Week 15 — The World
"Have no love for the world, nor the things that the world affords. If anyone loves the world, the Father's love has no place in him." —1 John 2:15
"If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own; the reason it hates you is that you do not belong to the world. But I chose you out of the world." —Jn 15:19
Abba: What are you doing, wallowing in the world? Don't go back to the old nature and the old life-style. Come over here. Let Me clean the mud off you. Don't you know you're precious and holy?
Child: Abba, I'm sorry. I keep believing lies, and then I feel bad. The world makes me sick but not sick enough. The world almost has a spell over me. I need deliverance.
Decide to read selections from The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A. Kempis.
"The eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyesight is sound, your whole body is lighted up, but when your eyesight is bad, your body is in darkness. Take care, then, that your light is not darkness." —Lk 11:34-35
Jesus: You don't protect your eyes. That's one of the most important things to remember in a fight. Don't get hit in the eye. TV is your biggest problem. You're tempting yourself. You're giving the devil ammunition and loading his guns. Hold faith up as your shield (Eph 6:16). Guard your eyes.
Child: I admit I've made some mistakes, and I want to do better. But I need to keep up on the news, and there are some good programs on TV.
Jesus: You're deceiving yourself.
Decide to watch TV less than two hours a week or throw it out.
"Such as these will end in disaster! Their god is their belly and their glory is in their shame. I am talking about those who are set upon the things of this world." —Phil 3:19
Abba: You are an enemy of the cross if you are set on the things of this world (Phil 3:18). You don't take this seriously, but it brought tears to the eyes of My Son. How can you tolerate a system which has murdered your older Brother?
Child: I didn't think it was that bad. Although the world doesn't believe in Jesus as Lord, it still does a lot of good.
Abba: My ways are not your ways (Is 55:8).
Decide about the influence of the world in your life.
"A man is marked out as God's enemy if he chooses to be the world's friend." —Jas 4:4
Jesus: Love the sinner, hate the sin. You don't have strong enough desires. You're too apathetic. You don't love or hate strongly enough.
Child: The world has taken the edge off of my life. I compromised with the world to have more fun, but it deadened my life. I've already reaped some of the wages of my sin (Rm 6:23).
Decide to fast and pray.
"My kingdom does not belong to this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My subjects would be fighting..." —Jn 18:36
Jesus: I told Pontius Pilate and I've told you: "My kingdom is not of this world." You still try to use worldly means to attain other-worldly ends. You contradict the end with the means. You're confused. You're trying to live in two worlds which are directly opposed. You must decide.
Child: I admit You're right and I'm wrong. It's either You or the world. There's no neutrality at the foot of the cross. I choose You, Jesus.
Decide to tell someone today about your decision for Christ.
"May I never boast of anything but the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ! Through it, the world has been crucified to me and I to the world." —Gal 6:14
Abba: Don't you see that Jesus would have never been killed if not for the world? What does it take to turn you against the world? The cross should crucify you to the world.
Child: Abba, I have decided to put "the cross before me, the world behind me."
Decide to start living a new life-style by taking one practical step.
"I tell you all this that in Me you may find peace. You will suffer in the world. But take courage! I have overcome the world." —Jn 16:33
Jesus: I have overcome the world and so will you by faith in Me (1 Jn 5:5). Of course, you will suffer as I did but you will also rise as I did. Don't join the losers but persevere and be a victor with Me.
Child: Jesus, I want to be with You in heaven. I set my heart on higher realms where You are seated at the right hand of the Father (Col 3:1).
Decide to wear the scapular. God is protecting you from the devil and the world. Mary is ministering to you and helping you mature as Jesus' disciple.
Excerpts from Scripture are taken from The New American Bible, copyright 1970 by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C., and are used by permission of the copyright holder. All rights reserved.
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, July 13, 1995.
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of Cincinnati, July 25, 1995.
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