A cultural river

This week I want to start off with some verses, But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.  I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.  I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.  Sanctify them  in the truth; your word is truth.  As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.  And for their sake I consecrate myself,  that they also may be sanctified  in truth.   “I do not   ask for these only, but also for those   who will believe in me through their word,  that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. John 17:13‭-‬21  In these verses Jesus is praying to His Heavenly Father about us and I think every christian should read the entire chapter of John 17, it is amazing what Jesus says about us in this prayer He prayed on our behalf. He says that we need to be sanctified by His word and that He does not want to take us out of this world, but that He wants to keep us from the evil one. This is the verse I am going to focus on for the rest of this blog. He does not want us to be separate from the culture (the world), but for us to be kept from the evil one who influences culture and yes the world may hate you, but He will be with you. An example I thought of was being in a boat on the river surrounded by boats, this is a huge river with lots of branches. The boaters choose their paths by what influential people say they should do, they are ahead of everybody else, so others watch to see what they do and copy them. The river is the culture and as christians God did not call us to get out of the river and set ourselves apart from the people in the river. He wants us to think differently instead of racing  to the front and trying to be a cultural influencer, instead He called us to see the people who are  around us in the river. It is not wrong to be in the front if God placed you there. Instead of trying to impose the gospel on them, we should let them see the way we live out the gospel. Just like the old saying, we might be the only Bible they ever read. One reason I chose a river for this illustration is that it is always moving just like our culture. We don’t have to follow culture but as Christian we should try to be cultural guardians. Make sure that if something the culture says is right and it is not right in God’s eyes, then we should speak out about it. So this week remember to show the light of Jesus to others, instead of trying to reach your corporate or social goals, see who you can reach right where you are. No matter how small it feels, it still makes an impact. If every christian lives their lives like that, then imagine what our world would look like if we lived by Jesus’s prayer. 

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