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Seeds of the Kingdom

Set apart

by Margaret Southey

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. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
John 17:14-17, NIV

These words are part of Jesus’ prayer for his disciples. He prays that they will be kept from evil and that they will be ‘sanctified’, which is set apart, for ministry of the Lord’s truth.

If we truly want to be Jesus’ disciples, we need to know the Lord’s truth and minister it. It is often said that we should be ‘in’ the world but not ‘of’ the world. God set us in this world and He intends that we live a full life in it. However, we should live our life not by the world’s standards but by godly standards. That is how we are set apart.

This can be difficult because the ways of the world are often so appealing and enticing. We live in a world where there is much obsession with materialism. We are constantly reminded, particularly by the media, to nurture and treat ourselves with material things such as new clothes, meals, cars, holidays and entertainment. Of course there’s nothing inherently wrong with a new pair of shoes, a good meal in a restaurant or a week-end break, for example, and sometimes it’s what we should be doing. However, we need to be aware and watch our boundaries. Are these treats which we experience from time to time or have they become a way of life, an entitlement perhaps? The things of the world are very seductive. We get drawn to them all too easily. We can become unduly focused on ourselves. Our wants become our needs and our pleasures become more important than the real needs of people around us. Very importantly, we can get side tracked by worldly things with the result that we take our eyes off Jesus and His truth. That is, of course, what the enemy wants because then we’re tainted by worldly things. We’re no longer set apart and we become less effective for Christ.

Prayer: Lord, will You open my eyes to the things of the world that are drawing me away from You and Your truth. I don’t want to have my focus on worldly things but rather to be concentrated on You so that I can be Your effective servant in this world. Amen.



Apologies for the mistake on yesterday's devotional. The writer yesterday was Grace Marshall, not Peter Horrobin.

Margaret Southey is a wife, mother and grandmother. She has had a career in education. Her passion is to understand the truth of God’s Word and to share it with others. She is part of the ministry and teaching team of Ellel, Africa.

 

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