Christmas Message 10: A Godly Life in an Ungodly Place!
I was sitting here wondering if Jesus were born today, what city do you think He would come from? Maybe Jerusalem, Rome, London, Paris, New York, or California would come to mind. I don’t think we would expect Jesus to come from Saginaw, Haslet, Justin or Newark. Or how about this? Jesus of Las Vegas. That has kind of a negative sound doesn't it?
When people of Jesus' day identified Him as "Jesus of Nazareth," that is how it was perceived. There was a negative association. But even in that ungodly place there lived a godly young woman named Mary, who proved that you can live a godly and holy life in an ungodly and unholy place. We could talk about Joseph, the Angels, the Shepherds, the Wise Men but I want to focus on Mary and her town of Nazareth.
In second Peter he described the world's effect on two different believers. Both lived in wicked cultures, yet one thrived while the other didn't.
First there was Noah. Things were so corrupt when he was alive that God was sorry that He had made man and was ready to judge the earth. Yet in the midst of this darkness Noah "found favor with the Lord" (Genesis 6:8) because he walked with God. He was a godly man who lived in an ungodly place, yet he never compromised.
Then there was Lot, who lived in Sodom and Gomorrah. In contrast to Noah, Lot was sort of worn down. He didn't approve of what the people were doing, but he didn't do anything to change it. Scripture says that he was living among them, torturing his righteous soul every day with what he saw and heard by their unlawful and wicked deeds. He lived a compromised life. And when the angel of the Lord came to deliver him from Sodom, he left but reluctantly.
Which one of those two men do you relate to: Noah or Lot? Or to put it another way, are you changing the culture, or is the culture changing you? I pray this Christmas season will bring the Mary out in all of us, I pray that we will influence the world instead of the world influencing us. God Bless!