Worldly Concerns

1 John 2: 15-16
“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 desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.”

Romans 12:2 
"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." 

James 4:4
"You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God."

As a Christian, this is a dilemma we all face in our daily walk. What should our balance be and our focus? Projecting this outwardly, how should the church as an institution be positioned within the world? In either case, my hope would be we do not simply adopt the values of the society of which we belong. We are to be set apart—the definition of holiness—to be a source of light in a world of darkness. John reminds us that our passion should not be of what the world can offer us, but rather what God desires for us. We are expected to take up our own crosses, after all. But how many of us actually do this?

When we look at the time we spend outside of our vocations, what is the percentage of time we spend in pursuit of worldly offerings as opposed to helping those in need? Certainly, there is nothing wrong with recreation and enjoying life, but as Christians we should also remember that the life we lead is our public testimony (and often our only testimony) to those who are unbelievers. Additionally, if churches today want to reach Millennials, research has consistently shown the church needs to be one that focuses on serving the community and a committed desire to bring positive change via the works the congregation perform. A church will not survive long if all it does is meet on Sundays.

I am so thankful for the zeal God has given me to make morning study an everyday event in my life for the past several months and I pray it continues, but I know more is required. I have found I approach the day much differently when starting out with His Word. I find myself less concerned with the temporal things this world offers and for me that has been a true blessing. The pettiness of politics and who is lying and who isn’t fades blissfully in the background. It’s opened my eyes to take notice of how I’m actually spending my time—and how much room for improvement I have in that regard.

We cannot live out our lives in seclusion - that's not what God wants us to do. We must go out into the world to tell others of God's love and His plan for their salvation. We must tell them about Jesus. What we cannot do, however, is to become mired in the world in which we are to evangelize. We must not let these temporal things take precedence in our heart over the things of God.

“I am now of a higher race than the mere worldling, there is another life now flowing in my veins. I cannot live for these temporal things. I may use them, but I must not abuse them. I may have them under my feet, but I must not permit them to crush me, and to be above my head. I can float over them, as a ship sails over the sea; but I cannot let them into myself, for that were to sink the ship, as when the vessel ships a great sea, and begins to go down with the weight thereof. I must not let my heart be troubled even though my head may sometimes seem to be. No, a Christian man turns right away from what to other men seems the most important business of life, and he says, “Lord, it is all vanity to me.” To children of God, these things seem so frail, so fleeting, as to be scarcely worth a thought; and we get away into our chamber, and we shut to the door, and we speak in secret to our Father, who seeth in secret; and then all things apart from him grow to be mere vanity, and smoke, and folly, and sin. We cannot be always pestered with these daily cares. No, Lord, turn away our eyes from beholding vanity, and quicken thou us in thy way!”

                                                                                    ~ Charles Spurgeon