Play Video

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.

Share your thoughts with our community

Notify of

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
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.

Joan Judge

I praise Jesus that regardless where we are on our journey there is no condemnation. He will meet us there!!

City, State
Charlotte NC
Linda Kalaitzis

This Care Group is so practical, giving us ways to be in this world. You have encouraged me to not withdraw from being a light on the hill and to get good at using God’s word to help others. Much appreciated.

City, State
Sydney, Australia

So glad I am not of this world anymore because the story of the woman at the well has always puzzled me. And the fact that Pastor Josh recently brought up her story just reminds me all the more of that frustrating puzzle; making it even more perplexing…ugh! The more I look at that story the more questions I have, and can’t seem to sort them out. But over the years several things jumped out at me with her story.
First of all (accept as a subtitle) the the bible never uses the word adultery in the story. Yet everyone assumes she committed adultery and there is no mention that anyone of those men were married or had a wife, or died either. As for the one she was with, all Jesus said was the one you now have is not your husband. So it’s not like she was married to the sixth one and cheated on him with the first five. So how did she commit adultery
Secondly, how do we know if she was committing adultery or fornication? I always thought of her 5 or 6 husbands as fornication and not adultery. Yet if the two did became one, were they actually married? If they are, then just about everyone in the world is committing adultery today. Or maybe we have a bunch of concubines running around? As for the men; were they, or were they not each her husband? One minute Jesus refers to them as husbands, yet He refers to one of them as not. If they weren’t actually married then it was fornication, if it was adultery they were married? Were they really married or not? I go back and forth with this but still have no conclusion. Isaac and Rebekah went into a tent and the two became one and they were married. But that was arranged by God Himself. She was his wife, was Isaac her husband? Or was Jesus her husband? Either way, I still wonder did the woman at the well really commit adultery? The bible never says whether any one of those men had a wife or were married to someone else. Maybe none of them were officially married, maybe they were all fornicating? Or if they were all a husband was she a wife committing adultery? Or if they weren’t her real husband, was she still an adulterer; or a fornicator or prostitute… or all of the above? Maybe I don’t want to know anymore.
Thirdly, “and the man you are now living with is not your husband.” Were any of them her husband? This was the first thing that jumped out at me the very first time I ever read this story. And it was also truly the first time I made a personal account of my own life and those days of looking for love in all the wrong places. Selah……….not counting the one I had; 1, 2… (more Selah) might as well say… 3, 4, 5. (that made me sick, very sick) Thank God I don’t think about it anymore. But was I married to all of them? I didn’t think so. Or were they married to any one else? Not that I know of. It’s simply all messed up. Can fornication become adultery, or is it one or the other? Or can it be both at the same time? If it is, that sounds worse than the other.
So what was the bottom line for the woman at the well? Today I think I see this story in a whole new light; and I’m all the more sorry now:( perhaps she was an adulterer (or all three) and me too:( I’m so sorry Lord. Thank you Jesus for your mercy on me and protecting me during those years. Thank you for forgiving me of all that garbage. Thank you for cleansing my spirit, soul, and body. Thank you for redeeming me from all that past, and I don’t have to think about it anymore. Hallelujah:)

City, State
United Kingdom
Susan Fuller

Bless you guys!

City, State
Donna Texas
Darren Mabo Aris

My thoughts are : i want to genuiely study Gods word more and more as never before as a young boy to get more closer to Gods presence by studying his word , and having time of meditation and quite time for you and your father in heaven .

City, State
London united kingdom

Comments from Facebook & Live Chats

Triana S.
Triana S.from our Facebook group
Read More
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
Read More
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
Read More
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
Read More
We truly feel like we are valuable members of GRC though we are physically distant.
Wendy HAustin, TX
Read More
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
Read More
Thank you for the care group notes, that’s really great!! Something we can work on during the week - really appreciated.
Lisa W@username
Read More
GRC online is an answered prayer for me. 🙏🏽 Thank you for a rhema word. Jesus loves me and I’m never alone.