Thursday, September 25, 2014

Not of the World

John 17:11-16

Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You, Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.

While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I come to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.

I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

I still maintain there is a difference between knowing Jesus and believing in Him in our heads and knowing and believing in our hearts.

There is a definite transition and transformation that takes place when one truly knows Jesus. Something happens in our hearts and spirits. What we thought we knew becomes what we truly know.

Jesus was not of the world. That we can agree on. His disciples followed Him and were also considered not of the world. There were a lot of people who knew who Jesus was but rejected His words. They preferred the lifestyle they had always known over the one that Jesus offered. He has a way of changing a person's priorities by changing our hearts. Some don't want that change. Being in Christ means no longer being in the world and all it thinks is important. It's about priorities.

Only one of His disciples, Judas, failed. His love for money (he was treasurer for the group) did him in in the end. It is my understanding that he was the most intelligent of all the disciples. He had a wise business sense (although not always honest). It makes me think of the scripture that tells us God chooses the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise...and the weak things to put to shame the mighty. (1Corinthians 1:27)  It wasn't the intelligence or position in life Jesus wanted. It was the heart willing to change.

One might say, Oh, Jesus wanted the lesser people because He could twist them around His little finger and coerce them. Not so. If anything He coerced them into an exceedingly apparent knowledge of God, that could only have come from the Spirit, that these men used to preach the Gospel...and eternal life.

Judas remained of the world while his counterparts were no longer of the world, as Jesus has been saying. We are all a part of this corrupt world until we come to Christ. When we receive Him we are given a better knowledge through the power of the Holy Spirit. That Holy Spirit is the dividing factor between the earthly and spiritual. And that Holy Spirit only comes as a result of our coming to Christ, being born of the Spirit.

God chose me. I did not choose God. It was a struggle between He and me for awhile till "I got it." He sought me (He sought me and He bought me with His redeeming blood!). I chose to hear and receive what He offered me. I chose to be different being in relationship with Him. I chose to come out of the world. I chose to learn about Him. I have not regretted it. It's been an amazing journey. I may have lost ties with some friends or they keep me at arm's length, but I have won a whole new
family in my brothers and sisters in Christ, even those whom I've not even met.

We are called to not be of the world. Jesus prays that we will be protected from the evil one. The world hates the things of God. That is a very strong statement, I'm sure, to those who say they have nothing against Him but His way is not exactly the way they want to go; their lives are already filled. They just aren't filled with Jesus.

Ephesians 3:14-19 - For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height--to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

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