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To Be in This World but Not of This World

Main idea

How can believers be in the world, but not of the world? How should we approach the world and the culture around us? We can avoid turning on the news, distract ourselves with social media, and retreat to our safe little bubble tucked away from the rest of the world. Or… we can live boldly and anchored on who the Lord says we are in His Word and be a light in the world that we live in. 

In this powerful session, hear Pastor Josh and Lindsay share practical handles on how you can live as Jesus is even as you are in this world. Take part in this digital care group session on your own or with your friends and family. Feel free to use this guide to follow the conversation with our pastors, use it for your personal time of study, or to facilitate more conversations with your community. 

This session is based on the message:

  • Joseph Prince—Powerful Keys to Unlocking God’s Word (Sep 4, 2022)  [Sermon Notes]

1. Isolate, imitate, or insulate

In the face of societal pressures and challenges, it can be easy to simply choose to distance and isolate ourselves from the world we live in or choose to settle for the world’s methods. But as children of God, we are not called to be like the world (Rom. 12:2 NLT). Neither are we called to be isolated from the world. We are called to be the salt and light of the earth (Matt. 5:13–14).

“. . .You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
— Matthew 5:14–16 MSG

You are not called to imitate the world.
You are not called to isolate yourself from the world.

You are called to be insulated in God’s Word even as you are in the world.

You are called to be insulated in God’s Word even as you are in the world.

2. Know who you are in Christ—as He is, so are you in this world!

God has called us to be people who are insulated by God’s Word, knowing who God is and who we are in Him. 

In a world where it is hard to discern fact from opinion, God’s Word remains the solid truth. The best way to know who the Lord has made you to be is through His Word. Through His Word, you discover who He is to you and who you are in Christ, and you become equipped to follow Him in this world. 

As you fill yourself up with what His Word says to you, you will also be able to let what is inside you overflow to the people around you, encouraging them and helping them with what God has first put in you. 

Talk It Over

What are some verses that the Lord has shown you lately about who He is OR who you are in Him?

3. Own the Word

In this care group, we learned that in the face of discouragement, disappointment, and challenges, we don’t have to shut ourselves off from the world or settle for their ways and methods. God has called us to live in this world as Jesus is, and be a light in our world.


Stay Insulated in His Word and in Community

It all starts with knowing what His Word says about us and about who He is! This week, take some time to go into the Word and ask the Lord to show you portions of Scripture about who you are in Him. God speaks through His Word, and He speaks through His Word to you personally. Allow His Word to insulate you! 

Our speakers also shared about the power of being in community. We are better together; we are not meant to live life on our own. When one person is down and discouraged, another can lift them up, whether it’s with a word of encouragement, or by standing in faith with them through prayer. If you know someone who is in need of encouragement, would you take time to ask the Lord for a word or verse to share with them? And if you are in need of encouragement, reach out to a trusted friend or godly counsel in your life, and allow them to speak God’s Word into your situation.

Check out these additional resources:

  • Why You Don’t Need To Be Like Everyone Else [Video]
  • If you’re looking for a community to be part of, join us at the Lobby, our online church lobby where you can meet, encourage, and grow in grace with other believers

Questions about this topic

Do you have a question that you would like answered from this care group session? Here are some thoughts from the team that we would like to share.
  • How can we show love to others whose values or views we may not agree with?

Under grace, we are able to love God and the people around us because He first loved us. It all starts from first receiving His love and grace. 

The grace of God is unearned, undeserved, and unmerited. Because we are recipients of His undeserved grace, we can extend grace to others, even if we don’t necessarily agree with them. While it can be easy to lash out with our words or get into an argument when someone doesn’t see a situation the way we do or share the same values with us, that doesn’t have to be your response. The Bible urges us to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry (James 1:19 NLT). 

Perhaps the person you disagree with is waiting for someone to speak life and God’s truth to them, but how can we do that if we don’t know what the person needs to hear? When we choose to listen and understand instead of being quick to respond or state our views, we choose to love the other person. Throughout the Bible, we see how our Lord Jesus chose to extend love and grace to those who disagreed with Him (even those who wanted to kill Him!). And it was His love and grace that compelled them to change their minds about Him (Rom. 2:4). 

First, be rooted and established in the grace of God! When you are filled with His love and grace, you will have the power to choose to love and extend grace even to those who disagree with you. Just like how you were first won over by the Lord’s unconditional love and goodness towards us, that is how you will see other people’s hearts changed too. As you choose to show grace and love to those around you, you can trust that God is working in that situation!

Additional resources for you to check out:

  • Why you can receive what you don’t deserve [Video]
  • How to say the right thing at the right time [Video]



If you’ve been attending GRC Online regularly or consider GRC Online to be your home church, we would love to send you our exclusive GRC Online car decal sticker.

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Jean Gabrieli

Hello. I just read through How to be in this world but not of this world. A great encouragement. I just started a part-time job in Retail in a department store so I was unable to meet at 8:30pm this Tuesday evening 11/08/2022 so this is really good. This really encouraged me. Thank you. I don’t know if this is a chat, it is marked “comments” but I trust this is reaching you.

Comments from Facebook & Live Chats

Triana S.
Triana S.from our Facebook group
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I love these digital group sessions! Of the many take-aways available, the ones that stood out to me had to do with the practical, free flowing, non-formulaic ways we can spend quality time with God across the seasons of our lives. Hearing how Pastor Prince and GRC staff have us on their hearts made me feel loved and connected. Thank you pastors for being relatable, for sharing in authentic and humble ways, and for letting us know how you successfully face the same challenges we do! Looking forward to the next digital care group.🙌
Donna S.
Donna S.from our Facebook group
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The digital care group discussion was so practical and helpful. I listened to it twice today and the activities are so very useful for me to put all this into practice. I'm so thankful to both of you (and of course Pastor Prince as well) for doing this!
joyfullyHuntersville, NC
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So glad to be part of GRC and this wonderful care group!!! 🙏😀❤️ So very blessed! The Lord bless you Pastors and your families!! I feel so loved and cared for! There’s no distance in the Spirit! I love and pray for all my brothers and sisters in Christ🙏❤️...
Liz GAGeorgia
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We truly feel like we are valuable members of GRC though we are physically distant.
Wendy HAustin, TX
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This is awesome, I work two weekends out of the month, as I am not able to get to church. So now I am so blessed to have this gathering in my home.
LoneyVictoria, BC
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Thank you for the care group notes, that’s really great!! Something we can work on during the week - really appreciated.
Lisa W@username
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GRC online is an answered prayer for me. 🙏🏽 Thank you for a rhema word. Jesus loves me and I’m never alone.