Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world. (1 Peter 2:11-12)
Man, God really is incredible. This morning, I almost decided not to go to church because of the hour drive, but I’m so glad the Holy Spirit pushed me to go! My youth pastor was preaching today, and the message Jesus spoke through him went along perfectly with what He showed me yesterday!! So, let me show you guys how. The message this morning was about our identities being rooted in being citizens of the Kingdom. When we are rooted in the truth that we belong to a Kingdom that’s not of this world, and are foreigners here, we stop trying to blend in with the world, and instead influence it for Christ. We’re called to live and look radically different from the world, so that the light of Jesus shines in the darkness the world is living in! And not only that, we embrace this beautiful new identity in Christ instead of being ashamed of it, and celebrate the fact that we’re no longer of this world and belong to Heaven.
So, how does this tie in with yesterday? Yesterday was all about how being rooted and established in Jesus as your Foundation and Source allows you to withstand the storms of life and resist the influence of Satan. Today was all about how, when you’re rooted and established in Jesus, you embrace your identity as a foreigner in this world, and influence it for Christ. Then, the Holy Spirit showed me, those are two sides of the same coin! Making Jesus Christ your Foundation and Source not only allows you to withstand and resist influence, but also go and influence for the Kingdom! Being rooted in Christ is both defensive AND offensive.
- We haven’t been called to just resist Satan’s schemes and stay firm through trials, but to go into the world and actively bring the Kingdom of God everywhere we go by the way we live and the words we speak! We can only do both of those things when we’re firmly built up and founded on the Son of God and His Gospel. And we do that by living according to His Word and obeying Him. Wanna know if your life, your identity and everything you are, is rooted in Jesus and His amazing love and grace? Ask yourself, do you find your strength, joy and peace in Him when hard times or temptation come? Do you live as a citizen of Kingdom in the world, influencing others?
Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:7)