We were born in this world.We are comfortable with the culture that we live in.This world is familiar.It feels like home.
I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. (John 17:14, NLT)
They speak a different language.They dress differently.They celebrate different holidays.They have different values.
Dear friends, I warn you as "temporary residents and foreigners" to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world. (1 Peter 2:11-12; NLT)How does the apostle Peter want us to live? As "temporary residents" and "foreigners"! We are displaced. We are not at home!
I want you to catch this: when we live like the world we are not part of God's Kingdom!
People who will be motivated by a different set of desires.People who live by a different set of standards.People who love people no one else will love.People who will not abandon the customs of their home country, but will teach those customs to others.By living differently we proclaim to the world that there is a better way to live!
In his book The Barbarian Way, Erwin McManus wrote:
From the moment we become citizens of the kingdom of God, we become aliens and strangers in a world that chooses to live absent of God. From the first step taken to follow Jesus, we are out of step with the rest of the world. Once your life is in sync with the story of God, you become out of sync with any story that attempts to ignore or eliminate God. You are a stranger to them, an alien among them, a nomadic wanderer who, while refusing to be rooted in this life, seems to somehow enjoy this life most. (p. 93)
Are you walking out of step with the world?
A temporary resident doesn’t put down roots in the land he is living. Instead he hopes and dreams for his home and thinks of the day when he will finally join his family there.
How can we think about settling for the things of this world when God is offering us so much more?How can we think about being like the citizens of the world when God is calling us to be citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven?