Daily Devotional - 16 Sept 2020
“I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it” (John 17:14-16).
In it, not of it. As Christ followers, Christians are to stay engaged in this world, yet remain unaffected by it. We are to set an example of God’s transformative work in our lives, not mirror the ways of those without God. We are to be different, not ‘fit in.’ Instead of adding to the problems, we are to promote a real solution. Throughout history, believers have adopted different approaches to the ‘in it, not of it’ challenge, but have often gotten off track. We know how easily it can be to give in to our sinful self and so we isolate from the world...but then we are no longer ‘in it.’ Conversely, we have tried to be ‘relevant’ and not turn people off...but have often found ourselves becoming ‘of it.’ I was reminded of an old analogy that may help...
When a boat floats on the water it is ‘in it.’ When the boat is good condition, it keeps the water out; however, if the boat begins to take on water it can become inundated and sink. It really is an excellent picture for us. The world is the water upon which we are called to float. When we are spiritually in sync with God–spending time with Him, trusting Him and seeking out His solutions– He keeps us afloat and safe from the one who would try to sink us. However, when we begin to rely on ourselves, neglect our relationship with God and even ignore Him, we spring leaks. Rather than riding the waves, we are swamped by them. We can try to bail water in order to stay on top, but eventually we tire and our efforts give way to the relentless water that can begin to pour in on all sides. How much better to pull ourselves into God’s slip and allow Him to make the necessary repairs–a process that begins with our acknowledgment of our need and cooperation.
If you’ve noticed that you have sprung some leaks–your thoughts, words and actions do not line up with the standard set for us by Jesus–might I suggest this morning that you take the time to stop bailing and slide into God’s slip for some much needed repairs. God knows how difficult it is for us as sinful humanity to live up to His righteous standard and how impossible it is without Him. He knows our propensity to make mistakes and the utter failure that we sometimes make of our lives, yet He loves us and waits patiently. The God of the universe, the source of all love, is also the Master boat builder and knows how to keep you ‘in the world, but not of it.’ Trust Him...He knows the way!
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!