Are we a reflection of Jesus? Or are we a reflection of the world? This world can be a dark place. John tells us that friendship with the world is emnity with God.
Jas 4 : 4
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
We need to let the light of Jesus shine through the darkness of this world.
Matt 5 : 14
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Is your light set on a hilltop, or do you have your light hiding under a bushel? Do the people who know you outside of your church family and those in ministries with you, know that you are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ? Is there something different about you? It’s always easier to conform. Sometimes it is tempting to do so. Friends are having a few drinks and getting a little rowdy, we can refrain from partaking or we can claim our Christian liberty as an excuse to do as the world does.
1 Cor 6 : 12
All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
Everyone is reading the latest hit novel, and although we know it isn’t something that would be appropriate for us to read, we again claim our Christian liberty to do as we wish. The same situation arises with the latest blockbuster movie or television show. There are things we shouldn’t expose ourselves to, but too often, we choose to conform rather than to be true to what God wants us to consume. He makes it quite clear in Philippians what kinds of things we should be setting our mind on and it certainly isn’t steamy reads and raunchy movies.
Phil 4 : 8-9
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
We need to be in the world. In Jesus’ prayer to His father, He prayed for us, but didn’t ask for us to be taken out of the world.
John 17 : 15
I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
If the world is so bad, why didn’t He want us taken out of it? When we are clearly told that the world is an enemy of God? And in 2 Corinthians we are told to come out and be separate? How can we do both? How can we be in the world and still remain separate from the world?
2 Cor 6 : 17
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
It’s not as complicated as some of us Christians make it. It’s simple really. We will have dealings in the daily world. We will go to the grocery store, the auto-mechanic, the local diner and many other places, including our places of employment, where we will be “in the world,” but in those dealings we should not reflect the world. We should reflect Christ. We should radiate that joy that we have in the Spirit. We should be different. A peculiar people.
Titus 2 : 14
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Each of these encounters in the world are opportunities for us to be a witness, whether we are a silent witness, or whether we are sharing our testimony, or whether we are sharing the gospel message. Everything we do, as Christians, in the world matters. The problem arises when our conduct reflects negatively on what it means to be a Christian. If we are just like everybody else, why would anyone want what we have? Let your life be a good witness for Jesus Christ.
If we are members of His body, and He is light, shouldn’t our light shine bright for all the world to see?
John 9 : 5
As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
John 8 : 12
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
Let your light shine so bright that your neighbors need to wear sun glasses.
Matt 5 : 16
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
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(All verse references are taken from the Authorized Version of the Bible, commonly referred to as the King James Version.)