Mirror, Mirror

English: : A mirror, reflecting a vase. Españo... (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you look in the mirror,

what do you see?

Do you see your reflection,

or do you see me?

Do you see the faults of others,

that you can’t let be?

Or do you see a glimpse

of how eternity will be?

When you look in the mirror,

do you see your own faults?

Or do you look to find others’

imperfections, for yourself to exalt?

When you look in the mirror,

do you see a speck or a log?

Are you examining yourself,

or others with eyes all agog?

Do you not yet realize

oh friend of mine,

that no human is perfect

we’ve all crossed that line?

We all fall far short,

of the One who is right.

Until we put on

His robes so bright.

So let’s be humble and gentle,

bearing with each other in love.

Pursuing peace and holiness

that comes from above.

Helping one another

with arms open wide.

In His divine love

each one should abide.

When you look in the mirror,

what do you see?

When you look in the mirror,

do you see Me?

Whatever…

“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things. Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. – Philippians 4:8-9

I’ve heard this verse many times. I can quote most of it, and I try to live this verse. It is amazing to me how much information our brains take in every day whether we are aware of it or not. The things we hear, the things we see…all get inside our brains consciously or subconsciously. We need to be very careful what we allow into our temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). What are we watching? What are we reading? What are we listening to?

I had an interesting exchange with someone recently. When the whole hubbub with Miley Cyrus twerking was going on, this person just had to see what the excitement was all about and watch the replays. “It’s only a couple of minutes,” she said. What I said to her was this, “Yes, but it’s two minutes of your life you can never get back. Is that how you want to spend your time?” Now, I’ve thought before about how I spend my time…but after I said that, I have really been thinking about it. Time is a gift…time is precious…how do I spend the time that I have been allotted? Granted, it’s not watching someone twerk…but there are definite areas in my life where I can be spending my time more wisely.

Paul exhorts us to focus on things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and commendable; in other words, things that reflect Yahweh and things that please Yahweh. How do we know if the things we are seeing, reading, and listening to are meeting these criteria? What standard should we be using to measure our activities? Obviously we need to start with the Word of Yahweh. We need to anchor ourselves in Him and His Word…know Him and His Word…meditate on His Word…Let His Word guide us in every area of our life.

Why is this so important? It’s just a little TV show here…a little music there? Well…as the saying goes, “Garbage in, garbage out.” What we take into our minds will eventually come out as words and actions. So, how do we represent our Savior? Do the things we see, read, and listen to line up with the Word of Yahweh? Does how we spend our time honor Him? Are we using the gift of time that we have been allotted to live intentionally, bring honor and glory to Yahweh, and not regret that we can’t get that moment in time back?

Remember: Whatever…is true…is honorable…is just…is pure…is holy…is commendable…dwell on these things.

Lemmings on the Road to Rome

Lemmings in migration

A truth’s initial commotion is directly proportional to how deeply the lie was believed. It wasn’t the world being round that agitated people, but that the world wasn’t flat. When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic. – Dresden James

LORD, my strength and my stronghold, my refuge in a time of distress, the nations will come to You from the ends of the earth, and they will say, “Our fathers inherited only lies, worthless idols of no benefit at all.” Can one make gods for himself? But they are not gods. Therefore, I am about to inform them, and this time I will make them know My power and My might; then they will know that My name is Yahweh.” –Jeremiah 16:19-21

I am sure that most of you have heard the saying, “All roads lead to Rome.” What about The Lemming Condition by Alan Arkin?  The Lemming Condition is about a lemming named Bubber. Bubber is ready to follow all the other lemmings on their march to the sea and their eventual jump off the cliff into the sea. All is well until his friend Crow asks him if he knows how to swim. Bubber isn’t sure, so he begins to question and search. During his quest, he finds out he can’t swim. So he tries to stop all the other lemmings from jumping off the cliff. They were all hypnotized and he could not stop them. Eventually it looks like Bubber is the only lemming left; but soon other lemmings start popping out of their holes. He was not the only survivor, and so there was hope for the future of the lemmings.

