On Separation From This World- Lent 37, 2015

on separationJohn 17:13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

OK, I’ll admit it: Sometimes I wish Jesus would just take us out of this world and be done with it.

Compassion fatigue. Stress. Discouragement.  Rejection. Frustration with hard, unteachable hearts. Annoyance with hypocrisy. So-called Christians who laud the gods of race and politics far above Christ—ones who willingly chew apart their Christian brothers and sisters for having the audacity to think that the blood of Christ ought to be thicker than the blood of skin color or voting records.  These hypocrites may not really like this truth, but there won’t be a check for political affiliation to get into heaven.

There will be one thing only: do we confess Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior as evidenced by our actions?

Sometimes I find myself wondering if those people hell-bent on destroying our own are those Jesus talks about who call “Lord, Lord,” but do not do what He says.

It’s less what’s on our lips than what’s in our hearts that determines whether we belong to the world or not.  I’m not popular.  Big whoop.  I try to obey Christ every chance I get.  That’s the best I know how to do and if I’m unpopular for it, well, Jesus wasn’t too popular either.  Best efforts at holiness will beat successful popularity every day of the week and twice on Sundays.  Separation from the cultural expectations is difficult to achieve, but separation is what holiness is.  It is being made separate in a godly way and letting the Spirit of God have full reign in our lives.

We are not made holy by our voting records or our political affiliation. 

We’re sanctified, made holy, by the truth.  God’s Word is truth.  And the Truth is worth holding onto as tightly as one can because it has all the power of God.

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Give it Up for Lent: Attacking Christian brothers and sisters over politics.

Put it On for Lent: The Truth of God that makes us holy.

For further thought:

  • Read this Scripture, this word of Christ, several times and let the truth of this sink in.  Luke 6:46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
  • Now read it again and after “what I say” add the political causes our culture cares about.  Ask God to reveal to you what His sanctifying truth says about those causes either explicitly or by guiding principle since the Bible is remarkably silent on many cultural issues of our day.
  • Now read Matthew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” 28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
  • What is the outcome of a person doing what Jesus says?  What is the outcome of a person who does not do what Jesus says?
  • Many people claim to want spiritual formation but have no intention of letting the Bible be the manual and the Holy Spirit doing the formation.  Why do people dislike the Bible so much?

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Holy Week is the final week for 2015 Lenten devotionals which you can receive in your email (Monday through Saturday during Lent) by entering your email address on the SeminaryGal.com home page in the space provided in the sidebar.  There’s still time to meet With Christ in the Upper Room.  After Lent, sermons and additional devotionals will be posted and arrive in your email.  I hope you will continue to be blessed beyond Lent as other devotional series unfold.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on April 1, 2015

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