Living in, but Not Belonging
Thank You, Jesus, that I am a citizen of heaven. Make my spirit aware of Your leading today.
Read John 17:6–19
6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 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. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow should we now live with people in “the world”?
You are a love gift from the Father to the Son. You were chosen by the Father and belonged to him, and he gave you to his Son (2,6,9). And the Father himself will protect you and keep you safe (11,15).
Why would we need to be kept safe? Because we no longer belong to the world (6,14,16). We still live in the world God made of trees and islands and badgers. But we no longer belong to the world of people who have rejected Jesus as King. We are as different from this world as Jesus is (14,16). And so people who hate Jesus will also hate us
And yet, Jesus sends us into this world. He sends us in the same way he was sent by the Father (18). That means we will draw close to people and identify with them, as Jesus did when he took on flesh. It means we will live distinctive holy lives, as Jesus did in perfectly loving and obeying his Father. It means we will die to our own needs and put others first. And so on.
And as we do, we have the guarantee that we will be protected and kept safe. We may get hurt (John 16:2) but we will never be separated from Jesus.
What will it look like for you to be Christ-like in the way you identify with people in your world, and yet also remain distinct?
Father, show me how to live in the world but not belong to it.