In the World, But Not of the World

S (Scripture) – John 17:14-18 “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.  As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.”

O (Observation) – Heavenly Father, this world is our classroom, each day bringing new lessons to prepare us for eternity; training ground, where our hearts must be prepared for You.  We are not of this world.  Our entire existence in this earthly life is to learn what it means to follow Your heart, walking in step with Your Spirit, abiding in You, and doing the work You have called us to do – sharing Your love to the rest of the world.  Our “real life” starts when we die – both figuratively (to self) and literally.

A (Application) – We are not of the world, yet we are sent into the world.  This means that we should look and act like followers of Jesus in a broken generation.  If there is not much different about us from the rest of the world, we should ask the Lord to reveal to us anything that is not of Him.  As we grow closer to Him, our lives slowly start to become “sanctified by the truth.”  In other words, God starts to peel away our old attitudes, habits, and hangups that keep us from becoming all that He designed us to be.  They are replaced with promises, truth, blessings, and intimacy that we have never known before.

Jesus says that we are to be “salt and light” to the world:

Matthew 5:13-16 says, “You are the salt of the earth.  But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor?  Can you make it salty again?  It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.  You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.  No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket.  Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” NLT

I absolutely love The Message version of this same verse…

“Let me tell you why you are here.  You’re here to be salt-seasoning that bring out the God-flavors of this earth.  If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness?  You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.  Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.  God is not a secret to be kept.  We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill.  If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you?  I’m putting you on a light stand.  Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand – shine!  Keep open house; be generous with your lives.  By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

P (Prayer) – My Lord, and my God!  How faithful You are to us.  Your promises are true. You are not of this world, and neither are we.  Help us to become more aware of Your presence that is always with us, and teach us Your ways, that we might become even more faithful followers of Your heart.  May we not allow our worldly environment to mold us and tell us what is right.  Rather, may we stand against anything that stands against You.  Give us strength to overcome when we are faced with opposition to Your truth.

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