"Christians make a difference in this world by being different from this world;they don't make a difference by being the same."from Unfashionable by Tullian Tchividjian
I LOVE this quote!
Jesus told us that we are "the light of the world." He said, "A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:13-16
When we were out in the desert in Arizona, we were staying at a remote resort outside of Phoenix. At night we could go out on the balcony and look out into the darkness. It is so DARK in the desert. But, when we turned towards Phoenix, the city was a shining light in the darkness. It was BRIGHT and could be seen for miles and miles and miles. Jesus says WE are to be that light.....
The world is HUNGRY for something different. The world is lost and hungry and suffering and debilitated and ailing......it is darkness. Flip channels to any variety of reality shows and watch for a few minutes and you will see people who are empty...searching....needing...
The world looks to the Church to be DIFFERENT. Yes, the world is quick to condemn us as Christians. But, usually it is because we are hypocritical....saying one thing and doing another.... If they were honest, they would tell us that they WANT us to be DIFFERENT.
When you are in the dark, what is it that you stumble around for? What is it that you are searching for? What is it that you desire more than anything else?
Are we shining? Are we shining the Light of Christ?
Or...are focused on BEING LIKE THE WORLD? Are we allowing the world to seep in...little by little...so that the lines are blurred and we can't be distinguished from the world?
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of Him and were taught in Him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Therefore, each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor....In your anger do not sin. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, vulgar talk or coarse joking, which are of out of place, but rather thanksgiving.....
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light. (Ephesians 4 and 5)
Lord, may I be a Light shining for You. When the world looks at me, may they see something different....holy, set apart, separate. Lord, be big in me. Lord, I choose to put ON YOU. I love You, Lord.
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