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Seeds of the Kingdom

Not of the World

by Ron Scurfield

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.
1 John 2:15-16, NIV

Do we ever compare ourselves with other people and come to the conclusion that we’re not good enough? Do we look at all our faults and failings and wish we could do better? Does our way of life fall far short of the standard we believe God has set us?

Jesus said, “My Kingdom is not of this world.” He came and lived among us to demonstrate the perfect life, an example we may all aspire to. But is this not what makes it so difficult? We find it impossible to reflect His wisdom, patience and compassion, and His loving relationship with God.

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you” (John 15:18-19).

Whom do we look to for approval, the world or God? We may find approval in the world, but not for godly things. Do we continue to look to the world as our measure for success or failure? If we look to Jesus, is it not just as hard? We know what is right and what is wrong, but we are just as likely to find ourselves in the same predicament as the Apostle Paul: “For what I want to do, I do not do. But what I hate, I do ... I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out” (Romans 7:15 &18).

Jesus said of His disciples, “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth” (John 17:17). And the truth is ‘He chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight’ (Ephesians 1:4). Our righteousness depends not on what we do, but who we are. “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3).

Let us not be constantly looking at our failures and weaknesses, but take strength from the truth. Truth is truth. It remains unshakeable. ‘For in Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life has set you free from the law of sin and death’ (Romans 8:2). We are sanctified by the truth, which makes us clean, as long as we can receive it and apply it to ourselves, ‘and the truth will set you free’ (John 8:32).

The Bible tells us we are daily being transformed into His likeness (2 Corinthians 3:18). We may not see this in ourselves, but a transformation is taking place. We have a new identity, won for us by Jesus on the cross. Our relationship with God through the Holy Spirit has lifted us up on to a higher plateau, where God is with us continually as our constant guide and protector. The old has gone and the new has come.

Ron Scurfield with his wife Jill, are part of the Associate Ministry Team at Ellel Grange and occasionally Ellel Scotland. Ron enjoys walking and writing and meeting interesting people, but his greatest joy is seeing God transform lives, setting people free to live the abundant life that Jesus intended.

 

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