Blog In Audio:
As leaders we must set an example as those who love the world, but not the ways of the world. We live in this world, but we don’t find our life from this world. We are givers of the life of heaven to the world in which we live. Jesus was not in this world to become like people in the world. He was in this world to invite people to become like Him. Jesus told us that if we choose to live our lives as dwelling places of God’s presence, we will be hated by the world.
John 15:18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, they hated Me without a cause.’
Being hated by the world does not mean that people in the world will hate us as people. It means that those who choose the ways of God will be opposed by those bound to the ways of the world. God loves the world, but He does not love the ways of the world. God loved the people of the world so much that He became one of us in the Man, Jesus the Christ to free us from the condemnation which we had already unknowingly embraced by our independent administration of knowledge. Jesus was a Man who demonstrated a love for His heavenly Father and that inspired Him to exhibit the love of the Father for His children, even His wayward, disconnected children in the world. In the days of Jesus, the world system of Rome and the Hellenized system of the Pharisees were both bound to the ways of the world. They were carnal in their desires and in their thinking. They were either lawless or legalistic. In either case, they were self-seeking, judgmental, bitter, insubordinate, wicked, disconnected from one another, and destructive in their destiny. They were affected by the futile environment of a fallen creation. Those bound to the world then, and now, are deceived by destructive lords, fear inspired in their judgments, bitter in their identities, abusive controllers and manipulators, wicked because of carnal addictions, independently isolated from others, and expectant of death in the outcomes of their lives. They are takers from others and not givers of life to their world. This is true for those bound to lawlessness and for those bound to legalism. Just as there is a beast of the sea, there is also a beast of the land. One is the spirit of those in the world and the other is the spirit of the world in the form of dead religion.
God wants the spirit of these things removed from the various influences of humanity. We must become spiritual people who are led by one lord, one faith, one submersion, one God and Father, one God above all, one God through all, and one God in all so we might see the influence of Christ’s kingdom effect every aspect of human life (Eph. 4:4-6). All that we are and do must express that we are alive to God, our actions are acts of love towards Him, our testimonies are responses to His presence, our authority is to bring life and light to men, we are awake to God’s manifest presence in all things, we live to love Him and our fellow man in every season of our lives, and we are dedicated to see His name made great in our posterity in the earth. These seven things should become the motivating factors of our lives in all that we are and do. If we embrace these attributes in our hearts and minds, we will love the world, but the spirit of the world will hate us and resist us in our path of destiny. We must love the people of the world more than we hate the spirit of the world, but in this we cannot compromise to become the world for the sake of the world. We are sons and daughters of God for the sake of our fellow mankind. We cannot be distracted from our true purpose because of the resistance to our true purpose in life. We must endure in faith, hope, and love in all things.
These are not things we do on Sunday when we go to church, these are attributes of our lives that affect everything we do in life and also affect those around us in the world. We are not to be separate from the world. We are to be separate from the ways of the world, but we must walk in the ways of Christ’s kingdom to become a life-giving force of authority and influence in our everyday world.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
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