Seasoned Illumination.

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you" (Philippians 4:8-9).

"For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy" (Deuteronomy 30:16).

One of my devotions that I'm going through right now is fun as it not only has the devotional bit, but it also has a YouTube clip. This video was an interview with the president of Fuller Seminary, Mark Labberton, and something that he said stuck out to me:
"We live as people who are less peculiar than we really should be in the culture and instead, we have just become Christian assimilationists who look largely like everyone else but claim that we follow Jesus. That's the dilemma that exposes, I think, that we believe we live someplace that we don't."
Sure, we're calling ourselves Christians, but I challenge myself along with anyone who stumbles by here when I ask this: Are we showing for it? Are we making a difference? Are we standing out, because what is the use of our claiming salvation if we are going to walk and talk like we're unsaved? It's kinda funny how God works because I not only received this message through my devo tonight but from both Sunday school and the sermon this past Sunday, along with my verse of the day today (see Deut. 30:16 above).

Let's look at Luke 6:27-36. If we've been brought up in church before, this passage should be familiar to us. What do we see? A list of things we should do as followers of Christ--loving our neighbors, turning the other cheek, doing to others as we would have done to ourselves, etc. The emphasis I'm going to put here is in verses 32-34:
"If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return."
Jesus is calling out His followers right now. My paraphrase is this: "Okay guys, why should you expect a pat on the back for acting like sinners?" Rather than following the ways of the world, we as followers of Christ in the 21st century need to follow the ways of Jesus! Essentially, Jesus is saying, "Quit being like the rest of them. Be better than them. Be like Me!" Salt is meant to add flavor to food, and light is meant to shine through darkness. We are called to be the salt and light to the earth! Never forget that.

We can't say that we are Christ followers and have our actions say something different. It would not only lead to us rightfully being called hypocrites, but as my pastor said this past Sunday, "Godly thinking cannot be divorced from Godly behavior."

If we need a change, it must start with our minds. That's what it says in Romans that we must have a renewal of our minds (12:2). This change will start a chain reaction from our minds to our hearts, leading our words and actions to be altered.

CHALLENGE:  Reflect on what needs changing in your life; Pray for renewal; Stand out from the crowd by representing Christ. Let this change be seen in me, Father. Amen.

God bless! :)

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