I really try to take home one big thought from Sunday sermons.
Maybe it’s because that’s all my little brain can handle on a Sunday but coming home with one good thought or question that I can ponder during the week seems to work for me.
Our pastors are working their way through the book of Mark these days and this morning, we were looking at Mark 8. 27-38. Andrew (one of our pastors) made the statement, “You are either living for the concerns of God or living for the concerns of humans.”
Chris and I talked about it as we drove home and we asked ourselves, “What does it look like practically to live for the concerns of God?” (The NIV version of the Bible would ask it this way – “Do you have in mind the things of God or the things of men?” Mark 8.33)
This brings me back to the question that I have grappled with for years – how do I live in the world but not of it? One of the quotes on my bulletin board says,“I do not believe that I have missed a thing by prying the world’s suction cups off my heart.” This quote remains on my bulletin board because I deeply believe these words – it’s the cry of my heart. I don’t want to be sucked into the world’s idea of success or love or identity or beauty or worth or security. This world offers me shallow living. Yes, there are sacred moments, filled with love and I’m learning to live fully when these moments happen but more often, I find myself longing for depth and meaning. The older I get, the more my heart longs for truth. I want to wake up each morning and live large with Jesus.
The battle is that I know I’m not supposed to fit in this world yet so often I do. His truth tells me to surrender, sacrifice and serve but my heart so often resists. His death on the cross redefined love and obedience but my heart settles for so much less.
David Mathis offers an interesting suggestion regarding the “in but not of” way of life.
So maybe it would serve us better — at least in light of John 17 — to revise the popular phrase “in, but not of” in this way: “not of, but sent into.” The beginning place is being “not of the world,” and the movement is toward being “sent into” the world. The accent falls on being sent, with a mission, to the world — not being mainly on a mission to disassociate from this world.
I have been sent into this world to concern myself with the things of God.
A lofty mission, only possible by the work of the Holy Spirit within.
Come, Holy Spirit – invade my heart.