Daniel 7:25 tells us, “He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law…” These deceptive changes to Sabbath and Yahweh’s appointed Feast Days have come about through many centuries, and over the torture and dead bodies of millions of followers of Yeshua. And, the lie is followed by dare I say millions of “bible believing” Christians today. They will tell you that Sunday is the Sabbath, that they observe Sunday because that’s the resurrection of Jesus (although that He resurrected on Sunday is in and of itself questionable, but that is for a later post), that God does not care which day you worship Him on (which is true to some degree…you can and should worship Yahweh every day; but He Himself has commanded that the Sabbath (7th day) be set apart, holy, and blessed). They will tell you that it was “nailed to the cross”. They will tell you that following Yahweh’s commands is legalism. There are many excuses as to why the fourth commandment is not followed. And yet…are any of these excuses based on the powerful, holy, eternal, unchanging Word of Yahweh?

Most people have no idea that Sunday worship did not start with the dawning of Christianity.  It was in fact a practice two thousand years before Yeshua. It goes all the way back to shortly after the flood with Tammuz, Nimrod and his mother/wife Semiramis founding the pagan religious system of “sun-god” worship/Baal worship. From the tower of Babel, “sun-god” worship spread throughout the entire ancient world. With the exception of the worship of the One, True God, all other religious systems come from Babylon. They also all worshipped the sun, which correlates with Satan, otherwise known as Lucifer which means “light bringer”.

When Babylon fell, and was taken over by the Medes and the Persians in 539 B.C. the Babylonian priests made their way to Pergamum and Egypt. They taught their religion in these places and eventually saw an opportunity and made their way to Rome. The Romans readily took on the ways of this religious system. By the time the “Christian” Church came into existence, the practices of the Babylonian religious system blended right in and mixed with the Christian church. The blending of these two religious systems made it quite easy for people to “convert” to Christianity. Eventually the Roman Catholic church was born. As it grew in power, it came to oppose the 7th day Sabbath and changed it to Sunday. Historical records show clearly that the Catholic Church made the change official at the Council of Laodicea in 364 AD when they handed down 59 Canon laws.

Canon XXIX: “Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord’s Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ.” (Percival Translation).

Samuel Bacchiocchi in “How Did Sunday Keeping Begin”,  which summarizes his thesis From Sabbath to Sunday, tells us, “Both anti-Judaism and Sun-worship contributed to the change from Sabbath to Sunday. Anti-Judaism led many Christians to abandon the observance of the Sabbath to differentiate themselves from the Jews at a time when Judaism in general and Sabbath keeping in particular were outlawed in the Roman empire. Sun-worship influenced the adoption of the observance of Sunday to facilitate the Christian identification and integration with the customs and cycles of the Roman empire. The change from Sabbath to Sunday was not simply one of names or numbers, but authority, meaning and experience. It was a change from a holy day divinely established to enable us to experience more freely and more fully the awareness of divine presence and peace in our lives, into holiday which has become an occasion to seek for personal pleasure and profit. This historical change has greatly affected the quality of Christian life of countless Christians who throughout the centuries have been deprived of the physical, moral, and spiritual renewal the Sabbath is designed to provide. The recovery of the Sabbath is especially needed today when our souls, fragmented, penetrated, and desiccated by a cacophonous, tension-filled culture, cry out for the release and realignment that awaits us on the Sabbath Day.”

The Roman Catholic Church itself brags and throws it in the face of Yahweh the fact that it alone changed the Sabbath.

“The authority of the Church is illustrated most clearly by the scriptures, for on one hand she recommends them, declares them to be divine, and offers them to us to be read, and on the other hand, the legal precepts in the scriptures taught by the Lord have ceased by virtue of the same authority. The Sabbath, the most glorious day in the law, has been changed into the Lord’s day. These and other similar matters have not ceased by virtue of Christ’s teaching (for He says that He has come to fulfill the law, not to destroy it), but they have been changed by the authority of the Church.” – Gaspare de Posso Archbishop of Reggio, Council of Trent.

