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28th June 2024


Fit in but Stand Out

The Christian life is a delicate balancing act of being able to fit in whilst at the same time standing out.
Alongside many others, Daniel, Jesus & the Apostle Paul provide biblical examples that this is possible.
Christians are not of this world (John 17:16) but we remain in it for the redemption & salvation of lost souls.
The world, the flesh & the devil (Ephesians 2:1-3) are set against us but the Lord in on our side & totally for us.
There are four main ways that Christians have sought to take a stand historically – defence, relevance, purity & faithful presence.
We looked at relevance yesterday & today we will consider PURITY (withdrawal as the world is too corrupt).


But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 1 Peter 2:9 NKJV


The passion & motivation behind this position is to remain holy, faithful & true unto the Lord. A truly noble aim & desire.
The tendency however is to withdraw from wider society to avoid contagion, corruption, or pollution from the world.
The aim & objective is to avoid the world’s leaven affecting the Christian & the Church (1 Corinthians 5:6; Galatians 5:9).
This means that engagement can be limited & infrequent. This can lead to isolation & in turn irrelevance.
Without meaningful & regular engagement it becomes increasingly difficult to make the good news of the Kingdom known. SELAH
The danger is that one can end up in a Christian ‘ghetto’ without any friends, contacts, or connections in the world!!

We need to recognise 2 things in relation to this mindset. The Lord’s holy anointing & the condition of the human heart.
Firstly, that we are anointed by the Anointed One & that the anointing is holy (Galatians 3:26-26; Exodus 30:22-31).
The anointing from the Lord is powerful, it consecrates & makes holy (Exodus 40:49). It touches & transforms. SELAH
He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). Christians are called to be overcomers by faith (1 John 5:4).
If we are truly being led by the Spirit & living in faith then we can overcome, rather than be corrupted by, this world. Hallelujah!!
Secondly, we need to recognise that sin firstly infiltrates & affects the human heart before it taints & tarnishes society.
Historical & modern church scandals teach us that worldliness & sin can get into the most sacred & isolated places & people!!!
Withdrawing from the world does not protect us from the lure & temptations of worldliness & sin. SELAH
We do not need to either fear the world or withdraw from it. In contrast we are HERE FOR THE WORLD.

For sure we are to stay holy, faithful & true unto the Lord, but we do not need to withdraw from the world to do this.
Unless you are in the mix you cannot impact & influence the flavour of the cake. IN IT to WIN IT!! SELAH
In seeking to be in this world to win souls for Christ one needs to be operating in faith, wisely & sensibly.
Exercising & operating with due care & attention as we are led & guided by the Holy Spirit.
Christ overcame, & we overcome in Him & through Him we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37).
You are chosen & anointed to overcome & walk in Christ’s victory. Hallelujah!!

For Reflection

  • What is the current state of my heart?
  • How am I seeking to reach the lost, the lonely & the least in society?
  • Are there any ways in which I am isolating myself as a Christian?
  • Meditate upon how we are called to stay pure yet still overcome the world to win souls for Christ.

A song related to this theme:


Prayer

Heavenly Father,
Thank you that You engaged & became one of us to save me,
That you came to earth in Christ to secure my salvation.
Jesus, thank You that You live in me & are greater than Satan who remains in this world,
That in You is victory, & through You, I am an overcomer & more than a conqueror.
Holy Spirit lead me & guide me to walk with wisdom, care, dutiful attention & sensitivity,
As I seek to win souls for Christ from this world.
This I ask in the mighty Name of Jesus.
Amen

Written by Gareth Jones

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