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The World: Friend Or Foe

By Don Loftis | 05.08.13

We are all aware of the conflicts we face in being citizens in the world and being citizens in God’s kingdom.  This tension is seen in John’s strong warning in I John 2:15, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

Certainly, the world operates with a different set of values and priorities.  Through opportunities and commercials, it appeals to the fleshly part of us and often leads us toward sinful things.  We would do well to heed Paul’s warning not to be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.

Yet, Jesus was deeply engaged with the world in which He lived.  He healed the sick without checking their spiritual pedigrees.  He associated with the social outcasts (lepers), the political misfits (tax collectors) as well as the spiritual rejects (Samaritan woman, etc.).  Jesus clearly taught that He had come to seek and save the lost.

Help in reconciling these two distinct aspects of our calling may be found in the old adage that says “Christians are to be in the world, but not of the world.”  We must keep ourselves pure while ministering to those trapped in sin.  We must understand our identity as the children of God, while we are seeking to teach the children of the world.  Jesus ministered perfectly, because He knew His Father perfectly.  The better we know the Lord and the more deeply we love Him, the more safely and effectively we will carry the message of light into a world of darkness.

 


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