WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JUNE 29, 2021
TOPIC: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT “THIS WORLD”
BY T. O. BANSO
“Those in frequent contact with the things of the world should make good use of them without becoming attached to them, for this world and all it contains will pass away” (1 Corinthians 7:31 New Living Translation).
The word “world” is used in different ways in the Bible. For instance, it is used to mean the universe. Psalm 24:1 says the earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. Also, Acts 17:24a says God made the world and everything in it. There are other scriptures where the word “world” is used to talk about the universe. But the word is used in other ways to convey different meanings.
According to Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary, the biblical concept of the world falls into five categories: the physical world, the human world, the moral world, the temporal world, and the coming world. The Holman Bible Dictionary notes that in the New Testament, three words are translated as “world”: oikoumene (the inhabited earth), aion (long duration, age, or world), and kosmos. kosmos means in the world, the universe, the inhabitants of the earth, the earth, and world affairs among others (The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon).
In the Bible, the term “this world” occurs multiple times. I want to focus on the phrase so that we can learn some things about what the Bible says concerning “this world” in the various ways it is used.
1. Sinners are of this world; saints are not. Jesus said, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins’” (John 8:23-24 New King James Version).
Jesus was not of this world and all who have accepted Him as their Lord and Saviour are also not of this world though they are in this world. Jesus said in John 15:18-19, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (New King James Version).
Those who belong to this world live a sinful life. There should be a difference between those who are born again (the saints), who are not of this world, and those who are of this world. A Child of God should not live a sinful life as those of this world.
Calling the saints to live a holy life by avoiding the sinful lifestyle of those in this world, Paul says, “I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner — not even to eat with such a person” (1 Corinthians 5:9-11 New King James Version).
Also, Paul talks about the believers the being formerly dead in trespasses and sins, in which they once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience (Ephesians 2:1-2).
2. This world is temporary; it will pass away. The apostle Paul says the form of this world is passing away. “Those in frequent contact with the things of the world should make good use of them without becoming attached to them, for this world and all it contains will pass away” (1 Corinthians 7:31 New Living Translation).
Also, the apostle John warns against loving the world or the things in the world. He says this world is passing away and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:15-17). Don’t love this world. It won’t last forever, and you won’t live in this world for long. Your stay here is temporary. Therefore, live as a sojourner and pilgrim (Hebrews 11:13; 1 Peter 2:11-12).
3. God doesn’t discriminate against the poor of this world. God doesn’t despise the poor as many people do. God cares about the poor. James 2:5-7 says, “Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?” (New King James Version).
The poor of this world whom God has chosen are rich in faith and are heirs of the kingdom of heaven. The church must not discriminate against the poor, including the poor Christians. In James 2:2-4, the apostle James warns against partiality or favoritism in the church.
James says, “For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ and say to the poor man, ‘You stand there,’ or, ‘Sit here at my footstool,’ have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?” (James 2:2-4 New King James Version).
The Bible shows us that God favours the poor. Even the poor in the spirit enjoy His favour. Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3 New King James Version). Don’t despise the poor whether they are spiritually poor or physically poor.
4. The Kingdom of Jesus was not of this world. The accusers of Jesus lied to Pilate that He called himself the King of the Jews (John 18:33, 35). In answer to Pilate’s question as regards this, Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36 New King James Version).
Earlier in John 6:15, when Jesus perceived that those who saw the miraculous sign of the feeding of 5,000 men were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain alone. His kingdom was not of this world. He wasn’t the king of the Jews; He is the King of kings.
5. The wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. The world’s wisdom is foolishness to God. According to the apostle Paul, if anyone seems to be wise in this age, he should become a fool so that he may become wise. What this world calls wisdom is foolishness to God. Unless they accept that they’re not wise, they cannot receive true wisdom. Just as Jesus said, those who are well, have no need of a physician, but those who are sick (Matthew 9:12; Mark 2:17; Luke 5:31).
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:19 “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, ‘He catches the wise in their own craftiness’” (New King James Version). He says in 1 Corinthians 1:20-21, “Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe” (New King James Version). Receive the wisdom of God.
6. The sons of this world are wiser in relation to their generation than the sons of light. Jesus pointed this out in the parable of the unjust steward. He said the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly, for the sons of this world are shrewder in their generation than the sons of light (Luke 16:8).
The Bible in Basic English renders Luke 16:8 thus: “And his lord was pleased with the false servant, because he had been wise; for the sons of this world are wiser in relation to their generation than the sons of light.” Receive God’s wisdom (James 1:5).
7. The cares of this world will choke the word of God in someone’s heart and make it unfruitful. Jesus said this in the parable of the sower. “Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22 New King James Version).
Mark 4:19 says a similar thing. Beware! Don’t let the cares of this world or life choke the word of God in your heart and make it unfruitful.
8. The sun is the physical light of the world; Jesus is the spiritual light of the world. Jesus says in John 11:9-10, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him” (New King James Version).
Talking about Himself, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12 New King James Version). Similarly, in John 9:5, He said, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (New King James Version). Whoever follows Jesus will not walk in darkness or stumble. He will find direction. In addition, Jesus says His disciples are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14). He illuminates the world through His disciples.
9. Satan is the temporary ruler of this world but the Kingdoms of this world will in the future become the kingdom of our Lord. In the Garden of Eden, man handed over to Satan the authority God had given him over the earth. Satan is the god of this age or evil world (2 Corinthians 4:4) and the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2).
Jesus said the ruler of this world was coming, and he had nothing in Him (John 14:30). He said in John 12:31 that the ruler of this world would be cast out. In the future, the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever (Revelation 11:15). Satan or the devil shall ultimately be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:10).
But Christ shall reign forever after He has conquered the kingdoms of this earth. I pray that you will reign with Him. “For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him” (2 Timothy 2:11-12 New King James Version).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me not to love this world or the things in it. Help me to make good use of the things of this world without becoming attached to them. As this world is passing away and the lust of it, Holy Spirit, help me to do the will of God. Jesus my Saviour, I shall follow you and I shall not walk in darkness or stumble. Through me, many who are in darkness shall see the light in Jesus’ name.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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