God expects you to know not only what you believe but why you believe it. And now, more than ever, our world needs Christians who can explain what they believe and why they believe it to others.
Why? Because most of the people in the world don't have a clue as to what they really believe.
Our culture shows obvious signs that we live with a confusing hodgepodge of worldviews. Some are guided by materialism—the idea that all there is to this world is what we can see and touch. Others are dominated by hedonism—the idea that the pursuit of pleasure is higher than every other pursuit. Still others are governed by pragmatism—the idea that whatever works for you is all that matters.
So how, in a generation represented by such a confusing mix of viewpoints, do we strengthen our biblical view of the world? In at least three ways:
1. Learn the truth. Jesus concluded His most famous sermon, the Sermon on the Mount, with a story about two different men who built houses. One built his house on the shaky foundation of sand. The other built his house on the solid foundation of a rock. When the storms came along, the winds blew, the waves rose and everything crashed in, Jesus said the guy who built his house on the shaky foundation of sand watched it collapse. But the guy who built his house on the solid foundation of rock saw his house stand the test of time.
You're going to have plenty of earthquakes in your life: financial earthquakes, spiritual earthquakes, health earthquakes, relational earthquakes and moral earthquakes. You may have some career earthquakes and marital earthquakes too. If your foundation is not solidly built on truth that doesn't change, you're going to crumble.
And as a leader, you're responsible for helping other people to build their lives on God's truth as well. That's why I'd recommend using tools such as the 40 Days in the Word campaign, the CLASS system, a Foundations course, and listening to Pastor Tom Holladay's Drive-time devotionals. The more we can do to get into God's Word and to get God's Word into the people we're leading, the better.
2. Discern what is false. 1 John 4:1 says in The Message paraphrase, "Don't believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world."
I love the Bible! Sometimes it's just flat out in your face. It just tells it like it is. And the Bible is blunt when talking about false teaching. It gives us truth to learn and, having learned the truth, it gives us the encouragement to reject falsehood and error.
That doesn't mean being skeptical or cynical. Cynicism is built on resentment, bitterness and hurt. Discernment, on the other hand, is built on love and truth. So learn the truth, and then discern and reject what is false.
3. Turn from the world to the Word. The Bible says in Romans 12:2, "Do not be conformed to this world." And what is the "the world?" It's the world's value system—materialism, hedonism, individualism, secularism. And the Bible goes on, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." The "renewing of your mind" has to do with changing your worldview, your belief system so "that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God." God's will for your life is good, it's pleasing, and it's perfect.
I love this verse in The Message paraphrase. It says "Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you."
Proverbs 15:14 says, "The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness." You've got two options on what to build your life on—truth or trash. What you put into your mind is what's going to come out in your lifestyle. If you want to change your life, you've got to stop feeding on trash and start feeding more on truth.
Our modern 24-hour news cycle makes it appear that everything is important when it's not. You can probably go a week or two without news and you'd still be alive. But you can't go a couple of days without hearing from God's truth and keep growing in spiritual maturity.
The pathway to joy is choosing to see everything from God's perspective, and we only see things from God's perspective when we've built our worldview on the truth of the Bible.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of pastors.com, a global internet community for pastors.
For the original article, visit pastors.com.
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