 And they mock Protestants that follow Sunday keeping.

“They [the Protestants] deem it their duty to keep the Sunday holy. Why? Because the Catholic Church tells them to do so. They have no other reason…The observance of Sunday thus comes to be an ecclesiastical law entirely distinct from the divine law of Sabbath observance…The author of the Sunday law…is the Catholic Church.” – Ecclesiastical Review, February 1914.

 “It was the Catholic church which…has transferred this rest to Sunday in remembrance of the resurrection of our Lord. Therefore the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the (Catholic) church.” – Monsignor Louis Segur, Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today, p. 213.

 “I have repeatedly offered $1,000 to anyone who can prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says, ‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.’ The Catholic Church says: ‘No. By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week.’ And lo! The entire civilized world bows down in a reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic Church.” – father T. Enright, C.S.S.R. of the Redemptoral College, Kansas City, in a lecture at Hartford, Kansas, February 18, 1884, printed in History of the Sabbath, p. 802.

 “Regarding the change from the observance of the Jewish Sabbath to the Christian Sunday, I wish to draw your attention to the facts:

“1) That Protestants, who accept the Bible as the only rule of faith and religion, should by all means go back to the observance of the Sabbath. The fact that they do not, but on the contrary observe the Sunday, stultifies them in the eyes of every thinking man.

“2) We Catholics do not accept the Bible as the only rule of faith. Besides the Bible we have the living Church, the authority of the Church, as a rule to guide us. We say, this Church, instituted by Christ to teach and guide man through life, has the right to change the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament and hence, we accept her change of the Sabbath to Sunday. We frankly say, yes, the Church made this change, made this law, as she made many other laws, for instance, the Friday abstinence, the unmarried priesthood, the laws concerning mixed marriages, the regulation of Catholic marriages and a thousand other laws.

“It is always somewhat laughable, to see the Protestant churches, in pulpit and legislation, demand the observance of Sunday, of which there is nothing in their Bible.” Peter R. Kraemer, Catholic Church Extension Society (1975),Chicago, Illinois.

Yeshua never once mentioned the first day of the week. As followers of Yeshua, we must diligently seek the truth and line up our beliefs and behavior with His Holy Word. We must strive to enter the narrow path that leads to righteousness no matter what the cost. People argue that Jesus is THE way, THE truth, and THE life…not a truth, a way, or a life because of the definitive article THE. Well, doesn’t the fourth commandment say, “Remember THE Sabbath…”

I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and because of His appearing and His kingdom: Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching. For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. But as for you, be serious about everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. –2 Timothy 4:1-5

May we all be found as the Bereans in Acts 17:11, “The people here were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, since they welcomed the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” May we examine the Scriptures daily and find ourselves workmen approved. May we look beyond the way things have been done and not blindly follow the crowd in order to find THE Truth.

Ten Shekels and a Shirt

I listened to an amazing sermon today. What a timely message!

How Ten Shekels and a Shirt Came to be

By Paris Reidhead

 In over fifty years of Bible teaching and preaching “Ten Shekels and a Shirt” is the only message that I feel constrained to explain how it came to be preached.

During a Bethany Fellowship Summer Conference in the mid sixties I was preparing to speak at the Tuesday morning Bible hour. Upon returning to my room after breakfast to meditate and pray about the message for that morning hour, I felt strangely impressed that I could not deliver the message that had been prepared for the session. Instead, I felt that there was some other message that was needed which I was to bring.

After prayer, the message that came to mind was one which I had begun preparation for the ministry at the church in New York City of which I was pastor at that time. My notes were not with me, but were in a file folder in my study. An empty envelope was on the desk in my room, on the back of which I wrote the scripture texts to be used and one or two ideas that came to mind. With the envelope in my Bible marking Judges, Chapter 17, and my self utterly cast upon the Lord, I went to the auditorium where between four and five hundred people waited to hear from the Lord through me.

