Spiritually We Will Look Like Aliens
The first time I went to Mexico, it was to take classes from Wichita State University. I went to Puebla, Mexico, to earn college credits and to immerse myself in Hispanic culture. It was a lot of fun and an experience that I will never forget, but it came with a high price. There were no Christian churches around. The services that I attended were in Spanish in big cathedrals with walls that echoed like the Grand Canyon. Not only that, I couldn’t figure out how to get them to give me the Lord’s Supper. It weakened me spiritually to the point that things I refused at the beginning of the trip I gave into before I left. It provided me evidence that I will never forget about the importance of time spent with God’s people and the truth that “bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
Between that trip, vacation, and mission trips, I’ve spent about 25 weeks of my life in either Mexico or Puerto Rico. A lot of things have happened to me on these trips. I had my clothes stapled to my bed, my air mattress deflated, chairs stacked on top of me, sawdust in my eye, my wife’s new camera dropped in the ocean, got lost on the beach and walked 5 kilometers the wrong direction, cut my foot open on sharp rocks, went to the ER, and then drove to a pharmacy to buy a shot that I needed that the ER didn’t have. Here’s one thing that hasn’t happened. I’ve never been confused for a Mexican citizen. In fact, I couldn’t even pass as a citizen of Puerto Rico. This fits nicely with something God tells us in His Word about Christians: “Beloved, I urge you as foreigners and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11). Why would God want us to be like foreigners in the world? He doesn’t want us to blend in. He calls us to be holy and gives us good reasons for doing so: “because it is written: ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” “Pursue peace with all people, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). To be a Christian means to be like Christ, to imitate Him in our lives. Since God is holy, we should strive to be holy, too. God wants us to be set apart from the world by living our lives according to the Bible. He calls us to love one another, put others first, sacrifice our will to do His will, spend time with His Church, and be a light through our words and deeds that brings people from the darkness of sin to the light of His Word and the salvation that comes only through Jesus. In the passage from Hebrews 12, God calls us to lives of peace and holiness. How can we show God’s love to others, resolve conflicts peaceably, and be the holy individuals that He has called us to be? These are questions that we need to ask ourselves. If you’re wondering how, read God’s Word daily and spend as much time with God’s Church as you can.
As we look forward to a new school year, we can look to God’s Word to see how we can live lives that bring others to Jesus and the changes we need to make in our lives to be the people that God has called us to be. Kids can do things the first time that they are asked and find new ways to help in their communities. Parents can pay closer attention to the things that their kids are watching, listening to, and doing. We can be sure that we don’t let things like our jobs, sports, or family events interfere with the time our families should be spending with the Church. We can let others go first, help people in need, be honest about our failures, and do as Jesus instructs in Matthew 6:33: “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.” Put spending time with God’s Church and growing His Church first in our lives. Seek to be the holy, righteous people that He has called us to be. Do our best in everything. Seek God’s glory and not our own. Be united with other Christians in love, spirit, and purpose. Humbly consider others better than yourself. (Philippians 2:2-3) Spiritually speaking, we will look like aliens, foreigners, and strangers in the world because the people in our lives will see God’s Word and Spirit guiding the things we say and do.
Dan Hildebrand, Lernsys.com Spanish 2 creator