About this time every year, I'm reminded of how out of touch I am with our current culture. What reminds me of this? The Grammy Awards. I just don't get it. Maybe I'm too old...but I'm not. I just don't get it.
Here's what I think is happening. The more time I devote to following Jesus the more I struggle relating to our culture. Please don't confuse me saying "I just don't get it" with I hate the current culture. I don't hate culture, I just don't relate to it.
However, I think this is okay. I would even say to the person who is a follower of Jesus and also feels at ease and at home within our current culture to pause and ask if that even makes sense. How does one keep both feet following Jesus and following culture? I believe this type of stride would rip a person right down the middle.
You and I, as followers of Jesus, should live very different than our culture. (Yet, not with a pointed finger or a up turned nose!) I say this because God's Word does not change. Culture changes but God's Word does not. Now someone might say, "I can follow Jesus and not agree with the Bible." I would say false, you can not and here's why. The Gospel of John starts by saying, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God." Then, just a few verses later John writes (John 1:14), "Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us."
If you're a little confused let me help. The Bible is God's Word to us. It does not change it is forever. And, Jesus was/is/will continue to be, the perfect reflection of God's Word. That's why John wrote, "And the Word became flesh and took up residence among us." Jesus was the living Word.
When you and I follow Jesus our lives will look different. There is no maybe to this. When you and I follow Jesus we will walk in the opposite direction of culture. This will be so until Jesus' prayer is answered, "Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven."
For our Bible reading today I thought I'd provide some scriptures that speak to what I've written. Here's why, you may disagree with what I've wrote. That's okay. But as you read the following scriptures ask yourself these questions: What is God saying to me? and What will I do about it?"
How? - Let God speak to you by his Word and his Holy Spirit.
1 John 2:15-17
What do you love?
Here's a simple test to answer this with great, and maybe painful, honesty.
1) Look at your calendar, where do you spend your time?
2) Look at your bank statement, where do you spend your money?
3) Look at your Bible, is it worn from use or is it like new?
These three areas do not lie and are clear. Is what you found different from how you answered this question?
This is hard because we want to be liked. But the hard truth is this, it's hard to be the most popular person when you are committed to following Jesus. His commitment got him nailed to a cross. Where will your commitment get you?
How does this verse impact your life?
What path are you walking. Notice that this is not about what a person says (or what they believe) but rather how a person lives out (or walks) what they say they believe.
The rest of this week we will look at our culture. This is great timing as I just returned from our nations capital and had the opportunity to visit many of the historic sights. I will offer some of my insight and prayers as we journey together.