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Three Worlds, Two Loves

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BibleHeartIt may be interesting to you that there are three worlds mentioned in the Bible. John speaks of all three, beginning with the physical world we live in and on (Jn 1.10). Jesus teaches that God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son so that all may be saved (Jn 3.16). The world here represents people as a whole. Finally, John contrasts two worlds (I Jn 5.19) by comparing the people of God on one hand and those of the world who belong to the ‘wicked one’, or Satan, on the other. It is the vast difference between these two worlds that should deeply concern us as Christians.

Satan uses our love of the physical world to draw us away from God (I Jn 2.15-16). Those who turned against God are aptly called ‘worldly people’ and are driven by lusts of the body, lusts of sight, and lusts of earthly rewards such as the praise of men (Gen 3, Mat 4). Scripture tells of some who loved the world more than God: The rich, young ruler (Mt 19.16-22), Judas (Jn 12.1-6, Mk 14.10-11), and Demas (2 Tim 4.9-10) are but a few. The truth is that the world, its lusts and those who follow after them will not last. Sadly, in the end, they will be destroyed (I Jn 2.17)

The love that the Father has for us however, is a different matter altogether. The only effective antidote to the poison of the world is to fill the heart with love of the Father (I Jn 2.15, Mt 6.24, 12.30) just as He loves us. Those who do the will of God will not be destroyed, rather they will live forever (I Jn 2.17). Abraham loved God and obeyed (Heb 11.10), so did Moses (Heb 11.26). Who could ever doubt that the apostle Paul loved God to the very core of his being and showed it through the life that he lived (2 Tim 4.6-8)?

What about us? Do we love the God enough that we can say no to the world and its evil? Do we actively seek to keep the poison out, and let God’s love in? One antidote to the world is to let the word of Christ dwell in you richly (Col 3.16a). When our hearts are filled to the brim with love and obedience to God, then there is no room left for the evils of the world. Fill your heart today and every day with His righteousness!

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What About Your Twelve Year Old?

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Have you ever used the phrase, “enough is enough”? If you have uttered those words, when? I must confess, I have recently found my heart hurting and have to shout enough is enough!

            My dilemma, you see, comes from a recent series of ‘best seller’ books that is sweeping the tween and teen world along with many adults. Reviews for these books use words such as thrilling, engaging, a must read, a fantastic book with a wonderfully creative plot.

            Cautious, responsible parents will even be encouraged by reviews such as: “This will be a terrific discussion starter for middle-school literature groups, in which students will quickly make fruitful connections to our own society.” (www.commonsensemedia.org)

Hurray! A great book for my child. Wait!!!

With the same breath, on the same website, we read this…

Violence: Torture and deaths of many important supporting characters, with limbs blown off, faces/bodies melting, and necks broken by frightening beasts hunting them in sewers. Lots of weapon use, both in combat and for hunting. Constant sense of danger and peril. Bombings with many casualties — even hospitals and large groups of children aren’t spared.

And this

Drinking, drugs, & smoking: Lots of a drug called “morphling” — which has the same effects as morphine — is given out to sick patients, including main characters; some become addicted to it. Haymitch is a recovering alcoholic at the beginning of the book, but only because alcohol isn’t allowed in District 13. He’s back to drinking heavily when he leaves.

    This is only the tip of the iceberg of what our children have to look forward to when they read The Hunger Games. Do we really believe this is how our children will make ‘fruitful connections to our own society’?  I don’t like rotten fruit, it makes me sick!

            We must wake up to the hypocrisy of the world. Our society tells its children to “say no to drugs” while encouraging reading about excessive drug and alcohol use and says “it’s just a book, it’s not real”. It goes on campaigns against bullying and violence against women while it shouts hurray for a sixteen year old heroine whose only goal in life is to find revenge through murder.

            The author of the Hunger Games presents a world of suffering and pain to the point that the only way of escape is alcohol, drugs, or suicide. And our eleven and twelve year olds are eating it up like candy!  And we parents sit back and wonder what affects the high teen suicide rates in this country.

Shame on us for allowing this to happen without speaking a word of common sense or, more than that, a word of godly sense.

Speaking of the evil men speak, Jesus says “…For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” (Mt 12.34b-35)

Jesus was right; we become a product of what we feed our minds.

God and His word is the source of hope, happiness, blessings, and eternal life. The world is the author of misery, murder, and the loss of all hope.

I ask you…what is your twelve year old reading? What are they feeding their minds?