Loving the World

Galatians 6:14 “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

Do you love the world, i.e., the systems of this world and the things the world loves?  Do you love its viewpoints – the popular notions of the day, whatever they might be, because in so doing you are ingratiating yourself to the popular ones?  Does Hollywood and all it represents appeal to you?  Are you interested in what’s going on in the life of movie stars, professional athletes, or other popular people?  How much do you know about them?  Does it matter to you what they do and say?  Are you interested in the wealth of this world? Do you long for the things that money can buy – the clothes, the homes, the vehicles, the opportunities?  Are you willing to go to great lengths to acquire such things?  Is that your deepest desire?  And is it very important to you that others like you, appreciate you, and think well of you?  If they don’t, how much does it bother you?

If you are a Christian, none of these things should really matter. They should all be very low in your value system, for in reality, you are very low in the value system of the world. Why on earth would it matter to us that we ingratiate ourselves to that which views us as “crucified,” as is stated in the verse above.  The world views Christians as the bottom of the barrel.  It could care less what we think, and more than that, it hates our viewpoints on just about everything.  If you don’t think this is true, look how the world treated Christ.  It hated Him, and ultimately murdered Him. He was worthless to them, like “a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people” (Psalm 22:6).  “He was despised and rejected by men, . . .  as one from whom men hide their faces, he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Isaiah 53:3-5). 

This then, is to be the attitude of the believer to the world – it should be crucified to us, dead, having no appeal whatsoever.  While we are in the world, we are not to be of it (John 17:4-6).  Yet, we are to be very aware that although the Christian is no longer of the world, we once were very much a part of it, and yet God so loved us – i.e., those who were in the world and slaves to its desires, and  destiny – that he gave His Son to die for us.  “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:13).”  He has called us not to be part of the world – but to go into it and preach the saving gospel to everyone who remains in it (Mark 16:15).  Jesus has told us that we are to “not love the world or the things in the world” for “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him (I John 2:15).”  Yet, it is the love of the Father in the hearts of his children that will reach out to those who are still slaves to the world with the message of forgiveness and eternal life that He longs to give all those who will believe. 

May God help us to love the world in that, and only that, way.

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