"Blessed is she, who has believed, that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished." Luke 1:45

Saturday, April 25, 2009

No Middle Ground ~ Teen Devotion

No Middle Ground

"But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God's instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted." ~ 1 Peter 2:9-10 (The Message)

"I don't want to lose my boyfriend. Everyone else is doing it. It can't really be that bad."

"I don't really want to go there, or do what they are doing, but I want to be accepted."

"I'm not comfortable with the way I look, but they notice me this way."

"I'm so tired, but if I'm not the best, I won't be noticed, so I will just practice more, work harder, or study longer."

Do you ever find yourself stuck trying to figure out how to be accepted by someone else? Wondering what about yourself you can change to fit in, what you will need to hide, what things you will need to pretend to be ok with?

In 1 Peter 2:9-10, it states that as people of God, you have received a high calling in Christ. You are supposed to testify to the night and day difference of your life. How you have changed as a result of becoming part of God's chosen people.

What does that mean? It means that you need to stop trying to fit in with the world. When you try to fit in with the world, there is no "night and day difference". You testify to God's work in your life by your words, attitudes and actions. If you look just like the world, if you think just like the world, and if you speak just like the world you are not speaking out for God.

To be holy means to be set apart. When you change who you are to fit in with others, when you decide that fitting in with the world is more important than honoring God, you are speaking out, but for the world instead of God. You are not set apart.

There is no middle ground here. You are a follower of Christ or you aren't. You care about glorifying God or you don't.

Making the choice is just the beginning. Then we have to live it. No matter what. Start today by honestly answering this question: Who have I been speaking out for, God or the world?

Make the choice today to start showing that night and day difference that God has made in your life.

Application steps:

1. Get Focused: What do you struggle with in choosing God over the world? Do you do his work and speak out for him? Do you live a "night and day difference" to the world?

2. Get Purpose: Commit to living up to the calling of God. Make a list of the things of this world that have a hold on you and commit to changing those things or getting them out of your life.

3. Get Wise: Study the Bible. Learn what God expects of you, and how you can protect yourself against trying to fit in with the world.*

4. Get over it: It's up to you. You have to decide that God is more important than anything this world offers. No one can do it for you. Remember, there is no middle ground.

Final thoughts:

The only perfect person to walk this world was Jesus. We will never be perfect. Not even close. We all mess up, we all make mistakes and wrong choices. Don't give up when you mess up. Refocus, remember your purpose and keep seeking wisdom.

* Here's one to get you started:

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
~ Romans 12:1-2 (The Message)

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