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Seeds of the Kingdom

Strangers in the World

by Jilly Lyon Taylor

16 December 2009

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To God’s elect, strangers in the world … Live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear … As aliens and strangers in the world … abstain from sinful desires.
1 Peter 1:1 & 17; 2:11, NIV

In my youth I did a lot of travelling and I always enjoyed going to out of the way places where people from different cultures lived their lives in a very different way from mine. Often when travelling on local public transport in those places I would receive some strange looks, especially from the children, as I looked, and probably behaved, very differently from them.

As citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20), we as Christians should stand out from those around us and feel just as strange in the world as I did when travelling in places with a different culture, but often we seem to blend in all too easily with the worldly culture around us. Far from it being alien to us, we embrace the world’s standards and ways of doing things so that there is little difference evident between us and the people around us. But there should be! God chose us to be holy and blameless in His sight (Ephesians 1:4) and Peter reminds us in 1 Peter 1:18 that we have been redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to us from our forefathers. We should therefore feel and behave like strangers in the world, but often we are far too friendly with it. James goes as far as saying: “Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God” (James 4:4).

What about you today? Are you choosing to be a friend of the world, or are you going to live your life as a stranger here, redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you and abstaining from the desires that came with it? The choice is yours!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am sorry that I have often lived my life as a friend of the world rather than as a stranger here. Help me to hate the things that you hate in the world. Amen.

Jilly Lyon Taylor is part of the Leadership Team at Ellel Pierrepont. She worked in publishing and then with children in Hong Kong before concentrating on being a full-time mother and serving in the local church. Her desire to see people healed led her to the Luke Nine Eleven Training Scheme(NETS) at Pierrepont, and now she teaches and ministers there.

 

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