Thursday, September 2, 2010

THE WORLD AND ITS GIFTS

THE WORLD AND ITS GIFTS
A. Brother
© 2009 Narrowgate Publishing

          How many of us are trusting in the world and its gifts?
          How often we wait in expectation for something good and lasting to happen to us in our lives—trusting in money that’s due to arrive, or a business deal that’s near completion, or a crop that’s due to mature, or a college scholarship that’s to be awarded, or a mortgage to be granted, or a vacation coming up—or…well, you get the concept here.
          Trusting and relying on the world is a futile and vain exercise in broken hope.
          Yet like foolish and blind unbelievers, many Christians continue to grope after promised goodies, hoping against hope that something good and lasting will somehow come to us from the storehouses of this world.
          The world is inherently untrustworthy, because it is in direct rebellion against its loving Creator.  Like a petulant, disobedient child, it spins around in a giant state of cosmic frustration, seeking to find something, anything to satisfy its selfish cravings without bowing the knee to its own Father.
          The earth, which was originally “formless and empty” while “darkness was over the face of the deep” --Genesis 1:2, insists on returning to that state of being, and living in it continuously, rather than submit to the One who made it and live in His light.

          “And God said, ‘Let there be light”, and there was light.  
God saw that the light was good, 
and He separated the light from the darkness.”  
Gen. 1:3,4

          “This is the verdict:  Light has come into the world, 
but men loved darkness instead of light 
because their deeds were evil.”  
John 3:19

        Even those of us who use Christ’s name are many times rebellious against God—we’d rather spin about in darkness, hoping by sheer luck to win the lottery, or make the big business deal, or simply have enough cash to get by—we’d rather wallow around without light, groping and hoping—than to acknowledge our sin and throw ourselves in humility on the grace and mercy of our God in a total commitment to discipleship.
          Even we, the “chosen”, those whom God has called, often go back to our worldly ways.  We begin by faith, but quickly go back to trusting in the world and its gifts.  We may couch our attitudes in spiritual terms, even using isolated Scriptures to prove our point, but we really are just hoping against hope for the next good gift the world will drop on our doorstep.
          Brothers and sisters!  Jesus says to you and me today—“My peace I give you.  I do not give as the world gives.”  --John 14:27
        The world gives what turns to dust.  The world is fickle, and seeks its own good.  So long as you worship it, and grovel before its many thrones, it will give you temporary pittances to keep you hoping and groping for more.
          The Apostle John says, “We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.”  --1 John 5:19
        Do we hear this?
          This world we live in every day is not subject to God.  It is subject to the control of the evil one, Satan himself.  This world is rebellious, including our wealthy society within the United States, and follows the dark desires of the “evil one” rather than submit to the Lord of Light.
          Therefore, how can we trust in anything this world holds out to us?  How can we rest on any of its promises? 
          Think of this stunning pronouncement by Jesus.

          “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.  
As it is, you do not belong to the world, 
but I have chosen you out of the world.  
That is why the world hates you.”  
John 15:19

            God has “chosen you out of the world”. 
          Brethren, we are to live out of this world lives!
          We are to live in the Light--Jesus Himself—and He in us.  If we are truly living in the Light, than the world will hate us as it hates Him.  How can we then grope and hope after the fickle, puny gifts this evil world holds out to us?
          Like a drug dealer hanging out in the neighborhood, trying to entice innocent children every day to enter the dark world of addiction, the evil one in his many guises holds out the “sin du jour” to you and me—the “sin of the day”—promising good things.  He hates us—every man, woman and child on this earth—and cannot be trusted in anything he says or does.
          Hold to your Lord today.  Ignore the world and its gifts.  Seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
          Leave the world and its promises.
          Live out of this world instead, in the Light, seeking Him, being willing to  exchange the temporary, fragile gifts the world gives for the eternal treasures Jesus offers us.
          

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