Love the World to Jesus

People need Jesus.
And I need Jesus … to help me love them to Him!
Life with Jesus here on earth is a daily journey … to discover and live out His truth as revealed in scripture and imparted through His Spirit. I pray for God to open my heart to the Spirit and to people who need to know Him. I ask Him to show me His truth and to rid me of self and sin. I want to live for Him and share Him. I depend on what Jesus prayed for His disciples: “Father, set me apart in the truth because Your word is truth … I’m not asking to be taken out of the world but keep me from the evil one.” Being in the world but not of it, is one of the most challenging parts of being a Christ follower.
I’ll never forget what I learned about people on the summer beach project that Brent and I were on many years ago. It was revolutionary … but so obvious. Ready? LOST PEOPLE ACT LOST. Yep. That’s it. I recently read a scathing post about “what our world has come to” in recent years. And most of it was accurate. The majority of people in the world are living sinful lives … lost in loneliness and hopelessness … deep in debt due to greed and covetousness … overcommitted to jobs and under committed to families … caught up in sexual sins and perversions … looking good on the outside, but miserable on the inside …  most of them are living lives far from God and His good grace. When I think about it, I’m reminded of  the commercial where the wife comes downstairs to find her husband on the phone in the middle of the night. Thinking it’s an inappropriate call, she grabs the phone asking what “she” is wearing. On the other end is an insurance guy. She tells her husband that “she sounds hideous”. He then says: Well, she’s a guy so … (and we laugh every time, although we’ve seen it 100 times). That’s how I feel when people rant about how the world acts. Well, they are lost so …

The bible says of people far from God that they act a certain way because they are far from Him. They are deaf and blind spiritually. They can’t see. They can’t hear.
BUT GOD. Hallelujah for these wonderful words found throughout His word. Thanks to Him, I am able to sing about how I too was once lost, but now I’m found. His great grace sought me and found me. The world looks like it does (and actually has for a long, long time) because people need Jesus. A hymn writer in the 1800s felt the weight of the reality even then when he wrote “the whole world is lost in the darkness of sin.” When Jesus told His followers not to love the world, He didn’t mean the people.

Were it not for grace, I’d be of the world. I’d be one of those people lost in the darkness of sin. I’m so thankful someone shared Jesus with me. My life is different because someone cared enough to shine His light into my heart of darkness. The only reason, the one and only reason, I live for Him is because He transformed my desires. God’s love sought me and His blood bought me. Everyday I recognize that the One who began the work in me is also completing the work in me. I should not expect from the world a love for Jesus. But I should expect it from myself! The reality of what happens to people who don’t know Jesus should not stir in me judgmental attitudes, but should stir in me compassion and a deep urgency to tell them of a love story so great. “I love to tell the story, ’tis pleasant to repeat what seems, each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet. I love to tell the story, for some have never heard the message of salvation from God’s own holy Word.”
The grace that found me is worth living out and is worth sharing. I’m not to live this different life away from lost people. I’m set apart to live a different life in front of and with them! That’s what it means to let our light shine in the darkness…

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’
What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Indeed, He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, freely give us all things?
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

How will they hear about such great love without us telling them? How can we tell them if we don’t know them? Father, I’m not asking You to keep me from the world. I’m asking You to keep me from the enemy who desires to convince me they don’t deserve Your great grace. Help me to love them to the crucified and risen Savior of the world … so that when Your kingdom comes, many will worship You forever.

You should be the praise of every tongue, Jesus. You should be the joy of every heart.
But until the fullness of Your Kingdom comes, until the final revelation dawns … send me out!
(Matt Redman)

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