Friday, June 5

Apostles' Creed Focus

"I believe in"


Reflection Verse

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions, is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” - 1 John 2:15-17


Reflection

I’ve been a dedicated sports fan for most of my life. It took me a few years to realize that my utmost devotion to a team that’s bound to never win anything substantial (I’m talking about the Cleveland Browns if you’re wondering) didn’t bring enough fulfillment for all the time I was putting into it. Yet, there were people in my life who devoted so much of their time to being an avid fan. I almost felt bad for not caring as much as those around me had. Where was the disconnect?

1 John 2:15 gives us a great reminder that we must hold things of this world loosely. Having a relationship and a devotion to Christ means embracing Him fully and holding the things that the world deems as important at an arm's length away. We can adopt behaviors, trends, and styles to package biblical truths into cultural norms. This isn’t always bad (sometimes it can be necessary to effectively advance the Gospel), but conforming too much to culture can create an idolization of lesser things.

It’s safe to say that everyone is devoted to something. Whether you're a deeply loyal husband or wife, father or mother, soldier or citizen, fan or follower, we all put our time and efforts into something. We can’t escape the feeling of comradery towards a goal or devotion towards something we deeply care about. We have been created to be passionate about things. The issue only arises when we choose to dedicate our lives to things of lesser importance than  that which God has called us to. We shouldn’t fear always fitting in or being ostracized for our faith in society. We should be weary of dedicating our lives to something that ultimately doesn’t matter. Something is wrong if the way we live our lives makes complete sense to the non-believer. In following Christ, we are forced to live counter to what culture mandates, and in doing so, God’s light becomes more apparent in the darkness.

What has gotten in the way of your full devotion to Christ lately? Is there anything of this world tugging your attention away from Him? Think on these things as you spend time in God’s Word today.


Prayer

God, I have a need to be loved, and I pray that those needs are completely filled by what you already provide. I pray for the strength to remain relevant to today’s culture, while continuing to hold strong to biblical convictions. Please place a stronger desire in my heart to be continually devoted to how you have called me to live because, if I can be fully honest with myself, I know that is the best life possible for me. Amen.


Family Focus

This would be a good time to talk together about your family’s priorities. Make a list of all the things that you do each week (sports, school, work, chores, church, family time, etc).

  1. Decide what things are “of the world” and what things are “the will of the Father.”
  2. What things do you put first?
  3. Is there anything that should be removed from the list completely?
  4. Ask God to give you strength to choose His will over the desires to please ourselves or what society may pressure us to do.