How distinct is your life? I don’t mean in a weird kind of way, but I am talking about does your life look distinct from the normal society and culture that we live in, the culture that it is saturated in? Is your walk with God your primary focus, or is it just another activity like going to the pub, playing tennis or doing some gardening?
Our walk with God should be something more- as a disciple of Jesus; we should
look like (not physically) our master and commander.
At Redeemer King we are going through Matthew’s gospel, you can find all the teaching here: www.redeemerking.com/media
We have spent some time in Matthew 5 which see’s the start of the Sermon on the Mount and begins with the beatitudes, which is Latin for blessings.
Jesus teaches the gathered crowd – how to bring glory to God and how to live in such a way that brings him attention. All of the different teachings that He brings are counter cultural, they cause His followers to be distinct from the world. For example Jesus teaches us to:
- Be poor in Spirit – not to be rich in all our ways.
- Mourn for our sin – when we live in a world that teaches no absolutes, therefore no need for repentance.
- Be meek (gentle, humble) – your friends may say that this is weakness.
- Hunger for right standing with God (not man). Culture denies the very existence of God, let alone walking rightly before him.
- Be merciful – society is geared around how we can receive not how we can give, how we can exploit and further our self, not expand the lives of others.
- Be pure in heart – purity is despised, even laughed at, the thought of men and women abstaining from sex before marriage is seen as archaic.
- Be peacemakers – well the world loves the concept of peace, but keeping it, not making it, not taking steps at their own cost to bring peace and harmony.
- Be persecuted (not that we go hunting it, but as Christians we should expect it) – well the world doesn’t really care, atrocities take place, news moves on, just look at what is happening in Iraq & Syria.
This is just one example from scripture, and this counter cultural living is birthed out of the fact that we should be different. The question is: Are we actually any different?
I have recently been really struck by the boldness and straight talking of the apostles, particularly Paul, he writes this in Galatians 2:20,
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
It is no longer I who live; Paul states, we are not to live for our own sake, but for the sake of Christ. What does that look like I hear you cry? It looks like living for the glory of God, not the glory of the world.
If we all lived like that, as Christians, wouldn’t we look distinct and wouldn’t our gatherings be special times where all the people who have been worshipping God, gather together bringing Him glory- a place full of Jesus people. Not people who have everything together, not people who always get it right, but people who want to follow Jesus and so as a result display Him to the world.
This series of blogs is designed to take the teaching of Jesus and help us to take our head out of the culture and stick it in the word of God- maybe then we can start to see what we can and should be, not for our own sake- but for the glory of God and the sake of the world.