I remember praying, “This morning I am utterly cast upon You because I am not really prepared.” In my heart I seemed to hear His response, “Well is that so bad, already” (being from New York City it was given in a idiom I would understand.)

I delivered the message and gave an invitation. Shortly the altar across the front of the auditorium was filled with broken people seeking God.

The summer conference was soon over and I returned to New York City and the ministry there.

About ten years later, one of the Bethany Fellowship staff was in Washington, D.C., where we had moved and from where we still minister. His word was, “Paris, I want to tell you that God has repeatedly used your messages, but the exact message itself was preached only that once.

A week or two later Harry Conn from Rockford, Illinois was in Washington. He invited me to have dinner with him. In the course of the meal he said, “I buy that message of yours ‘Ten Shekels and a Shirt’ by the dozen to give people. God is really using it in lives.” My response was that if you have a copy, I would like to have it sent to me so that I can find out what it is I have said. In a few days the cassette arrived.

Since I don’t have a tape player in my office, I put the tape into the Sony dictating machine on my desk and listened through the little playback on the hand-held microphone. The element of distance in terms of time, and the distorted sound through the miniature speaker, let me listen to the message with no real awareness of who was speaking. From time to time I felt like exclaiming, “That’s right! I wish I had said that!”

Then it dawned on me that it was my voice, but God was speaking through me. I realized that on a Tuesday morning during a summer conference, God had been able to get His message across because of my utter and complete helplessness. Here it is, just as the Lord gave it.

Paris Reidhead                                                                    ©2013 Bible Teaching Ministries Inc.

What Is Man…

English: Pleiades Star Cluster

English: Pleiades Star Cluster (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you ever had an experience like you know something, but then whatever it is hits you right between the eyes in a fresh, new, powerful way? Well, this very same thing happened to me recently. Two things happened. First, I was teaching my students about astronomy and we were discussing light years, stars, galaxies, etc. Secondly, my husband and I went on a walk on a crisp, clear night where we could see forever (or so it seemed!). All of a sudden, Psalm 8:3-4 became a reality to me. “When I observe Your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you set in place, what is man that You remember him, the son of man that you look after him?”

Here are some facts that when I stop to think about them and ponder them, my mind just can’t quite grasp them.

  1. A light year, which is the speed light travels in a year, is approximately 6 trillion miles (10 trillion kilometers). Stop and think about that number for a moment. It’s easy to say, but can we really grasp the enormity of the number… (It would take about 32,000 years to count to 1 trillion; assuming you could say 1 number per second.)
  2. The sun is 93 million miles from Earth. It takes 8 minutes for the light from the sun to reach us. Therefore we see the light from sun as it was 8 minutes ago.
  3. The second closest star to Earth (after the sun) is about 24 trillion miles (4 light years) away from Earth.
  4. There are between 200 and 400 billion stars just in the Milky Way Galaxy.
  5. The Milky Way Galaxy is about 100,000 light years wide. (Think about that, 100,000 x 6,000,000,000,000). In other words, traveling at the speed of light (186,000 miles per second), it would take 100,000 years to get from one side of our galaxy to the other.
  6. The closest galaxy to the Milky Way is actually within the Milky Way Galaxy. It is called the Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy and is about 42,000 light years from the center of the Milky Way. It is 25,000 light years from Earth.
  7. The Andromeda Galaxy is about 2.5 million light years away from Earth. (Think: 2,500,000 x 6,000,000,000,000). Mind boggling!
  8. There are at least 100 billion galaxies in the known universe.
  9. Even on the clearest of nights, we can only see about 3,000 stars.
  10. It is estimated that the number of stars in the known universe far exceeds all the grains of sand on all the beaches on Earth! So on a clear night, we can only see the equivalent of a handful of sand.

