Saturday, December 18, 2010

What's "The World"?

(beginning of a weekly devotional series) :)
The universe is just amazing. Incomprehensible numbers of suns, planets, and moons, swirling in pinwheels and orbs and platters across an unending ebony backdrop. Solar systems scattered like sand on the ocean shore. Mountains and canyons and swirling masses of stars and planets and gas creating three-dimensional landscapes on the background of “forever.” And if you zoom in close enough you see our world. A little blue marble with green and white designs on it. It looks so homey. So small. So loveable.
But when you start reading the Bible, you get a different view…or is the subject of the texts a different world altogether?

“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.” (I John 2:15)

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)

What is this “world” that we are supposed to avoid “loving” or being like? That’s something I’ve been learning about for nearly two years now. I used to have this rather vague, fuzzy picture of a “world” that shunned God and did everything it “wasn’t supposed” to do. So it wasn’t too hard to reconcile myself to these statements. I appreciated and respected God and didn’t go too far from what I ideally should do, so I was fine. Right?

But recently I’ve gotten a new view on this amorphous “world.”

The world is anything that draws me away from Jesus.

It can be a book, a movie, an activity, a friend, even an environment. Some of these things I can choose to leave out of my life, or I can “pull away” from them so they don’t influence me as much. I’ve had to do a lot of that in the past two years, as I found many things that weren’t encouraging me towards God’s plan for my life. It isn’t fun…but it’s a choice you have to make. But other things I can’t get away from, and even if I could—I suppose I could go be a hermit somewhere, theoretically—it wouldn’t be the best thing for me or for other people. What then? We'll be looking at that January 1!

Where do you most commonly find the “world” in your life? How have you chosen to deal with it—or have you chosen to do anything about it? Do you think it’s even an important issue?

Next Weekend: We’ll take a break from this series (yes, I know I just started it! lol) for a special Christmas post! What does the first part of Jesus’ First Advent mean to us…besides just a wonderful holiday to spend with family and friends? Coming December 25!


TN Quiltbug said...

Beautiful pictures, and very good thoughts! Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to the rest of the series.....

Elijah and Dembre said...

Very good thoughts! My family hosted a party to watch the recent Geminid Meteor shower peak. It was truly amazing to watch meteors flying into our atmospheres and and remember how wonderful God's creation is. I got to see 83 beautiful shooting stars :) It truly took my breath away!