Truth in A World of Grey (Part 1)
We live in a culture that is shifting, though not towards the things of God. I’ve delved lately into a book that has certainly influenced my angle on this topic, called Thriving in Babylon. It’s a good book, especially in the season we’re in right now. I don’t agree with all of it, but that’s typically the case when I read books.
In that context, how can we be Christians with influence, where people want to be around us and listen to what we have to say? At the same time, how can we do that without compromising? How do you live in a culture that is certainly not a culture that is Godly, but yet you can remain Godly? The world will try to color your world grey, so how do you remain a person of truth in a world that is grey?
Sometimes I feel a little bit more like a coach, an offensive coordinator even, than a pastor. Some of you need some new plays, and I’ll give a play that you might need to run. Then some will say, “Okay, I’ll run that play,” and the risk is that it becomes your only play. The enemy can figure that out, and then he worms his way in. We have to be wise.
Stay in Relationship with Each Other
Going to church is a wonderful thing, but there’s still a tendency to slip with culture. Maybe you said, “I’ll just go to church online,” and then you slip out of
Life Group launch is this week. If you’re at New Life Church and you are not connected with friends, go to NLC Life Groups and pick one to get plugged into. It’s no coincidence that our enemy knows that one of the best ways to combat loneliness, drifting, and temptation is to be connected with friends. Stay connected with friends!
Stay in the Word Every Day!
What about daily devotions with God? The tendency, when you slip out of that, is to start coming up with our own ideas without consulting the word of God, because it feels right in the culture we’re in. It might even feel loving. In John 17:16, we find Jesus praying for the disciples. Notice that he didn’t say, “Father take them out of the world, so they do not let the influence of the world get them.” That’s not what Jesus prayed. Instead, He said, “Father, let them stay in the world, but protect them from evil as they stay there.” Then He said, “They are not of the world, even as I’m not of the world.”
There’s one place in the New Testament where the Bible clearly says, “If the love of the Father is in you, the love of the world will not be.” Then it flips it: “If you have the love of the world in you, you do not have the love of the Father.” The Bible even literally calls us “aliens,” or strangers to this world.
We’re no longer citizens here, but we are citizens of Heaven.
In one place in Scripture, it says we are peculiar people, and some of you are
1 John 2:15-17 – Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
1 Peter 2:11-12 – Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
Romans 12:2 – Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.