We need to be in the world but not of the world so that through us, God can bring lasting change to the world around us.

Read: John 17:13-19

Ask Yourself & Journal:

•  What are some examples of ways that you can be in the world but not of the world in those places where you “do life”?

Once again, working at a church disqualifies me from using my workplace as an example.  I do know in my past that I didn’t necessarily “do” a good job of living Christ in my previous workplaces.  Like Christine Caine said in her book, (The Core Issue), we often practice our Christianity differently in the workplace because we’re surrounded by people who don’t necessarily know the “rules” of living a Christian life.  But that doesn’t answer the question.  Where are other places I “do” life?  Honestly, I don’t make much time to do life with other people (and this is something I’m working on), but when I do it’s usually at a pub, coffee house, or going to the movies.  Now that I’ve typed those three out, I have to question the last one.  I’m not trying to be a stick in the mud, but am I choosing good movies to watch with others.  And by good I don’t necessarily mean staying away from “R” rated movies, but am I choosing movies that say something about life, about relevant topics, and about worldviews that would spark conversation into a person’s beliefs.

•  Have there been times when you realized that you have been both in the world and of the world? How did you feel?

Yes, and in those situations I’ve felt shame.  Not a selfish shame, but a shame that I represented Christ poorly and possibly did damage to another person’s view of Christ.  I know that ultimately Christ uses all things according to his purpose (see Ephesians 1:11 & Romans 8:28) and that I’m no longer under condemnation (see Romans 8:1), but that doesn’t mean I won’t feel a holy conviction about my actions.  It also let’s me know that there are probably areas of my spiritual core that I need to allow Jesus to show me and strengthen in me, so I don’t succumb to the pressures of the world while being in it.

•  If a judge and jury were sent to your home, workplace or neighborhood and put you on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? (Remember, nothing you do at church can be submitted as evidence!)

OK, nothing at church can be submitted as evidence, so I can’t use my workplace.  If my house was searched, I believe I could be easily convicted.  From the scriptures on the wall, scriptures on my whiteboard, and bibles and christian literature strewn around the house I’m be found pretty guilty.  And I can say now, in the past this wouldn’t have been true, that no questionable materials would have been found in my house or my computer for that matter.  The last place is where doubt would unsettle the prosecution: my neighborhood.  Now, yes I don’t throw wild parties in my house, keep up the neighbors, or have trash strewn all over the front yard, but do I actually even know my neighbors?  I would have to answer that negatively.  Now, I know my “neighbor” is so much more that the people we live next to, but wouldn’t my immediate neighborhood be a good indicator of how I treat my community and worldwide neighbor?  But I don’t even know my neighbor’s names.   The most interaction I may have with them is an occasional waive hello as I’m getting the mail or watering the lawn.  This needs work.

Listen & Pray: JESUS, I often pray that you would use me to help change the world, yet I simultaneously underestimate the opportunities that await me in my everyday life. You have given me the potential to transform my world one life at a time simply by choosing to be a Christian in the course of my everyday routine. You make a difference in life that matters.

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