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Don’t Copy The Behavior And Customs Of This World

The following behaviors are things that prove we don’t actually love God!!! (1 John 2:15–17)

Behavior # 1: Sinful cravings and materialism.

Secular thinking evaluates things and makes decisions that satisfy the thinker’s sinful cravings.

Things that promise more material goods, even at the cost of things that are lasting.

This is a worship of self and of things. It is the custom of this world to focus on ourselves and to crave things, things that impoverish the human soul.

Behavior # 2: Physical lust and pleasure.

The lust for physical pleasure is a distinctive behavior of this world.

It’s the worldview that evaluates relationships based on how much selfish pleasure they can give. It leads to devalued human beings and results in failure, fatigue and frustration.

When you combine sinful cravings with physical lust you end up with a worldview that is tragically broken:

Loving things and using people, instead of the biblical worldview, Loving people and using things!

Behavior # 3: Boasting of what we have and have done.

The world’s way is to brag about what we have, one of the main reasons people acquire so much stuff—for the bragging rights.

Others live to brag about what they have done, where they have gone or whom they know.

Both kinds of bragging fulfill the self–centered secular worldview that feeds personal pride at the expense of positive relationships.

Let God transform you.

In contrast to being shaped by the ungodly world, we can be transformed by thinking like Jesus.

Jesus’s foundation—the Word of God.

The foundation of Jesus’ worldview is God’s Word. There’s no shortcut for making the Bible our foundation.

Osmosis doesn’t work (like sleeping with the Bible under your pillow). It doesn’t help to put the world’s biggest Bible on the coffee table. It might not even help to play a recording of the Scriptures while you sleep—though my high school Spanish teacher swore by playing language recordings while you slept!

It might not even help to play a recording of the Scriptures while you sleep—though my high school Spanish teacher swore by playing language recordings while you slept!

Nothing substitutes for good, solid biblical knowledge and wisdom, learned the old–fashioned way.

Jesus’ focus—knowing and doing God’s will.

At the core of worldview problems is the fact that fallen human beings want our own will, not God’s—just ask Adam and Eve!

In order for us to change from thinking like the world to thinking like Jesus, we have to take a step of faith and embrace God’s will and ways, instead of our own.

Jesus’ filter—godly wisdom.

Whenever Jesus thought about decisions He had to make, He applied godly wisdom to the problem.

He refused to act in any way that didn’t pass the ‘godly wisdom’ test:

If Jesus couldn’t envision God approving of a particular decision, He wouldn’t do it.

“Would God approve of this thought, word or action? Would I think, say, do this if God was standing beside me?”

Thinking like Jesus means we too will learn to apply godly wisdom.

Jesus’ faith—acting on His godly beliefs.

Once Jesus knew that His thoughts were in line with God’s thoughts, He was free to speak and act according to His beliefs, founded on Scripture, focused on God’s will and filtered through godly wisdom.

If you and I can live this way, how exciting, successful and satisfying our lives will be; in fact, we could never manufacture a life half as wonderful by using secular thinking.

Next time: Change the way you think . . . ‘Think like Jesus!”

WWJT: What Would Jesus Think?

To be like Jesus, we must think like Jesus

Worldview. That’s a word unfamiliar to many. It’s the way individuals look at their world and how they fit into it. It’s the lens through which we interpret life. Not only is worldview unfamiliar, it can ruffle feathers when it hits too close to home. Most have a well–developed worldview, even if we haven’t thought about it much.

Patrick Morley, in The Man in the Mirror, identified two prominent worldviews, or “life views,” today.

They are the secular life view and the Christian life view. He adds that Christians also divide into two camps: biblical Christians and secular Christians.

There’s little difference between people who are just secular and those who are secular Christians. They think the same way, and their lives look almost identical.

George Barna has done more research about Christian faith in America than anyone I know of. He has discovered that in many so–called ‘social’ issues, there’s little difference between people who call themselves Christians and the overall society.

What worldview do people hold?

What ideas shape our decisions, like living together or not before marriage, whether to cheat our employer, to divorce or even how we respond to drivers who cut us off in traffic? When the heat is on, how will people decide what to think, say and do?

In his book, Think Like Jesus, Barna contends that some Christians don’t have a biblical worldview shaped by what the Bible teaches. His own life was “a haphazard series of disjointed choices only marginally and inconsistently influenced by faith” (p. 5).

That’s a pretty good description of my own pattern through the years. The Christian side at war with the secular side, the secular Alexander fighting to get his own way, the Christian Alexander feeling uncomfortable about that.

“A biblical worldview is thinking like Jesus. It is a way of making our faith practical to situations we face every day. A biblical worldview is a way of dealing with the world such that we ACT like Jesus [24/7] because we THINK like Jesus.” (emphasis added)

George Barna, Think Like Jesus

We can make the right decisions all the time, not just whether to scream at other drivers or cheat on our income taxes. When the future is on the line, if we know how Jesus thought, then we think the same way.

Jesus–thoughts become Jesus–words and Jesus–actions in us.

We can be transformed into people who think, speak and act biblically.

This transformation is exactly what Christ wants to do for us. As someone has said, “God loves you just the way you are. But He loves you too much to leave you just the way you are.”

Romans 12:2 provides what we need, to think like Jesus:

  1. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but . . .
  2. let God transform you into a new person by . . .
  3. changing the way you think. Then . . .
  4. you will know what God wants you to do, and you’ll know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.

Next time: Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world; let God transform you!

Jesus Is The Life

Can we believe in the resurrection?

It’s one of the best–documented events of the ancient world—far better attested than Julius Caesar’s assassination, for example! If Jesus Christ is God Almighty, His resurrection is a piece of cake.

The meaning of the resurrection is clear.

If it’s really a true historical fact, then I can confidently trust the Bible. If the resurrection is a fabrication, a falsehood, then can I really trust anything that it says? Remove the resurrection, remove Christianity.

“Christianity is in its very essence a resurrection religion. The concept of resurrection lies at its heart. If you remove it, Christianity is destroyed.”

John R.W. Stott, 1921-2011

Louis Cassals wrote, “If you are irrevocably committed to the proposition that it would have been impossible for Christ to triumph over death, you may as well quit fiddling around the fringes of Christianity…the whole thing stands or falls on the fact of the Resurrection. Either it happened, or it didn’t. And if it didn’t, Christianity is a gigantic fraud, and the sooner we are [rid] of it, the better.”

If the Bible is trustworthy, I have to respond to Christ—either trust Him, or take my chances without Him.

What does Christ require of me?

It’s not unreasonable. In fact, it’s downright simple. (Some believe that salvation merely by grace, through faith, is too easy.)

  • Acknowledge that every person has a sin nature and has sinned (Romans 3:23).
  • Believe that all sin is punishable by death (Romans 6:23).
  • Embrace the truth that Jesus Christ died in your place, for your sins (Romans 5:8).
  • Confess your faith in Him and believe that He will redeem you if you ask (Romans 10:9–13).

What is Jesus to you? Liar? Lunatic? Lord? If you believe He is truly God, what’s your response? It’s a matter of eternal life or death. Don’t get it wrong!