What Defines You?

John 17:14-16 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

What defines you?

A paraphrase of the final verse reads; “They are no more defined by the world than I am defined by the world.”  

What’s the big deal?  Everybody thinks that way!

But, everyone talks that way!  Everyone texts that way!  Everyone’s seen it!  Everyone does it!   Jesus speaks to that type of thinking here.  No: everyone who is godless talks that way.  Everyone who is godless texts that way.  Everyone who is godless visits those sites. Everyone who is godless watches those shows.  Everyone who is godless treats their parents and authorities that way!  What a radical difference in thinking! 

Here is the big deal!  Christians are defined by God’s thoughts.

Jesus says, that Word of God makes the radical difference.  When we receive the “Word” we no longer join the world’s ways because we think godless thoughts.  Instead of being defined by the world we were redefined according to the very words (or thoughts) of God. 

At salvation, we exchanged our plans for a good and loving God (who has better plans).  Now, we have been given, the good plan of God for mankind (the gospel).   Our purpose is to fulfill His purpose: bringing men to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.    But it won’t be easy…

Jesus prayed for you.  You were going to need it!

Jesus was telling his followers to expect the same animosity that he experienced.  In fact, Jesus prayed for you, not to remove you from these difficulties but that amidst them, you would not fall to the ever present godless thinking of your age.  Jesus asked the Father to help you endure the temptation of ungodly (or  “godless”) thinking.   

Someone has already endured it!

 I am not defined by this world:  This was the basis of his prayer.  Jesus endured every temptation of godless thinking in the exact same manner that you or I would.  By depending on the Father, he not only to provide the perfection we needed in order to be with Christ, but also reminds us that it is possible for any Christian who is living dependent on the Father to be defined by God’s thoughts rather than the thoughts of this world.

So, what has defined you this week?  What will define you today?

One Response

  1. Excellent reminder of the difference that Christ makes in our lives. This post was especially appropriate and meaningful after listening to Pastor Campbell’s challenge at Mrs. Stafford’s memorial service.

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