Sunday, May 14th, 2017
Self-Examination (Part 54)
Mind: Worldly Minds
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the Gospel that displays the glory of Christ, Who is the Image of God.
2 Corinthians 4:4 (NIV)
All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
Ephesians 2:3 (NIV)
Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted.
Titus 1:15 (NLT)
Manmade educations grow worldly minds. Since every believer was born in sin, every Christian once had a worldly mind--even if we pretend differently.
Actors, models and talent for Christ, consider some thoughts on worldly minds:
1) Acting as if you have never sinned is a turn-off to non-believers. They see it as phony baloney, and in this observation, they're right.*
2) You must work with utmost diligence to keep worldliness from taking root. Because Satan will throw in his seeds, which can be disguised as brilliant thoughts.**
3) Regarding ornery outsiders (those hostile to professed words of faith), you're not called to judge or correct them. To them, Jesus talk is foolishness.***
4) Good behavior is a great witness to non-Christians you meet on castings. The ripe fruit of the Holy Spirit is cross-culturally delightful.****
5) An early warning of worldliness (among some cloistered congregations) is fearful, naysaying skepticism: to resist all calls beyond their walls.*****
6) An easy marker of worldliness (among some well-heeled congregations) is wealth on display in leadership. Jesus did not bear a jeweled Cross.******
7) You're called to the world of media, but not to get trapped in worldliness. The way is simple, but not easy: to ask day-by-day for daily Bread.*******
To Be Continued...
* 'All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God' (Romans 3:23, NIV).
* 'Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins' (Ecclesiastes 7:20, NLT).
* 'We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags' (Isaiah 64:6, NLT).
** The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+13%3A24-29&version=NKJV
*** 'For the Message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved It is the power of God' (1 Corinthians 1:18, NIV).
*** 'It isn't my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning' (1 Corinthians 5:12, NLT)... (Paul is speaking).
**** The Fruit of the Spirit: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians+5:22-23&version=NASB
***** 'Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age' ' (Matthew 28:18-20, NKJV).
***** 'And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the Gospel unto every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned' ' (Mark 16:15-16).
****** 'And He was saying to them all, 'If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me' ' (Luke 9:23, NASB).
****** 'Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher' (Luke 6:40, NLT). (Jesus, the Man, did not display wealth.)
******* Obviously, we must rely on God's Word, God's Son, God's Spirit and godly fellowship each and every day to live in this world, thrive in this world, but not to succumb to worldliness. Note re: godly fellowship. It may or may not be found in traditional churches. Compare your church leaders to Jesus. Surely, no one measures up that high. But examine how low your pastors are kneeling in their efforts toward humble leadership.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Self-Examination series.