NOT OF THIS WORLD
This week, we are challenged to answer this question: are you standing out for Jesus, or are you slowly changing and becoming more like the world? Let’s look at the difference between conforming and transforming. Let’s choose to be “in this world, but not of it.”
What you will need: A Bible or your Bible app, a notebook, pen, and highlighter. The verses highlighted below are linked so that you can easily access them during your study time.
1. Who is someone whose faith you admire? Why: did they make a verbal stand, take bold action, or have consistent godly living?
2. Read Romans 12:1-2. What is the difference between conforming to something and transforming into someone? Would you say you stand out for Jesus or are you slowly changing to be more like the world? Are there messy areas in your heart and life? Why is mindset so important in the concept of conforming vs. transforming? What things can you do to help your mindset be “renewed”?
3. Read the second half of Romans 12:2 again. What do you need to put to the test? Take time to evaluate your inputs. Who are the most consistent voices in your head/ears? What podcast, music? What shows do you watch? What app or device consumes you? Action step: What do you need to lay down or sacrifice this week? An app, a device, a show, or is it something you eat, drink, or consume? Maybe a news outlet? Ask God, then take a week off from that thing. Then, ask God what to replace it with. Is it God’s Word, or time with your family, or getting outside with a friend?
4. Read Mark 12:13-17. Who came to talk to Jesus? What was their motive? Have you ever felt baited, entrapped, or ridiculed for your faith? How does Jesus reply clearly and concisely, speaking to both the temporal and spiritual truths? What does He not speak about? What does this say to your life and choices today? Are you willing to look at your beliefs and ask God what He wants you to be and do, based on His Word, not your peers or party affiliation?
5. Read Matthew 10:16-20. After we choose Christ, why are we left in this world? How are we to be wise and gentle? Explain in your own words what this might mean in a situation? Do you need to grow in being “wise as serpents” or on the side of being “gentle as a dove”? What are we promised?
6. Read Luke 9:23. This verse is very clear. What must you do daily? Are you willing? What does this mean for you personally? Look back up to the notes you took or the nudges you felt in Question #3.
7. Read Daniel 1:3-7. What is the situation which Daniel and his friends are placed in? What kind of pressure is he under to conform? Where are you facing pressure to conform or just “shut up” and fit in?
8. Read Daniel 1:8. Where does transformation start? What is the first thing Daniel did? Next, who did he speak to and how? What did he not do?
9. Read Daniel 1:9-10. How did God show up? Was the issue resolved?
10. Read Daniel 1:11-16. Daniel asked for a time of testing: he asked the official to give them enough time to see a change. It takes time to see what God is doing. It takes time to realize that God is honoring your commitment to tithe by providing for you and your family. Where do you need to allow a time of testing to see God at work in your life in this new season of resolve?
11. Read Daniel 1:17-21. How did God honor the commitment not to conform? How did He bless Daniel and his friends? Why do you think God honored a test? What difference does motivation make when we put God to the test?