Friday, February 19, 2016

Victory Over the World.

It is impossible to be a worldly Christian, as the values of this world are in opposition to the values of Christ and His kingdom.

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
(James 4:4 KJV)

Jesus tells us that we cannot serve two masters. Our allegiance cannot be divided (Matt 6:24). Likewise, friendship with the world puts us at odds with God. The things that this world esteems make it impossible to serve Christ with the wholehearted devotion that He demands of His followers. We read in 1 John,

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.
(1 John 2:15-17 KJV)

Once again, it is impossible to love the things of this world and God at the same time. Those who claim to love God and yet live in the pursuit of worldly pleasures and accomplishments show that they neither love, or even know God.

Love towards God requires obedience. To truly love someone is to desire the highest good of that person, even to the giving of ourselves to meet the needs, and promote the well being of that individual. To truly love God requires that we seek His will and kingdom (Matt 6:33); it is to do all in His name, and for His glory (Col 3:17; 1 Cor 6:20, 10:31). Obedience to the commandments of Jesus Christ will flow naturally from the disciple who truly loves Him (John 14:21-24; 1 John 5:2-3). 

We are required to Love God with the entirety of our beings (Deut 6:4-9). This is upheld by the words of our Lord Jesus as well (Matt 22:36-40). Love is something that cannot be legislated; it cannot be coerced, it must come from the heart willingly, and unrestrained. Jesus demands this love, as the Highest good in the universe. How can we measure up? How can we overcome this world with all of its vain trappings; with all of the things that would steal our hearts from the One who truly deserves our highest affections? 

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory thst overcometh the world, even our faith.
Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the son of God? 
(1 John 5:4-5 KJV)

If we are not overcoming the world, it is overcoming us! We overcome by faith in the risen Christ, Jesus the son of God. When we trust, we will obey, with a faith that works by love (Gal 5:6).

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