Written by Sis. Tanya Habib
Elder Shirley has reminded us of something very important that is often forgotten as we go about the tasks of daily living – that is, we are to have a proper understanding of our identity in Christ and as citizens of Heaven - John 17:14 (NLT).
She went on to explain that if we really understood clearly and all times that once we have accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour and that we are no longer of this world, our perspectives, our attitudes and our approach to the ‘world’ must necessarily be different as Paul tells us in Romans 12:2(NLT) “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think…” We adopt heavenly standards and should no longer be satisfied with conforming to the standards of this world.
What are the standards of this world? Elder Shirley directs us to God’s word in 1 John 2:15 – 16 (NLT) for clarification on what these ‘worldly’ standards are, “Do not love the things of this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world”.
Have we gone about our daily lives this week with a renewed sense of who we really are in Christ Jesus? Have we really approached each situation we encounter with an acute awareness of God’s presence in our lives and of our heavenly citizenship?
If not, and we still find ourselves craving what the world has to offer instead of longing for the things of our heavenly kingdom, let us then turn to God’s word for insight and submit to the Holy Spirit to allow Him to do His work in our lives, convicting us of our misguided prioritization of the things of this world that have displaced Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour as the centre and focus of our lives. As the Holy Spirit takes us through the process of revealing the things in us that we must change, we need to be obedient, set them aside and put them under the lordship of Jesus.It is not an easy process,neither can we experience this renewal and transformation in our own strength, but if we can offer God a heart that is willing to change and truly seek the things of the Kingdom of Heaven and prioritize what is near and dear to the Father’s heart, He is faithful and will lovingly engineer our transformation, to live our lives as citizens of heaven, conducting ourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ - Philippians 1:27 (NLT).
The following are some other helpful Scriptures referenced by Elder Shirley:
1 John 5:19
2 Timothy 3:1