On Becoming WORDly

On Becoming WORDly

A trip to the local mall will give a quick sense of the pattern of this world. What is important? What is valued? The promotion of the latest trends in clothing, decorating, collecting and eating seem to point to the love of ourselves. For many, feeding the empty pit of vanity is a full time job. A quick review of ancient cultures would tell us that this is the pattern of every worldly culture. The ancient Egyptians spent hours preparing their bodies for festive feasts. The ancient Greeks and Romans were obsessed with their appearance and their own pleasure as well.

When Paul wrote to the church in Rome he exhorted them to not conform to their culture any longer. (Romans 12:2) This implies that they were part of their culture once and were not setting themselves apart from it at the time of his writing. This same expectation held for the Israelites, God’s first chosen people. He had set them apart from the world around them. The Law and commands of God created a distinction for Israel among the nations. There were brief periods in Israel’s history this distinction was kept. Most times, sadly she did not. A gradual acceptance of the standards of other cultures led her to lower hers. Eventually, Israel followed the cultures around her. God rebuked her through the prophet Ezekiel saying “…you have not followed my decrees or kept my laws but have conformed to the standards of the nations around you.” (Ezekiel 11:12)

 

As Christians, we are called to live distinctively different lives from those of our neighbors. God’s WORD challenges us to have a different set of values. We are called to be distinctively different in our speech (let your speech be seasoned with salt, Col. 4:6) in our attitudes (let your attitude be that of Christ Jesus, Phil 2:5), and our dress (dress modestly, 1 Tim. 2:9), our finances (give generously to those in need, 2 Cor. 9:6-7), our recreation (let no one be idle, 2 Thess. 3:6-8) our work (work heartily as unto the Lord, Col. 3:23), and our education (take every thought captive, 2 Cor. 10:5). We are to live, eat, love, work, play and learn with Christ at the center of everything. This is vastly different from cultures which place the individual at the center of all things.

If you’re like me, you want to rise to the challenge – to do whatever it takes to honor God and follow His decrees. But how can this be done? Paul gives us a good place to start. Renew our minds.

Many in the church today appear confused about the importance of our minds. The Christian faith is not simply a matter of the emotions. We are commanded to love the Lord our God with all of our minds. (Luke 10:27) We are to commit our minds to the service of worship in thinking. For thinking, and learning, and studying are indeed worshipful activities if we are doing them for the purpose of knowing and enjoying the Lord of all knowledge.

 

Many visitors have come our way lately as the season of admissions quickly draws to a close. A common observation is that the students at Covenant appear to be very different from students in other schools. The Lord has indeed blessed us with a wholesome and holy environment. The students display a love for the Lord and a love for knowledge. As I walk through our school and observe the students taking in their studies, my hope is that they will continue in their pursuit of knowledge for the rest of their lives and that it will have a dramatic impact on how they live. My hope for every student is that they will learn to think in a manner consistent with the Scriptures in every subject and that that knowledge will transform each student into the image of Christ. My desire is that they would not be worldly Christians, believing some of the doctrines of the faith living a worldly life; but, rather, that they be WORDly Christians, believing all of the doctrines of the faith and living a life centered on the WORD.

Let us as parents seek to become WORDly Christians as well. Let us take the challenge of Scripture to heart, refusing to be satisfied with a little but pressing on to learn more about the wonderful Lord whom we serve. Let us resolve to utilize the service provided for us in our school and not be content to have them trained from 8:00 to 3:30 only. Deut. 6:7 says, “…Talk about them [God’s commandments] when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” This task of becoming WORDly is a daunting one, and only one that the grace of the Lord Himself can accomplish. What a comforting thought to consider that He delights to accomplish this very thing in us!