‘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 15:19 (NIV)
Not long ago perhaps the average Christian remembered that we are not here just to get all that we can out of our earthly lives. Today the general concept in modern society is to fill up our lives with as much comfort and fun as possible. We train up our next generations fully expecting that they can achieve and obtain all that they may set their hearts upon. Society at large is a race to see who gets there first, stays at the top longer and squeezes the most enjoyment out of our time here. Where do we fit in?
The Christian of old may have had a larger picture to take in. They might have felt more personably the encouragement of the Lord to set themselves apart. Yesterday´s saints may have understood that if they chose God, then some of earth´s pleasures would not be theirs. They taught themselves to be happy with letting the Lord bring them enjoyment as and how He saw fit. If they needed to struggle through their lives here it was well worth it because they had their goal before them. They were happy to wait on God. Their God is going to repay them with far better treasures than anything they could have sought through a lifetime of accumulation. But do we modern Christians think today that we have progressed beyond such antiquated thinking?
It is not an isolated teaching of Christ that to gain in Heavenly terms means to lose in earthly ones. Jesus teaches consistently that those who wanted the best in this life might be able to get what they set their hearts on. But He wanted us to be sure that if we chose that road we would see little or no progress in spiritual terms. This does not mean that we will not have big churches. This does not mean that one will not make a good living as a religious singer, a preacher, or evangelist. Christian institutions move considerable amounts of money, but that does not go to show that people are any closer to Jesus. Our Saviour gave His every breath to show us that an attitude of sacrifice here in our earthly walk was the only road that could bring us to God.
The true followers of Christ are those who are concerned enough and wise enough to have taken His teachings to heart. They are the blessed few who directly choose the Lord over any comfort or pleasure of their own. They have learned the secret of giving to receive. They follow Jesus even in this humble attitude of His. Will the real saints of today be those who turn their backs on the race of attaining and achieving? Is it they who will find Jesus in living experience? Is it those whose hearts realize a desperate need deep within them, that will be filled by Heavenly graces? Is it still the mourners who will be comforted? Is it still the hungry who will be fed? Is it still those who feel out of place in our materialistic societies, who will soar with the eagles as we endlessly discover our God Who is out of this world?
Remind us again that we are called to look to Another Place. So enticing are the riches of this world and our modern ways. Yet there are still some who would hear Your voice. We hear Your call to look to Heaven. Should we be overlooked here on earth let it concern us little. Rather let us set our sights on You! Let us gain You! Be our Goal! Let us find our treasures in You! Let nothing the world offers us stand in our way! Give us the thrill of being close to You! Give us the joy of a God-centered soul! Let us revel in the Heavenly vision once more! Take us we pray to the One Who is out of this world!