Monthly Devotional



In guarding our minds from the thinking of the world I want to be very clear that this does not mean that we should develop godly ghettos or Christian cocoons where we isolate ourselves from the world. Jesus clearly teaches that His followers are to be “in the world” but not “of the world” [John 17:11-14]. To reject the thinking of the world we need to be students who know and biblically evaluate the “spirit of this age.” Although our primary attention must be given to the Word of God, I would suggest that we need to familiarize ourselves with the prevailing thought-systems and philosophies which characterize our culture. I’ve often said to my seminary students that, among all the other books they should be reading, they need to read a book that they know will get them hopping mad even before they get past the preface!

If we read only what we already agree with, we will not be challenged to engage our culture, nor will we understand its thinking. Some of the books that have “helped” me here, that is, books that have boiled my blood, are Charles Templeton’s Farewell to God and Bishop John Shelby Spong’s Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism. Such books are not for the new believer, but they will challenge the maturing Christian to defend his faith and to be “ready to give an answer to everyone who asks him for a reason for his hope” [1 Peter 3:15].

Romans 12:1-2 in The Message reminds us that there should be noticeable differences between us and our surrounding culture:

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.

If we are loving God with our minds we will also be vigilant in a culture which either mocks Christianity or treats it as just another option in the cafeteria of religious choices. We will present our minds as an offering to God and plead with Him to give us understanding so that we can speak the Good News of Jesus Christ into our environment. And we will be keenly aware of the seductive power of our surroundings, a power that wants us Christians to be “well-adjusted” when we really should be deeply grieved and intentionally evangelistic; a power that wants to lull us to sleep while others are on the superhighway to eternal separation from God; a power that says, “Trust yourself; trust the majority; trust your feelings,” instead of guarding that “good deposit” [2 Tim. 1:14] which was given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ for our sakes and for the sake of a lost world.

Larry Dixon is in assembly fellowship in Columbia, SC and has been a professor of theology at Columbia International University. He is an author and highly sought after preacher and conference speaker.

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