Bible Ballistics: BBs #716 Are You A Part Or Apart???
We live in a culture, a world in fact, that says we ought to accept everything, believe anything we hear, and follow the crowd. But God calls us to march to HIS drum not the world’s, and Paul has a great thought in this regard in his letter to the Corinthian church. We certainly need to hear and heed his admonition today as well.
“But thanks be to God,
which giveth us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren,
be ye stedfast,
always abounding in the work of the Lord,
forasmuch as ye know
that your labour is not in vain
in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:57-58
We can walk in victory (not to be confused with popularity) when we keep our eyes on the prize—Jesus—and stand steadfast in His Word and His ways. Where are you walking? We are also called to be committed to the body of believers—the church—who are also committed to The Word of God in Spirit and in Truth; not committed in conforming ourselves to look like the culture so as to be appealing to the world. Jesus Himself, said that the world would hate us if we followed Him in loving devotion to HIS truth—The Word of God! Why then, do we keep trying to look like the world to appeal to the lost? The lost world needs what the world can’t provide, and we need to lift up JESUS not popular venues of entertainment—we have been called to lift up Jesus, and to preach the Good News that Jesus saves. We are to lift up the cross not entertain and placate a pagan culture.
if I be lifted up from the earth,
will draw all men unto me.
33 This he said, signifying what death
he should die.” John 12:32-33
Jesus even told Nicodemus that light and dark are diametrically opposed. Get off the fence and decide if you want to follow Jesus or the world?
“For God sent not his Son
into the world
to condemn the world;
but that the world through him
might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him
is not condemned:
but he that believeth not
is condemned already,
because he hath not believed
in the name of the only begotten
Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation,
that light is come into the world,
and men loved darkness
rather than light,
because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil
hateth the light,
neither cometh to the light,
lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth
cometh to the light,
that his deeds may be made manifest,
that they are wrought in God.” John 3:17-20
And as He told his disciples shortly before His death:
“These things I command you,
that ye love one another.
18 If the world hate you,
ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19 If ye were of the world,
the world would love his own:
but because ye are not of the world,
but I have chosen you out of the world,
therefore the world hateth you.
20 Remember the word that I said unto you,
The servant is not greater
than his lord.
If they have persecuted me,
they will also persecute you;
if they have kept my saying,
they will keep yours also.
21 But all these things will they do unto you
for my name’s sake,
because they know not him
that sent me.” John 15:17-21
Oh, how we need to be reminded that Jesus is our master and lord, and we ought to expect no less difficulty than our Lord and Master told us would come! We all wrestle with rejection and the opinions of those around us, but Jesus has called us to “take up your cross” and follow HIM, regardless of the cost! For our salvation caused our Lord to willingly, lovingly, sacrificially lay down HIS life for my/your deliverance from HELL! Oh? So, let’s be that “iron” sharpening “iron” and press on together “in spirit and in truth”. Don’t give up on Christ’s body, we are to love one another and encourage each other to good, true and righteous works and words. We aren’t called to be like the world but like our Lord and Savior.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren,
by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies
a living sacrifice,
acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove what is that
will of God.
3 For I say,
through the grace given unto me,
to every man that is among you,
not to think of himself more highly
than he ought to think;
but to think soberly,
according as God
hath dealt to every man
the measure of faith.” Romans 12:1-3
Well said, Brother Paul! What will we do with this challenge? May we march to the drumbeat of our Lord and God rather than the world. (I know I’m repeating myself, but maybe you, like myself, need reminding frequently!). Let’s band together for HIM!
“Let us draw near
with a true heart
in full assurance of faith,
having our hearts sprinkled
from an evil conscience,
and our bodies washed
with pure water.
23 Let us hold fast
the profession of our faith
(for he is faithful that promised;)
24 And let us consider one another
to provoke unto love and to good works:
25 Not forsaking the assembling
of ourselves together,
as the manner of some is;
but exhorting one another:
and so much the more,
as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:22-27
Sometimes when we are walking with our Lord, He calls us to separation—not isolation, but a calling out from the ways of the world. Usually, a matter of conviction over particular activities and/or behaviors, yet a calling out to live holy lives that make a difference. I have learned that when God lays a particular issue on my heart, I need to heed His voice speaking to my heart and obey—no matter the cost or inconvenience. It’s often the kind of thing that will cause others to think us odd or peculiar, but if God calls me to it—or away from it—I surely try to heed His call and obey no matter what others think or say. It’s not always easy, in fact it’s usually a hard place to be but I have found God faithful to everything He has ever called me to do or “not” to do or participate in. What about you? Are there places you go that dishonor your Lord? Are there words you use that would embarrass Him? Are there people that use you as an excuse to participate in questionable activities. It’s kind of like I read in a life-changing Gospel tract many years ago, its title makes the point concisely, “Others may, YOU cannot”! God may be calling you to a separation; and when He calls us to a stand on issues of personal holiness, it will usually mean a separation of associates—just saying. Here’s God’s word on it!
“Wherefore come out from among them,
and be ye separate,
saith the Lord,
and touch not the unclean thing;
and I will receive you,” 2 Corinthians 6:17
“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying,
Come out of her, my people,
that ye be not partakers of her sins,
and that ye receive not of her plagues.
5 For her sins have reached unto heaven,
and God hath remembered
her iniquities.” Revelation 18:4
I pray that this will bring conviction to our hearts, and that Jesus would truly find us faithful when HE comes, or when He calls us to Himself. May we truly pursue His holiness and a heart that honors God by a life well-lived IN, BY and Through the power Jesus’ Holy Spirit living and working within ME/YOU!
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind,
and hope to the end for the grace
that is to be brought unto you
at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14 As obedient children,
not fashioning yourselves according
to the former lusts in your ignorance:
15 But as he which hath called you is holy,
so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written,
Be ye holy; for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:13-16
Praying that we will pursue Him in Holy living. Blessings on your week.
Amen and Amen!!!