Love not the world

Arno Froese, USA

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 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” (1 John 2:15-16).

When we read the above Scripture carefully, it could well be that the words are discouraging. So the question, what is the world? Everything we can see, hear, touch, and especially possess. The word “possess” is particularly noteworthy today. In our modern world, we have more things to possess than ever before in history.

In olden days, you lived in a relatively small house, built cheaply: insulation was something no one heard of. The greatest luxury would have been running water in the house and—if somewhat financially able—one would have a hot water system, supplying the kitchen and bathroom. That was the epitome of luxury. Electricity for all here in South Carolina began in 1940. Until that time, electricity was available only for institutions and the well-to-do.

Today, it is unthinkable to live without electricity. Hot and cold water are available in several locations throughout the home. The home is equipped with an air conditioning system, providing heat in the winter, and cold air in the summer. Walking into the kitchen, one sees technology no one had ever seen, much less dreamed of, just 100 years ago. A refrigerator with filtered water and ice dispenser, microwave oven, innumerable tools for the kitchen, not to mention television, entertainment systems and the internet.

Today, most houses are built with a two-car garage. Based on cursory research, we found that almost a third of  garages had no room for a car because they were filled with all kinds of stuff—possessions, mostly useless. Entrepreneurs have seized on this situation, and self-storage facilities are literally popping up like mushrooms all over. They offer to store your stuff (junk?) indefinitely. The latest storage buildings are climate-controlled.

That is the world; it is simply the result of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Wanting more, possessing more, accumulating things (mostly of little use) is the goal of many people today.

Last year, I spoke to a missionary couple from Brazil; it was a few weeks before Christmas. I asked how things were, and was presented with facts and figures that they are just barely keeping afloat. The budget did not allow for Christmas presents, and the missionary had to confess to being ashamed to accept invitations, due to the fact that the culture expected him to present the host with a gift.

This is just one example of the great need many missionaries face, but also many who work in ministries, who quite often barely get by.

Ministries at large are suffering; many exist month-to-month. What is the future? We don’t know, but our Lord does. We praise Him for what He has done. In our case: 50 years of faithfulness, 50 years of supplying our needs, 50 years of enabling us to send forth the Word of God, 50 years of supporting many missionaries in various countries. The hymn writer Thomas Obediah Chisholm (1866-1960) expressed it best:

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.
Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Midnight Call - 05/2018

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