Not Of This World

My cousin George is a pastor of a little church in Knox, Indiana. He posted a status on Facebook today that was is simple, but at the same time powerful. The question he posed is, “Do you try harder to spend time in the world than you do with God.” It doesn’t take a whole lot of words for me to get thinking about things. Thanks for the thought for the day George, it’s always a good reminder to stay focused on Christ.

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So, here are some of my thoughts when it comes to his question.

  • In 1 John 2:15 it says,Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”

If we look at what this verse says, it is telling us that we are suppose to be “lovers of this world.” If we love things of this world, then we are enemies of God.

I had to go look up what it means when we are told to “not be part of this world.”  The word world refers to a world system ruled by Satan, we can more readily appreciate Christ’s claims that believers are no longer of the world—we are no longer ruled by sin, nor are we bound by the principles of the world. In addition,

  • (John 17:14) “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”

Simply put, Jesus is telling us that we shouldn’t become attached to the things of this world. This isn’t something that we should take lightly. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be an enemy of God. It’s easy to fall into the ways of this world if we aren’t careful.  This is a serious matter.

Since I am a believer in Christ, I know that as a Christian I am set apart from the world. For those who are believers this means that we should be living a holy and righteous life. We shouldn’t take part in sinful activities that are condoned by the world. I’m not saying this is easy, because it isn’t. It’s something I strive to do each and every day.

It’s difficult to understand what it is that we have to do when it comes to living in this world and still not being a part of it. The best way I can think to describe what it means is that we need to be living examples of Christ. I make it a point that I do things that are pleasing to God. I want people to look at me and know that I am a Christian. If people look at me and don’t see Christ, then I am missing the mark and not doing what God is wanting.  As a believer in Christ, I have the desire to live my life for Christ.

  • (Romans 12:1-2)  I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

There are times people will say that in order for a person to be a Christian, you can’t have fun. There are too many rules and regulations. I guess I don’t see it this way.  I don’t miss the things of this world. Material things are temporary. I don’t find joy in going out partying or in activities that are for the moment. I find joy in helping others, praying and doing the things that make a difference to others and to God.  All of the things of this world will pass away. My life and the lives of all mankind will pass away, but because of Jesus dying for my sins on the cross, I know that this life is temporary.

  • (Matthew 7:16-20) You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

Toby Mac has a song out called “Lose my Soul”.   The song simply say’s, “I don’t want to gain the whole world and  lose my soul.” This is one of my favorite songs out there. If you haven’t heard it, you may want to take the time to really listen to the words.

The Chorus to “Lose my Soul”

I don’t want to gain the whole world and lose my soul
Don’t wanna walk away let me hear the people say
I don’t want to gain the whole world and lose my soul
Don’t wanna walk away let me hear the people say

In closing I just want to leave you with a few questions. You are more than welcome to comment to this post and share our thoughts and answers if you like.

  1. Is losing your soul for worldly possessions, lusts and wealth worth it to you?
  2. At the end of the day and the end of your life, who or what is more important to you?
  3. How does the world influence the way you live your life and resist temptations?
  4. How have your choices and actions affected those around you?
  5. Can people tell that you are a believer in Christ? Or are you just going through the motions?

 

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