Who’s Shaping You?

“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” (Romans 12:2).

Every moment of the day we are being shaped, discipled, molded.

If we do nothing, if we are complacent, if we do not discipline our thinking, we are constantly being shaped by unhealthy ideologies, discipled by social media, and being molded by false beliefs of the popular culture. It’s no wonder you can’t tell a difference in the way most “Christians” think and perceive the world around them from those who do not know Jesus Christ. The same things are important to both. The same things are valued by both. There is no difference.

Or, we are being shaped, discipled, and being molded by God’s truth revealed in his Holy Scripture, by solid biblical teaching and preaching, and through the peer-pressure of other God-believing Christians. When the Bible shapes our character and our values, there is a visible and tangible difference in the things that Christ-followers value compared to those who do not know Jesus.

When Paul writes, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world…” Paul has in mind the image of a mold squeezing and tightening clay. The world is constantly pressuring Christians to act like the world. The political correctness of “woke” people put the squeeze on Biblical committed ideologies.

Be wise on who is shaping, discipling, and molding you. If you are a Christ-follower, this is a no brainer. The word of God is our authority.

Angels and People

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Matthew 24:36).

You’ve heard people say it. When someone they know dies they say “Uncle Bob is watching over us as an angel in heaven.”

That may be sweet. That may make one feel better about the death of a loved one. But there is not one shred of evidence in scripture that this is what happens when people die. In fact, we know without a shadow of doubt that people do not become angels when they die.

Angels are created beings just like human beings are created beings. Angels were present with God before the creation of the world – “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand….On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone – while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-7).

Just like dogs don’t become people when they die, people do not become angels when they die. Angels were created by God for the purpose of serving his kingdom.

Popular culture may believe whatever they want. But not so with Christians. Christians believe what the Bible teaches.

Say What?!?!

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:24-27).

Say what?!?! What you talking about Willis?!?! (If you don’t get that reference…well it’s cuz you’re too young!).

How can someone prophesy in his name, drive out demons, and even perform many miracles and not be a disciple of Jesus Christ?!?! That’s crazy.

The criteria for being a disciple is – “one who does the will of the Father who is in heaven.” Disciple literally means one who follows. A disciple of Jesus is one who follows Jesus. This means what Jesus does, says, and is about is what the disciple does, says, and is about.

What is really surprising is that Jesus is saying it’s quite possible to do all these other things (prophesy, drive out demons, and perform miracles) and still not be a disciple. You can go to worship, be a part of a small group, serve in service projects and still not be a disciple.

You see, when Jesus says, “I never knew you,” Jesus is not saying “I never knew who you were or your identity.” Of course Jesus knows. God created each and every one of us. This is not talking about knowing who an individual is.

When Jesus says, “I never knew you,” he’s saying, “I never knew you as my disciple, and you never knew me as Lord and Savior.” Because if you knew me as Lord and Savior, you would have been about accomplishing the business of my Father who is in heaven.

But your actions clearly demonstrate that you choose your own kingdom, and it is not God’s kingdom.

No one will do God’s will perfectly, 100% of the time. But, if we are disciples – followers of Jesus – then we prioritize God’s will above our own. We are about the business of “seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).

So, keep on prioritizing and seeking God’s will first.