As I pondered these facts, while gazing at the heavens I felt so small and insignificant in comparison to our awesome God. Here are some other verses that speak of the awesomeness of our God. Take some time to meditate on these scriptures.

Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky proclaims the work of His hands.”

Psalm 147:4, “He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them.”

Isaiah 40:5, “Look up and see: Who created these? He brings out the starry host by number; He calls them all by name. Because of His great power and strength, not one of them is missing.”

Amos 5:8, “The One who made the Pleiades and Orion, Who turns darkness into dawn and darkens day into night, who summons the sea and pours them out over the face of the earth – Yahweh is His name.”

Psalm 33:6, “The heavens were made by the word of the Lord, and all the stars, by the breath of His mouth.

Job 9:8-9, “He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea. He makes the stars: the Bear, Orion, the Pleiades, and the constellations of the southern sky.”

Psalm 90:1-2, “Lord, You have been our refuge in every generation. Before the mountains were born, before You gave birth to the earth and the world, from eternity to eternity, You are God.”

What is man that He remembers him? All praise and glory to our eternal, immortal, invisible God!

How to BE a Sheep

English: Sheep

I recently felt led to write a post, “How to Spot a Goat”, in response to what, in my opinion, was a poorly written, scripturally-unsound article entitled “How to Spot a Legalist”. However, I think the most important idea that should come from that post is how to BE a sheep.

Throughout His ministry, Yeshua makes the comparison between wheat and weeds (Matthew 13:24-30), sheep and goats (Matthew 25:31-46), and ready and unready virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). I’ve always thought these were interesting teachings, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized that He is comparing believers. This realization combined with Matthew 7:21-23 that says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’ Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!’”, has given me great pause for thought, reflection, prayer, and studying the scriptures. Our focus should be on how to be wheat, how to be sheep, how to be ready, because not everyone that says they believe in Yeshua and has done things in His name is going to go to Heaven. Yeshua said it Himself.

So here is a list for “How to BE a Sheep”. This is not an all-inclusive list, but some important guidelines on our journey with Yahweh.

 1. We must enter THE door. John 10:7-10 says, “So Jesus said again, “I assure you: I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance. We must be saved by grace, through faith, for good works (Ephesians 2:8-10).

2. We must love Yahweh with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, with all our strength. Absolutely nothing should get in the way of our love of Him. And, our love for Him must be His way. (Deuteronomy 6:4-6; Matthew 22:34-38; 1 John 2:3)

3. We must love each other. We must be willing to put others ahead of ourselves and love them with the heart of Christ. (Mark 12:31; John 13:34-35; Romans 13:8-10; 1 John 3:11-18; 1 John 4:7)

4. We must be totally souled out and committed to Yahweh. We must be willing to take up our cross and count the cost. We must be prepared to follow Him no matter what may come our way. (Matthew 10:32-39; Mark 8:34-38; Romans 12:1-2; Galatians 2:20)

5. We must hear and obey His voice. It is more than mere mental assent. We must have a saving faith that leads to obedience to His Word. We must understand that if we are living by the Holy Spirit, He will not lead us to do anything that is contrary to God’s Word. (Matthew 7:24-25; John 8:31-32; John 10:27; Romans 2:13; 1 John 2:3-6; 2 John 1:6)

6. We must bear good fruit. We are known by our fruit. What kind of fruit are we producing? (John 15:1-17; Luke 6:43-45; Galatians 5:16-26)

7. We must be servants. We must have a servant’s heart. If our Messiah was willing to wash His disciples’ feet, how much more should we be willing to serve Him and each other? (Psalm 119:125; Mark 10:42-45; John 12:26; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2; Galatians 5:13; Philippians 2:5-7)

8. We must forgive. We must be willing to forgive others if we want Yahweh to forgive us. (Proverbs 17:9; Matthew 6:14-15; Mark 11:25; Ephesians 4:31-32; Colossians 3:12-14)

9. We must be humble. We must stay away from self-righteousness and a proud and haughty attitude. We must be humble before Yahweh and realize that every breath we take is because it is from Him. (2 Chronicles 7:14; Micah 6:8; Matthew 23:12; Luke 18:9-14; Philippians 2:3-11; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:6)

10. We must be holy. Holiness is not optional; we must pursue holiness or we will not see Yahweh. (Isaiah 35:8; Leviticus 20:26; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:4; 2 Timothy 2:21; 1 John 3:6-10; 1 Peter 1:14-16)

 Are you a sheep? Are you wheat? Are you ready?

