Daily Encouragement: Day 349

Adapted from Handbook to Spiritual Growth


“In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33b)

“If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” (John 15:19) 

“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15) 

There are three New Testament words for world, and each is used in different ways. The major word, kosmos, is used in the famous verse of John 3:16 to refer to people (the object of God’s love). But in the latter two verses above (John 15:19 and 1 John 2:15), it refers to the world as our enemy. In these contexts, “the world” can be defined as the organized system of temporal values which are opposed to the life of Christ in the believer.

The world is a powerful force that has programmed much of our thinking from the moment of birth. The world is an enticing magnet that constantly lures us to conform to its standards. It tempts us to seek the approval and plaudits of people rather than God.

Worldliness is not merely a matter of questionable activities. It is also a heart attitude. When Christians are in bondage to “the elementary principles of the world” (Colossians 2:8), they cannot enjoy the freedom and victory that is in Christ. We are called to be in the world, but not of it; we must walk in the world without being molded by it. The key to overcoming the values of the world is renewing the mind with the truths of Scripture.

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