Outthink, Outpray, Outlive

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”— John 18:36 God’s Kingdom is neither political nor "of this world." Jesus said of believers, "For they are not of the world any more than I am of the world" (John 17:14).

It's quite a balancing act, living in this world, working, interacting with people, finding enjoyment in the arts, taking advantage of progress, participating in politics, appreciating the world around us—and yet, staying true to the Kingdom of God.

But Jesus says it can be done.

We can live in the world, but not be of the world, because the world is not where His Kingdom is. If we live in His Kingdom, by the power of the Holy Spirit and the strength of His Word, then we can achieve what appears to be nearly impossible.

Jesus and His disciples posed a threat to the established political order. Pontius Pilate was trying to figure out, what kind of king is this Jesus? Christianity ultimately turned the world upside down. Even so, the early believers made no attempt to conquer paganism or overthrow Judaism by reacting blow by blow to others' fears and threats. Instead, they outthought, outprayed and outlived the unbelievers.

Their weapons were spiritual, not fleshly. They did not hold protests or boycotts; they did not put on a campaign to unseat the emperor. Instead, they prayed and preached and proclaimed the message of Christ crucified for our sin, and of His Resurrection. They loved people with the love Jesus taught them.

They impacted their world and generations to come. Where is the Roman Empire today? Not here. Yet the church of Jesus Christ lives and thrives.

They knew, believed, and experienced the message that had the power to change lives.

That is how the world is changed.

DEVOTIONALSRay Bentley