They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
New Year’s Eve, 2013. This is the last we will see of this year. Of course, this is just the arbitrary way we humans reckon the passing of time, but wouldn’t it be great if we could think in terms of eternity and not in terms of earthly chronology? In Christ we can now look at all of life differently.
Rather than just saying goodbye to 2013 and hello to 2014, why not use the occasion to say goodbye to the world’s way of thinking, and hello to God’s way of thinking?
There was a time when we were of this world, when all of the realities of this world applied to us. When all we knew we learned through our senses alone, not through our spirits. When all of our prospects were physical or material, not spiritual. When time and death seemed so omnipotent, and we so powerless to overcome them. When temptation was overwhelming, and hope was so fleeting.
Now, however, in Christ we can say goodbye to this world’s way of thinking and hello to the perspective and the hope of eternity. The day will come when all record of the sins we have committed will die away with the dust of this world, but who we are in Christ will continue for all eternity. The time will come when time will be no more, and eternity calls to us and we answer and enter into it.
We are not of the world because we are redeemed and kept by the One who is from eternity. We live here but our hopes and citizenship are in eternity, with God. As we will see, just as we are not of the world like Christ, we are also sent into the world like Christ. The power for saying goodbye to the world is with God and from God, and He will enable us to do so.
Alexander Maclaren wrote:
Christ’s prayer for us should be our aim and deepest desire for ourselves … How can such ennobling and exalted consecration be ours? There is but one way. He has ‘consecrated Himself,’ and by union with Him through faith, our selfishness may be subdued, and the Spirit of Christ may dwell in our hearts, to make us ‘living sacrifices, consecrated and acceptable to God.’ Then shall we be truly ‘consecrated,’ and then only, when we can say, ‘I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.’ That is the end of Christ’s consecration of Himself—the prayer which He prayed for His disciples—and should be the aim which every disciple earnestly pursues.
Thank you, Lord, for your graciousness and for the uplifting vision for our lives. Let us be passionate about heaven’s perspective on our life.