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FIRST Thoughts

It is no secret that serving the Lord in the community where He has strategically placed you and me can be challenging at times. Our Lord encourages us through His high priestly prayer in

John 17:15-17 when He shares with His Father and our Father (IF you know Jesus as Savior) the following--"I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth, Your word is truth."

Pastor Jeremy Morton, Woodstock GA lends some insight on those verses for you and me today. Morton writes, "Have you ever noticed how some Christians (or groups of Christians) are so withdrawn that they are out of touch with the culture around them? Though surrounded by a mass of non-Christian humanity, these believers are detached and unmotivated to reach out to their lost neighbors. They are comfortable being out of touch and unengaged with their world.

Comparatively speaking, another group contains self-professed Christians who are hardly any different from the non-believers around them. Whereas the first group is so withdrawn that it has no visible Christlike connection, the second group is so intermingled with the values of the world that their lost neighbors see no compelling reason to consider a different way of life. The cause of Christ does not shine within the second group because they are too entrenched with the worldly ebb and flow of popular culture.

The truth is neither group is healthy nor helpful to the cause of Christ. In John 17, Jesus asked His Father for two things: do not remove believers from the world, and do not let believers adopt the evil practices of those around them. Indeed, the call of Christianity is to live intentionally. While sojourning through this world, we reach out in love to touch the world, but we do so with a spirit of truth and holiness as the hands and feet of Christ." end

As disciples of the risen/reigning Christ, we live in the world, but we must not live like the world. There is no benefit in that approach to life for anyone.

As we go, Christ's commission is carried out and we find ourselves fulfilling His perfect purpose for our life in the strategic circle of influence we have been placed for such a time as this.

May the Lord direct your path daily and may each of you discover delight in His purpose!

Pstr K

Psalm 27:1