Tuesday Thoughts: This World

"This world has nothing for me, and this world has everything.All that I could want and nothing that I need."  [Caedmon's Call]

"This world is empty, pale, and poor Compared to knowing You, my Lord. Lead me on, and I will run after You." [Candi Pearson]

"Do not love the world or anything in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For everything in the world - the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting about what he has and does - comes not from the Father but from the world.  The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever."  [1 John 2:15-17]

"If I find in myself a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most logical explanation is that I was made for another world."  [C.S. Lewis]

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in his wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim In the light of his glory and grace." ["Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus"]

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed..." [Romans 12:2]

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."  [James 1:27]

"Forgetting what the world has told me, Father of love, You can have me. You can have me." [Sidewalk Prophets]

Today, I'm aware that the world has tried to sell me short.  Sell me a lie and a bill of goods.  "I should look out for number one. I should fight for my rights, and for my freedoms - I'm entitled, after all.  I deserve certain liberties, certain luxuries, because I am a alive.  Because it's only fair.  Because I'm an American.  I should not have to live without a television, without a cell phone, without a fast-food habit.  I'm valuable because I'm smart, because I contribute to society.  Because I have something to say - something to offer.  You have not because you've earned not.  And God should bless me, if He's so good.  He should love me because I'm a decent person."

I'm aware, today, that these philosophies are poison.  That entitlement and self-righteousness and materialism are poison.  They appeal to us and coddle us; they weave their way into our lives so stealthily that oftentimes we don't realize they're there.

This world feels comfortable - until you open your eyes and see all the hurt and the desperate need.  Then you realize that what we're doing isn't working.  Then entitlement and self-righteousness and materialism are exposed for what they really are:  poison.

"...This world has nothing for me, and this world has everything. All that I could want and nothing that I need.

This world is making me drunk on the spirits of fear. So when He says, 'Who will go?'  I am nowhere near.

And the least of these look like criminals to me, So I leave Christ on the street.

This world has held my hand, and led me into intolerance. But now I'm waking up, Now I'm breaking up, Now I'm making up For lost time.

This world has nothing for me, and this world has everything. All that I could want and nothing that I need." [Caedmon's Call, "This World" (listen here)]

Lord, help us to see the danger, the tragedy, and the foolishness of falling in love with the things of this world.  We set our hearts on you.

"In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world." [Jesus, in John 16:33]