Dare to Be Different from Your World
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.” (Mark 8:34-35)
Dare to be different from the world.
- “To dare” means to “have the courage to do something.” Jesus was daring His followers to be different from the world around us knowing it’s for our own good. And, we are to do this by faith, like everything else in our Christian life.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1-2)
1) Dare to evaluate.
- We can learn 3 things from Romans 12:2:
- For every child of God, conforming to the world’s pattern is not a good thing because we are told to stop it.
- We have a choice to not conform to this world.
- Somehow, we need to figure out if we are conforming to this world or not. That requires evaluation.
- If you want to dare to be different, you’ve first got to dare to evaluate your life. Where are you being pulled by the world’s influence and ideas? What advantages or disadvantages have shaped your thinking and your character? What is God showing you about yourself as you read His Word?
2) Dare to submit.
We are to dare to submit to being transformed, to trust ourselves to Jesus’ transforming power.
First step: Recognize that all of you belongs to God anyway, and “daring to submit” to Him pleases God and is for your good. Romans 12:1
- Offering our bodies means to present the totality of our life and activities to Him.
- You decide to be Jesus’ disciple. A disciple is an active follower or learner. Jesus Christ calls us to follow Him as His disciples, committed to learning from Him and becoming like Him as we intentionally apply to our lives what He teaches us through His Word and what He allows into our lives.
Second step: Renew your mind from the world’s way of thinking, feeling, & doing to God’s way of thinking, feeling, & doing. Romans 12:2
- Renewing means to push the conforming influences away from you and to replace them with spiritual input from God’s Word, from prayer, and from friendship with Christians who love God.
- Have you recognized the conforming influences on you? Are you putting them away from you and replacing them with God’s Word, prayer, and friendships with godly Christians? Where is your mental energy going?
“People pay attention to what they deem important. And many Christians invest more of their mental energy in cultural literacy than in biblical literacy.” (George Barna, Dallas Morning News, Saturday, Dec. 2, 2006.)
- Jesus warned His followers about being choked by the cares and riches of this world in the Parable of the Sower. He called for His disciples to be willing to sacrifice their own pursuits in order to put Him first. New Testament writers encouraged Jesus’ disciples to work hard not only to provide their own needs but also to be able to generously share with others. That requires sacrifice. Matthew 6:33; Mark 4:18-19; Luke 9:57-62; 2 Corinthians 8-9; Ephesians 4:28
3) Dare to expect results.
#1. Priorities get changed.
- When you desire to be Jesus’ disciple, committed to Him, priorities in your life get changed. Ask the Lord Jesus what needs to get changed in your life, in your daily activity, in your plans. He will show you. You can trust Him. Your priorities will get changed.
#2. Character gets changed.
There are two aspects of being transformed to the likeness of Christ.
- God’s part: Working according to His will and purpose for your life. God will complete His work so that you will be like Jesus in your future. God puts into your heart the desire to be like Jesus so you will want it, too. And, God gives you everything you need to be godly.
- Your part: Renewing your mind through studying God’s words in the Bible to see how to approach life His way. Your part also involves having a desire for God’s work in you to give you the character of Christ. When you long for His work in your life, you will want to submit to what He is doing and ask for Him to change you. Jesus modeled for us how to approach life God’s way and how to live in dependence upon Him in the process.
By faith, you can dare to be different from the world. Trust Him to help you do that in your life.
Let Jesus satisfy your heart with hope, healing, and love as you get to know Him and trust Him more each day.
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