Love Check

I think Debbie and I both slept in a little longer than normal. Let me put it this way, we would not have been up and ready for an 8:30 a.m. church service. Considering a fairly big day yesterday and getting to sleep a little later than normal that was probably good. This is true especially for Debbie who is up way to early in the wee hours of the morning getting a head start on her day.

It was another beautiful day. The wind was blowing this morning which meant most of the leaves on the trees in the front yard were on the ground. I started the task of getting them cleaned up when I received some unexpected help from my neighbor and his son across the cul-de-sac. That save me about two or three hours of my time.

I did make my way to a fitness workout mid-afternoon. This was the first one on my own. It went pretty good, but I needed a few rest stops on my way out to make sure I had the strength to get to my car. I think I am beginning to see the difference with using my walker more. I believe I am moving a little faster and stronger than in the past few weeks.

 BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “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. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”  1 John 2:15-17

I remember early in my ministry these verses reminded me of the story of the “Prince and the Pauper.” The story, at least, from the prince’s vantage point is what caught my attention. The child of the king, looking out from the confines of the castle, wonders what that life is like in the village, among the “commoners.” He ends up switching places with a look-a-like pauper boy. He experiences life outside of the castle walls for a time, but it soon begins to wear on him. The intensity of story mounts when his father the king dies and the prince almost forfeits his royal position.

An old hymn is entitled, “A Child of the King.” The song is about the position of spiritual privilege that is ours as a result of being in relationship with Christ, the King of Kings.  However, like the “Prince” we can allow the focus of our affections to be drawn away from the priorities of Christ’s kingdom to those of this world.

In the past some “super spiritual saints” have been described as, “so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good.” However, I have found that someone can be  “so earthly minded that they are no heavenly good.” We see scripture addresses our relationship with the “world” in several passages. We do have a responsibility in this world. We are to be salt and light in the world. We are to connect with people in the world as Christ’s ambassadors. But we must guard our hearts and our affections and keep them firmly planted in our love for Christ.

John makes it clear that this present world order is not from the Father. It is a temporal order that is passing away, along with any appeal to the desires of our human nature. What we observe in “the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life” is that these are the seminal temptations in life. We see that they correspond with the temptations of Jesus in the wilderness. We see them referenced individually or together throughout scripture. We must be on guard against them and understand our vulnerability to these in all their various expressions.

John challenges believers to have an eternal perspective. “This world, along with its desires are passing away. But he who does the will of God abides forever.” When the brevity of life is compared to eternity, this life is a mere blip on the screen. Just as the Children of Israel in captivity were told to seek the prosperity of the land where they were being taken; we need to allow the Lord to use us to make this world better and grant us favor for influence in this world. At the same time we realize that one day we will be moving on to our permanent and promised home.