Friends: We are thinking about the incredible possibility that awaits us as we anticipate a brand new year — 2020. The expression “2020” reminds me of my first eye exam in high school — when I memorized the eye chart before going to the doctor’s! (I don’t know why). As we face this new year, we have the opportunity to use our EYES to become more like the Lord Jesus. We can study His life in the Scriptures. And, by God’s grace, become more conformed to His image.
The second truth that I want to focus on for this New Year is not to be conformed to the world! The expression “the world” is used in three ways in the Word: the planet, the people of the planet, or the pagan system opposing God and the things of God. It is in this third sense that the Jesus-follower should determine, “I will NOT let the world around me determine my life, set my priorities, rule my heart!”
The classic passage on this issue, of course, is Romans 12:1-2 where we read —
“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. 2 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.“
We must (1) recognize the world’s influences in all its many forms and (2) determine to resist being molded by that system!
Would you pray with me this morning the following prayer? “Lord, the world, the system opposing You, is all around me! Please give me wisdom in identifying its many efforts to squeeze me into its mold and to turn me away from the truths of Your Word. I don’t want to become a hermit, Lord, but I want to live a godly life right here. On this planet. But I need Your help. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”