wayside, because in the attempt to blend in to win people to Christ, they have taken on the mindset of the world and started drinking or doing other things that people of the world do. Blending in will not win anyone to Christ, because if we would just think about it, when they see us doing the same things they are doing why should they change? We need to show them that there is a better way. That people can still enjoy life and entertainment while living a godly lifestyle.

The second point about Being in but not of the world is our attitudes. Watching too much graphic violence in the form of entertainment, as happens in the world, can harden our consciences and reduce our sensitivity to god's voice. Many people in the world today are becoming numb to the agonies that real people suffer because they see tragedies portrayed on television. To add to the problem, the news media seems like it shows much more bad news than good human interest stories. Why can't they try and balance it out? I understand that bad things are happening in the world. It's a sign of the times. What I'm getting at is that I wish we could go back before "cable tv". When we weren't bombarded with graphic satellite images from the war, or other bad things happening. It's one thing to be told what's going on in the news cast, or newspapers, but to have to have the images ingrained in our minds in needless, especially for young formative minds.

These things along with the filthy language which are allowed on records, and tv shows now days help to form our children's minds and personalities and then we wonder why and how children become aggressive toward their parents, and peers at school.

It seems to me that people are completely backward. Here they are worried about their child having to sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in a Christmas pageant because it has the word Christmas, or wanting to omit the words "Under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance" which has been fine and accepted for over centuries until the last few years and even knocking prayer out of school!. I mean to me this is all ridiculous. Especially, if you look at the steady decline of our world's attitudes as they started caving in to these idiotic demands. If you don't want your kid to sing about Christmas, don't let them participate in the pageant. (The whole pageant is about Christmas anyway). If you don't want your kid to say the words under God, tell them not to say the words. If you don't want your kid to pray, tell them not to pray, but at least allow the children and others who want their children to have " a leg up" on this moral decayed world a chance by keeping God in their everyday lives.

I totally believe that these things which I have mentioned are part of Satan's overall plan for the world. The further away we move from God, the better chance he will have at devouring us. He is very subtle. Look at what he did to Eve. He used the lust of the eye, (the tree looked wonderful and the fruit good enough to eat. He used pride ( telling her if they ate of the tree they would be like Gods) and so on. He twisted God's words around so that it sounded good and before she knew it, he had pulled her into his web of lies. He does that to us today, by using the world.

Well, I could go on and on. Thoughts are still racing in my mind, but I imagine this is getting to be pretty long-winded. My main point is to keep your priorities straight. What ever you do, ask yourself if it is taking you away from your time with God. Ask yourself, if Jesus were "hanging out with you" in the flesh, would you be doing what your doing. If the answer to the first is yes, then adjust your time accordingly. If the answer to the second is no, then I would suggest that you change your activities to something that you wouldn't be ashamed of. After all, Jesus can see what you are doing right now, all the time. If He were to show up tonight, would you be able to ask Him to join in your activity? Better yet, if He were to come for "His Bride" tonight, would you be the one taken up, or left behind?

We must remember that God says to "step out and be ye separate from the world". Sin is NOT going to be allowed in Heaven. God is pure therefore He cannot dwell with sin. We cannot live in both worlds either. We cannot have one foot in the world and the other in the spiritual realm. We cannot serve two masters. We are either "of the world" or we are "of God".

Y'all I know I was way past "long-winded tonight. I will make up for it tomorrow. I will be doing a book review on a small book, so I will definitely be short and sweet. This being said, I really hope that at least some of what I said rang true with what you are feeling, or even helped some realize that they need to re-examine their priorities.

The Answers to the Bible Challenge "PEOPLES OF THE BIBLE" are as follows:

1. b) descendants of Canaan (Genesis 9:25, Joshua 11:23)
2. a) Syrians (Genesis 25:20
3. b) Hivites (Genesis 34)
4. b) Ishmaelites (Genesis 37:28)
5. c) they were giants (Numbers 13:33)
6. d) Moabites (Numbers 22:3-4)
7. d) Philistines (Judges 16:4-5)
8. c) Syrians (1 Kings 15:18)
9. B) Babylonians (2 Kings 20:12)
10. a) Sabeans (Job 1:15)

Good Night to All and May God Bless!

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1 comment:

Marianne said...

Wonderful post PJ!! I especially liked how you mentioned, if Jesus was hanging out with you, would you be doing what you are doing. That is a great thought to remember. I truly believe if you surround yourself with "good" things, you will be a good person. Thanks for your words & insight!
Marianne

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