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Do not love the world?

10 Jul

The warning not to love the world means not to be infatuated with the values and lifestyles of the dominion of darkness and not to long after or indulge in its sinful pleasures and passions.  We are vulnerable to the enticing allure of sinful values and activities of the world.  We must recognize that the world is not a neutral place, but one that worships and serves other gods.

Some Christians interpret the command not to love the world to mean that we must draw away from evil and separate ourselves from non-Christians, their evil culture, and their evil government in all aspects of life—physically, geographically, socially, and spiritually.  But if we do this, we refuse to emulate the lifestyle of Jesus, who regularly ate and drank with tax collectors and sinners (Matt. 9:10-11; 11:19; Luke 5:30; 15:1-2; 19:7).

The bottom-line question is, “Do we as Christians influence sinners toward Jesus or do they influence us toward their sinful values and practices?”

Mark Driscoll, Vintage Church, pg. 214

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Love, Your Dad

4 Jul

My Child,

You may not know me, but I know everything about you (Psalm 139:1).  I know when you sit down and when you rise up (Psalm139:2).  I am familiar with all your ways (Psalm 139:3).  Even the very hairs on your head are numbered (Matthew 10:29-31), for you were made in my image (Genesis 1:27).  In me you live and move and have your being, for you are my offspring (Acts 17:28).  I knew you even before you were conceived (Jeremiah 1:4-5).  I chose you when I planned creation (Ephesians 1:11-12).  You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book (Psalm 139:15-16).  I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live (Acts 17:26).  You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).  I knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13) and brought you forth on the day you were born (Psalm 71:6). 

I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me (John 8:41-44).  I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love (1 John 4:16) and it is my desire to lavish my love on you, simply because you are my child and I am your Father (1 John 3:1).  I offer you more than your earthly father ever could (Matthew 7:11), for I am the perfect father (Matthew 5:48).  Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand (James 1:17), for I am your provider and I meet all your needs (Matthew 6:31-33).  My plan for your future has always been filled with hope (Jeremiah 29:11) because I love you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).  My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore (Psalm 139:17-18) and I rejoice over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).  I will never stop doing good to you (Jeremiah 32:40), for you are my treasured possession (Exodus 19:5).  I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul (Jeremiah 31:41) and I want to show you great and marvelous things (Jeremiah 33:3).  If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me (Deuteronomy 4:29).  Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4), for it is I who gave you those desires (Philippians 2:13).  I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine (Ephesians 3:20), for I am your greatest encourager (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17).  I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).  When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you (Psalm 34:18).  As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart (Isaiah 40:11). 

One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes and I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth (Revelation 21:3-4).  I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus (John 17:23), for in Jesus my love for you is revealed (John 17:26).  He is the exact representation of my being (Hebrews 1:3).  He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you (Romans 8:31) and to tell you that I am not counting your sins.  Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).  His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you (1 John 4:10).  I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love (Romans 8:31-32).  If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me (1 John 2:23) and nothing will ever separate you from my love again (Romans 8:38-39).  Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen (Luke 15:7).  I have always been Father, and will always be Father (Ephesians 3:14-15).  My question is… Will you be my child (John 1:12-13)?  I am waiting for you (Luke 15:11-32).

Love,
Your Dad, Almighty God

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