You need only read 1 John 2:15-16 to see why the ways of the world are not recommended for the believer: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” The ungodliness of the world has nothing good to offer you as a believer. Your model for how to live is Jesus Christ. And your guidebook for how to be blessed, prosperous and successful, is His Word. Embrace it!
Before He ascended into heaven, Jesus told His disciples, “Ye are the light of the world…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16). You are God’s light in the earth. Light gives guidance. It brings hope and revelation, and provides illumination to a world of darkness. If God’s light in you is not shining brightly, if it’s not allowing you to be a true reflection of His love to others, then turn it up a notch! Stay focused on and obedient to God’s Word and don’t get involved in worldly things that will lead you, and others, into darkness. You are the light of the world!
When Jesus told His disciples to “Follow me,” He was asking them to use His life as an example of how they were to live. In essence, He was saying, “I am your spiritual Shepherd, so imitate Me.” Following after Jesus, imitating His lifestyle, is how we become His example to the world—how we reflect His love, mercy and kindness to others. That’s what God intended when He created us to be just like Him. Study and obey God’s Word so you can be a true reflection, and an effective witness for Him to the world.
It’s unfortunate, but the truth is there are people who seem to enjoy bringing one another down. They can’t wait to point out your flaws—to tell you what you’ve done wrong. It’s wonderful how God looks at the good in us. He knows it’s there because He put it there. He intended for it to reflect His goodness, His love, His kindness to the world as you follow Him. Is it working?
Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “Cameras don’t lie.” Well, neither do mirrors. When you look in a mirror, the image you see is what others see. It’s you, as you are, whether good or bad. God’s Word is like a mirror. It reflects His image, character and beauty. The more you look into God’s Word, reading and studying it daily, the more you will conform to His image. That’s the image you want people to see.
When people look at you what do they see? Are they seeing a representative of God, or are they witnessing a carbon copy of what ungodly people represent to the world today? The Bible says God created you in His own image and likeness so you could walk, talk and act just like Him. That’s what Jesus did. You can draw others to Him—have such an impact that they will want to be like Him. You are His representative on the earth—just like Jesus!
Have you decided to totally commit to serving God? To purposefully live in and obey His Word? That’s key to being able to overcome all the problems and negative situations cause you to be stressed and worried—that threaten to steal your joy, rob you of your peace, and eventually destroy your life. That’s what happened for Apostle Paul. Despite the obstacles, regardless of the threats and attacks he faced, Paul was committed to serving God. He persevered to the end—pressing “toward the mark for the prize” (Philippians 3:14). And he made it! You can make it, too. Just stay committed to serving God. Discipline yourself to obey His Word and His presence!
The Bible says in Proverbs 14:12, New Living Translation, “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.” That’s always going to be the case if you choose the world over God’s Word. But when you commit to following God, to hear and obey His voice, you will prosper and enjoy life the way He planned. Choosing to obey God requires discipline. You must be so determined to do things His way that, no matter what the circumstances are, you won’t allow the devil to cause you to waver, to doubt God, or disobey Him. You have the mind of Christ. Listen to His voice and purpose to obey Him. Then, you will honor Him as Lord and He will reign over your life.