Not Of This World

In May I spent two weeks inside of New Orleans, Louisiana. My wife and I enjoyed our vacation but one thing we had in the back of our mind the whole time we were in that city was that New Orleans was not our home, and we would be returning home soon. The Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 2:11 reminds us that this world is not our home, but that our home is in Heaven where we will eventually be. Jesus teaches us what this looks like in His prayer to God the Father in John 17.

11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you… 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.”

not-of-this-world

Jesus wants us to be in the world, but not like the world; living here, but living differently here. We have been recreated as something different through the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross for our sins. We have been changed, and there are two ways that Christians are not like the world.

We now have Different Desires

We want what God wants.  Our desires are no longer focused just on ourselves, but we have a new heart with Christ at the center. We no longer want to build our own little kingdom in this world, but we are now a part of building Jesus’ Kingdom. Rather than hoard our resources to ourselves, we sacrifice our resources (time, energy, money, talents) for the benefit of others in this life knowing what we do now will have an impact in the world to come. This new heart makes us want to love and serve others, even if they are our enemies. Loving our enemies is something so strange, so out of the ordinary, yet it is exactly what Jesus did with us!

We now have Different Influencers

Verse 17 says “sanctify (that is to make holy) them in the truth; your word is truth.” We mature and become more like Jesus not from listening to talk radio, or watching cable news. We grow as human beings by spending time in God’s Word and with God’s people. This is why coreGROUPS are so important. Inside of a coreGROUP you’ll be in interacting with God’s Word along side other Christians who will help remind you of the gospel. We help each other live in this broken world without being compromised by it.

Is life going to be automatically easy now as Christians? No. Jesus prays that we be kept away from the evil one, meaning Satan is out there wanting to destroy us. But God can and will sustain a believer in Christ on their college campus, at their work, and in their neighborhood.

While I was in New Orleans only for a short time I knew that I would soon be returning to Homestead. We need to be reminded that we are only in this world for a short period of time, so let’s make an impact before we go to our true home with Jesus.

Practical Theology:

  • Spend $5, $10, or $20+ this week on someone outside the Church. When they ask why you’re doing something nice for them tell them how Jesus has richly given to you, and you want to give to others.
  • Offer a friend/neighbor your time to help with a project they are working on, or a need they may have.