Grace and Law Collide

You’ve heard the story…

The woman taken in adultery

The woman taken in adultery (Photo credit: gwilmore)

“At dawn He went to the temple complex again, and all the people were coming to Him. He sat down and began to teach them. Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, making her stand in the center. “Teacher,” they said to Him, “this woman was caught in the act of committing adultery. In the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do You say?” They asked this to trap Him, in order that they might have evidence to accuse Him. Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with His finger. When they persisted in questioning Him, He stood up and said to them, “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then He stooped down again and continued writing on the ground. When they heard this, they left one by one, starting with the older men. Only He was left, with the woman in the center. When Jesus stood up, He said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, Lord,” she answered. “Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.” (John 8:2-11)

I would like to take a closer look at verse 11 where Yeshua says, “Neither do I condemn you, go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”

Hmmm….”Neither do I condemn you.” Sounds like grace to me. She deserved death. After all, she was caught in adultery. But, wait…Yeshua said, “Neither do I condemn you.” Grace … unmerited favor…undeserved mercy. However, He goes on to say, “Go and from now on do not sin anymore.” What? That can’t be right…don’t sin anymore? Wouldn’t that be following …………wait for it………the Law? I mean if sin is transgressing the Law (1 John 3:4), then wouldn’t it stand to reason that not sinning would be following the Law? (1 John 3:7)

And then…why would Yeshua tell someone to go and sin no more if it was not possible not to sin? Just some food for thought.

Camouflaged Christians

The Waterfall Frog (Litoria nannotis) of Austr...

Have you seen them? Shhh…..Look very carefully. They are there, very well-blended into their surroundings…into the world…so well camouflaged in fact that no one can tell the difference. They are the “Camouflaged Christians”. God’s Word gives several warnings against blending in with the world and taking on their practices. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 says, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” This verse sounds like the world, but how much of this do we see in the church today, among believers…among people that profess to know and love God? Proverbs 4:14 admonishes us, “Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil. James 4:4 should wake us all up to the fact that we shouldn’t be blended into the world…”Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, ‘The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously’?” The world and God are on opposite ends of a continuum. Chances are, if the world is embracing something, it is not godly. We are called to be holy as He is holy (Leviticus 19:2, 1 Peter 1:16). We, as believers in the Most High God, are not to allow so much of the world into us and our lives that we begin to look like, sound like, feel like the world. We are the salt and light…we are supposed to be different, peculiar, set apart. We are supposed to make the world want what we have…but how can we do that if we are no different than the world…what do we have left to offer? We are known by our fruits…

So, how do we live our lives and not blend in with the world? The short answer is read the bible and do what it says; fear God, love God, and obey His Law. Some specific verses that have spoken to me about not living in the way of the world are these:

Ephesians 5:8-18, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light, Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.”

2 Corinthians 4:16-18, says “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Knowing that this world is a temporary thing and that my citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20), I keep my focus on what is before me. I strive to live this life as an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20)…I represent Him…therefore I cannot take on the values of the world…I can’t blend in. Faith that does not change you doesn’t change your destination. We need to stop immersing ourselves in what the world values and pursuing its worldly pleasures. We need to get down to business and start living our faith. Faith without works is dead (James 2:17). We need to pursue holiness, without which no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). We need to find the small gate and the narrow way and walk it out (Matthew 7:14). We need to stand up and be the people God has called us to be…holy, set apart, abhorring evil and clinging to what is good…we need to uncamouflage ourselves from the world.