In It, Not Of It

?Be in the world but not of it.? That?s how the Bible tells us to live.

But can you live in this world effectively without being influenced by false values? Even followers of Christ get caught up in worldly philosophies sometimes.

For instance, how often do we act as if life is all about our own comfort, instead of God?s grand purposes?

How often do we live for the moment, instead of preparing for our eternal future?

And how often do we lean on our own understandings and abilities, instead of trusting God?

Thankfully, even though we mess up at times, God still has a way for us to influence the world without being influenced by it.

In Psalm 119 it says God?s word is a ?lamp to my feet and a light to my path.?

That means that reading the Scriptures is a great place to start. As we do that, God speaks to our hearts about where to go and what to do. The Bible is our moral compass, giving us wisdom and direction every step of the way.

As we spend time in God?s word, He?ll show us how to live in the 21st century and yet walk in light of eternity. We?ll know when to reach out, or speak a word of truth, or to simply pray for someone in need.

Be Ready

I was doing media interviews the morning after the shootings at Virginia Tech and was asked the question: How can a loving God allow such terrible things to happen?

I said that, as Christians, we believe that God has a purpose in
what He allows, even if we don’t know what it is.

Another thing to remember is that God doesn’t relish tragedies either. He allows them to happen because if he didn’t we would be robots – we wouldn’t have free choice but would have to be good and kind. God wants us to choose to be that way, not to be forced to be that way.

To me, tragedies remind us that we must be ready because we don’t know when our day will come. It could come from growing old, it could be a drunk driver running a stop sign, or it could be a demonized person on a shooting spree. But, death shouldn’t surprise us – it’s part of our lot in a fallen world.

Romans 10 tells us our salvation from death comes from confessing with our mouths that Jesus is Lord.

We should look at tragedies as reminders that life is short. So, don’t lose time in telling the people you love about Jesus Christ. For some of them, time could be very short. Therefore, we must talk to people. We don’t know who’s next. It could be you. Are you ready to meet God?

Savior of the World

God’s salvation is for all cultures and all religious backgrounds. The Lord Jesus didn’t just come to save Catholics and Protestants. He came to look for the Hindus and the Muslims and the Buddhists and the Shintoists and the Jews.

Romans 10 tells us, “There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, the same Lord is Lord of all, and richly blesses all who call on Him, because everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. And He richly blesses all who come to Him.

If you’re not sure if you are saved, why not make sure today, and settle it once and for all. Whether you’re a man or woman, a young person, single, married, or divorced, it doesn’t matter who you are or what your past or background.

Romans 10:9 declares, “If you confess with your lips Jesus as Lord, and you believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead – you will be saved.”

You can talk to God right now. All it takes is a simple prayer of faith. I hope that if you have been searching for a long time, this is the day that you will finally open your heart to Jesus Christ. It’s the most important and life-changing decision you will ever make!

He Sets Us Free

Shame is an emotion that seems to weigh heavily on many people’s minds and hearts. They feel ashamed for things they’ve done, or haven’t done, and don’t know how to have a clean conscience. But the good news is that God’s salvation never puts us to shame. The Bible says of God, “Anyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.”

You may have committed some terrible fraud, or your family has broken apart, or you’ve been unfaithful, and you feel horrendously guilty, and you feel perhaps rejected by God. No matter what, you can still know for sure that God will never put you to shame. Instead, He offers you His love and forgiveness, if you are truly repentant.

A story that illustrates this truth is in the Gospel of Luke. A woman was caught in adultery by the religious leaders of that day. They brought her to Jesus and wanted to stone her. They said to Him, “We caught this woman in the very act of adultery – what do you say?” And Jesus looked at her with love and said, “I don’t condemn you. Go and sin no more.”

So no matter what your past may be, Jesus doesn’t condemn or judge you. He wants to set you free. He offers you forgiveness and eternal life. Will you repent and receive Christ?

It Finally Happened

Years ago I met a woman who was the wife of a European diplomat. I had been speaking at a ladies’ luncheon, and afterward she came up to me. “You know something, Mr. Palau?” she said. “Ever since I was a little girl, I have gone to church every single Sunday.”

Yet she said that many Sundays she would come out of church and say, ‘But God, nothing happened! Nothing happened!'” “But today,” she said, “I prayed the prayer to invite Jesus into my heart. And when I prayed, it finally happened!”

Romans 10 says, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and you believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

You may be in the same boat as that woman was. It may be that intellectually you believe in Christ. You say, yes, there has to be a God, and if He created us, surely He loves us. But then you say, “Nothing has really happened in my spirit. What’s missing?”

What’s missing is simply the step of decision, where you confess with your lips and say, “Jesus, you are my Lord. I believe in you with all my heart.” And when you do that, suddenly, ‘it happens,’ and you enter into the kingdom of God!