Jesus wanted us to understand that we don’t belong to the world. We live in this world, but we are not of this world. Peter said that we are aliens and sojourners, we are traveling through foreign territory. The world does not understand Jesus, his teachings or his radical statements. He was unconventional in every way. In order to fit in with culture we often try to confine Jesus to a certain place in our life. His place is Sunday morning at church, and maybe we call on him a couple of times during the week when we need help or comfort or when a crisis comes. That is worldly thinking. Jesus cannot be tamed. He is referred to in Scripture as the Lion of the tribe of Judah. To live as a Christian in this foreign world, we must allow Christ to roam freely in our lives. His truth expands our minds, convicts our hearts and affirms our souls. He came to bring life in all its abundance. To embrace life in him, he must give him free reign in our hearts and lives.
Jn 10:10, 14:12, 15:19, 17:15-16; 1 Pe 2:11; 1 Jn 2:15, 17; Rev 5:5; Phil 1:6; Pr 28:1; Ro 1:16-17
My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. (Jn 17:15-16) If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. (Jn 15:19) Beloved, I urge you as aliens and sojourners to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against the soul. (1 Pe 2:11)
One of Jesus radical statements is found in John 14:12. He told his disciples, as he was preparing to depart from this world, that they would be able to do the works that he did and even greater works. When we consider the miracles Jesus performed…healing the blind, walking on water, calming the sea, and even raising the dead, it seems improbable that anyone would top his resume. But with Jesus departure came the gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus knew that although his short 33 years on this earth and 3 years of public ministry touched many lives, it was only a microcosm of what his followers would be able to do in the future. Jesus could only be in one place at a time. With the power of the Holy Spirit every follower would experience God’s presence with them no matter where they were. Now some 2000 years later the message of Christ has reached the 4 corners of the world and Christ followers can be found everywhere. His word is still proclaimed and people hear the good news and turn to him for salvation.
Do you try to tame Jesus? How? What did he mean about the world hating you? How do you feel in the company of worldly people and worldly activities? Why? What do you need to do to allow Jesus to roam freely in your life? How and where have you been holding him back? Have you ever been embarrassed by your faith or not stood up for it? Explain. Why do Christians have a bad name?
Keep a daily journal of how you live out your Christian faith at work, with friends and family. Write down things you could do better. Consider a work party, event or get together with friends and family. Reflect on the ways you express your faith through word and deed or how you are falling short.
Dear Heavenly Father, reign in my life. Convict my heart of the things that need to change. Give me strength to stand for you in every situation. Help me not to be ashamed of Jesus or my faith. Thank you for your Holy Spirit who guides and empowers me. I want to be a Christian with bold faith, not one who lurks in the shadows. Fill me with your love and grace. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.