What do you think of this world? Are you just a visitor traveling through or would you be content to live here forever? Are you happy in the world or does it make you feel weary? What is your status in the country you are living in? Are you a visitor or a citizen?
When we first lived in Canada we were there as visitors. We could live there but not become involved in the country happenings very much. When voting time came we would often be asked about it and would have to say that we couldn’t participate because we just had our visitor’s record (or papers). For many years we lived that way…feeling as if we belonged but not really. Finally, after living in Canada for 13 years we become a citizen. After taking an exam the big day arrived for the swearing in ceremony. As we sat in the courtroom that beautiful spring morning there was nervous anticipation in the room. Finally the judge entered and began to speak. What she said was something that has really stuck with me. She looked around the room and exclaimed, “Here in this courtroom, becoming citizens of this great country we have 61 people representing 23 different countries and races. Many of you have gone through great hardships to come to this place but finally the day has arrived and we welcome you!”
What an amazing picture of the children of God; from many countries and races…many years of preparation….having gone through great hardships and many trials but finally the day will arrive. The day when their desired citizenship will become a reality.
Last week, sitting in the waiting room at the Dr. office, I was reading from 1 John 2 when I came to these words, “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” I had to stop and think and evaluate. Do I love this world? Am I happy and content here or is my constant desire to be a citizen of a different country? Which led my thoughts down another road to, “how do I know if I love this world or not?” How much do I love and what value to I place on my house…the “stuff” in the house…our vehicle…our clothes? But again even probing myself deeper I questioned, “When I’m with others, is my conversation focused only on this world and all its happenings? And probing still deeper, “How much time do I spend thinking about earthly things in comparison to spiritual matters?” So in the end…what are my thoughts, words, and actions showing those around me? Do our family and acquaintances, my neighbors, does the world, see that I am a stranger here in this country; just passing through on a way to another? These questions I asked…I pondered…I examined, digging deeply within my heart. How would you answer these questions?
John continues in 1 John 2, “love not the world, neither the things that are in the world…for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away and the lusts thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” Dear friend if you have to answer that you love the world, do as Pilgrim did (in Pilgrim’s Progress) and put your fingers in your ears and run, run for your life’s sake…run for your soul’s sake.