Posts Tagged ‘World

12
Oct
17

The Spirit Of Truth

When it comes to false teachers and false prophets, the world will listen to their lies. John says that false teachers and false prophets are from the world and that’s why the world listens to them. John says:

They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us.This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. – 1 John 4:5-6 (NIV)

The Spirit of truth lives in the hearts of Christ’s followers. We must listen to God’s Spirit of truth when it comes to the lies of false prophets. If it sounds worldly or too good to be true, then it is probably worldly or too good to be true. If you want to know the truth, you’ve got to read the Word of truth and follow the Way, the Truth and the Life and His name is Jesus.
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28
Apr
17

Pure Religion

James says that if we can’t keep a tight rein on our tongues, our religion is worthless. He then describes the kind of religion that pleases our Heavenly Father. James wrote:

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. – James 1:27 (NIV)

More than talking a good game, followers of Jesus need to put feet to our faith. We need to care about the most vulnerable people in our world. We need to take care of those on the fringes.  We need to love the people who cannot offer us anything in return. We’ll find it much easier to love people who can give us something. What is hard is to love people who have nothing to give.
We also need to keep ourselves from being polluted by the world. The world is a dirty place full of sin and filth. We can do one of two things. First, we can avoid the world all together and set up communes in order to keep ourselves pure. That works to a degree, but it doesn’t change anyone’s lives or destinies. The other option is to keep ourselves grounded in God’s Word as protection against pollution. We’ll never change the world if we’re not working in the world to shine God’s light and love. Don’t isolate yourself from the world. Instead, be a light and show God’s love to someone today.
11
Mar
16

The World Hates/Let Us Love

1 John 3:11-15 (NIV)
 For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15 Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.
 
Jesus told His disciples:

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. – John 13:35 (NIV)

The Apostle John took this to heart as he wrote chapter 3 in his first letter.  The world is full of so much hatred.  These people hate those people.  This religion hates that religion.  This ethnicity hates that ethnicity.  This country hates that country.  Hatred is the world’s default mode.  Hatred rules the day and love is rare.
Yet, love is what we who belong to Jesus are called to do.  We are called to love God first and foremost and to love our fellow Christ followers unconditionally.  We are commanded to love our families, our friends, our neighbors and even our enemies.  The world is filled with hate.  The church should be filled with love.  This means that we have to forgive grievances.  It means that we have to encourage each other.  It means that we need to sometimes bear with each other.  We won’t always like our fellow disciples, but we do have to love each other until we like each other again.  
Love is tough and requires that we do some pretty tough things.  We might have to rebuke someone because we love them.  We might have to confront someone and hold them accountable because we love them.  We might have to forgive the seemingly unforgivable because we love them.  
The command to love our brothers and sisters is not optional because it is so counter-cultural.  When the world spreads hatred, Christians respond in love and kindness.  That is the kind of thing that the world notices.  “There’s something different about those Christians!”  Yes, world, there is something different about us.  We love, love, love each other even when it is hard to do.  For our Master, Jesus Christ, taught us to do just that.
 
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, help me to live a life of love today.  When I am tempted to hate or harbor bitterness, help me to love.  When I am tempted to respond with sarcasm or anger, help me to love.  When I am tempted to divide, let love unite.  Thank You for Your love.  I ask for these things in the mighty name of Jesus, amen.
22
Feb
16

Are You In Love With The World?

1 John 2:15-17 (NIV)
 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

The world has 3 components that vie for our affections:
  1. The lust of the flesh –  this is a sexual desire or craving that overtakes a person.
  2. The lust of the eyes – this is a covetous desire for what others have.
  3. The pride of life – this is the arrogant boasting about one’s accomplishments and possessions.

John makes it clear that these are only temporary desires that pass away.  When we give in to these desires, we are not doing the will of the Father.  These desires do not come from the Father.

Are these temporary desires sinful?  Only when left unchecked.  You can have a healthy sexual desire for your spouse.  You can appreciate and congratulate someone’s promotion at work.  You can be proud of your accomplishments without boasting over and over about how great you are and how you’re a “self-made” man or woman.  It is when our lust, jealousy and boasting are out of control that we are ensnared by sin.  Lust leads to sex outside of God’s design for marriage.  Envy leads to sinful acts such as robbery and even murder.  Pride ultimately leads to destruction because one will not admit their need of a Savior.  This is what it means to love the things of the world.  If you love the world with all of your heart, then there is no room for Jesus.  His love is eternal.  The things of this world are not.
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, keep me from from the love of this world.  Help me in my weaknesses to love You most of all.  Clean out my heart and make me more like Jesus.  I confess my sinfulness to You and thank You for Your forgiveness.  In the name of Jesus I thank and praise You, amen.
28
Aug
14

Distracted By The World

Jesus continues at the end of Luke 21 by talking about the signs of His return.  I am particularly intrigued by verse 34:

Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap​. – Luke 21:34 (NIV)​

Look at this list of three things that can weigh our hearts down and distract us from the return of Jesus.
  1. Carousing – this word can also be translated as dissipation, which is a word we don’t use much.  It means amusement or mental distraction.  Jesus is saying not to get distracted by the amusements of this life.  Don’t get so focused on reality TV, movies, sports (guilty as charged!), celebrity gossip or music that you miss the signs of His return.
  2. Drunkenness – Jesus also says not to be weighed down by drunkenness.  In other words, don’t party so much that you are distracted and dulled by that lifestyle.  Jesus says to “be careful.”  If you live for the party on Earth, you might just miss the banquet of Heaven.
  3. Anxieties of Life – Finally, we are not to be so worried about the cares of this life that we lose our souls and our place in the next life.  We can get so worried about material things that we work ourselves to death trying to secure them and what we’re really doing is losing our souls.  

Jesus is coming and we need to be prepared.  The things of this life and this world are temporary.  They will not last.  The season will end and the shows will get cancelled.  The party will come to an end eventually.  The things we break our backs for will fall apart, become too small or get stolen.  The things of this world just aren’t worth are undivided attention.  They are mere distractions that pull our hearts away from our first love.  Don’t get distracted by this world.  As the Scriptures say:

For this world in its present form is passing away.​ – 1 Corinthians 7:31b (NIV)​

Luke 21:29-38 (NIV)
29 He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30 When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.

32 “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

37 Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, 38 and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple.



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