What Is In The World Box?
Interesting question, yes? A hint to start is that this box contains one of the most popular items in the world. Folks might even say that what is inside is more precious than gold In fact, the world would say that this box and its contents are essential for "the good life", and are therefore indispensable.
The Desire's of the Disciple's Heart
If the reader is a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, then the reader should have no problem agreeing with the following truths. Messiah Jesus is the Only Son of the One true and living God, and his Father is worthy of worship and praise. His Father is perfect love, and the best moments of our life should occur as we understand in our heart, His love for us and what He has done for us, is doing for us, and will do for us. Our best moments should be when we clearly sense His presence, and the last thing we should want is to no longer sense His presence so clearly.
When we are before Him, and walking closely in fellowship with Him, we should be experiencing the greatest blessing in this life. To know Him and His Son and their love and compassion should be our heart's desire. After all, Jesus said, "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Messiah Jesus whom You have sent" (John17:3). Of course the way we get to know the Lord is by reading his Words in the gospels and by yielding to his Father's Spirit. What a joy it is to get to know the One we love so much, by learning of Him through our receiving the Son's Words like little Children!
Do you agree with these statements? If you are a disciple of Jesus, then your heart should say, "YES" with love and gratitude.
Do you enjoy worshipping the Father in your heart as you acknowledge how worthy He is of worship? If you are a believer, you would agree and say an enthusiastic "YES". Is there any thing greater than to see God's handiwork in creation and to give Him the glory for it's majesty? Isn't it beautiful, when in prayer before the Lord, he reveals his love for you and guides you in important decisions in the life his Father has given you? Have you ever experienced His love touch your heart as you worship Him on your knees all by yourself?
Do you enjoy serving the Lord? Is it your heart's deepest desire to love back the One who loved you so much he died for you to give you eternal life? Do you look forward to using the gifts the Lord has given you, to the Father's glory and to your neighbor's good? Isn't your heart's desire to tell everyone you meet about your awesome first love and his compassionate Father? About His glorious salvation, and His endless love for them?
Isn't it great to have a living hope that wells up in your heart on a daily basis? To think that Jesus will come at any time to take you home to heaven! Oh, to get rid of this nagging sinful nature, and to instead see Him face to face. Won't it be great to be taken out of this wicked world, with all its Jesus ignoring people who actively rebel against him and purposely ignore him? Oh, Come Lord Jesus!
If your answer to these questions is anything but "yes", then you should question if, or where, you are in the faith.
If you agree, and not only long to serve the Lord, but do actually serve Him, then praise the Lord, you are His servant! It follows that if you are His servant, then you long to see His face - to be in His presence - to serve Him with all your whole heart all the days of your life. Yes?
At this point, an important question must be asked. Does it take time and effort to grow in your relationship with the Lord - to know Him and to worship Him and to serve Him? Here are a few little stories to probe our faith.
The Drug Addict
There was a poor fellow who was addicted to heroin. He could not help but want to shoot into his veins, this vile substance which brought him "pleasure" yet kept him in total bondage. He would steal and lie and do all kinds of things so that he could experience the "good feeling" when he would be able to shoot the drug into his veins. He had many problems in his life do to his decisions and behavior, and the heroin was a way to try and drown the pain caused by his actions. The pure heroin needed to be mixed with some water to put in into a soluble state for injection into his body. The deluded fellow would think, "man, this isn't so bad, since I'm putting water in this needle too, after all, water is good for you". He actually believed that the little water, which was good, justified his shooting the heroin into his body!
There was a poor woman who had problems in her life and would eat to try and fill the loneliness and emptiness in her heart. She really liked the way sweet foods tasted, and would eat them in excess, to the point of making herself extremely overweight and unhealthy. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, she would eat herself into serious medical problems. Do you know what she was thinking as she ate the tenth chocolate bar in one hour? She was thinking, "hey, chocolate has some good things in it, like milk - it's actually good for you!" She actually believed that the "good ingredients" in the chocolate bar justified her gluttony!
The Foolish and Ungrateful Patient
There was a man who was diagnosed with lung cancer. He had smoked cigarettes for many years. It was devastating news to him, but by God's grace, he found a physician skilled in removing cancerous lung tissue. He met with the physician, who explained all that he would do for him in removing the cancerous lung. This physician thought that the cancer was not too far advanced, and that he could isolate the cancerous tissue, remove it and perhaps get all of it. The day of the operation was scheduled. The man with cancer was quite afraid of the whole operation, but went in anyway. Again, by God's grace, the physician was able to remove all of the portion of the lung which was cancerous.
The physician had many long talks with the man, telling him how his cigarette smoking was the cause of the lung cancer, and that the man would have to give smoking up. The man listened and told the doctor he would do it. However, on the doctor's third follow up visit to the recovering man, to check up after the operation, he found the man smoking a cigarette in the hospital bed! The doctor was almost sick to his stomach. He yelled at the patient, asking him what he was doing. The man basically ignored the doctor who had saved his life. The last thing the man said to the doctor was, "hey, chill out doc, smoking is not all bad for you. I considered all the bad things you said smoking would do to me but I think that puffing on the cigarette is pretty good exercise for my lungs, right?"
The Contents of the World Box Revealed
You may read these stories about the people who justified their sin by saying there is some good associated with it, and say these people are seriously deluded. You would be right. But, is there something in your life that is no less harmful than the things that held these other people in bondage? Is there something in your life that you justify by saying, 'well, there is good associated with it', and thus you continue on in bondage to something that is seriously harming you?
Well, if you have a world box and you view it's contents, then you are no different than the three in bondage above. "Well", you ask, "what is the world box and what is in it anyway"? Well, what is in it is something very sad. What is in it is fake, pretend, empty people, who ignore God and His Son Jesus and show contempt for his Words. What is in it is sadness and pain and suffering and darkness and hopelessness. What is in it is deceit and wickedness and all manner of evil. What is in it is stuff that takes you away from the truly good things in this life the Lord has given you. What is in it are all manner of snares and traps and pits and quicksand, all orchestrated by none other than the prince of this world himself. What is in it are people ignoring God and his glorious Son Jesus and living in unbelief and according to the flesh.
Do you think you peer into the world box? Probably not. You should say, "I would never peer into that mess - surely I would have something better to do". Well, do you watch television? You see, if you do watch televison, then you do spend time peering into the sad and hopeless darkness therein.
"I'm Not in Bondage to Television"
All we need to live is the the Words of God, food, shelter and clothing. Our purpose for living is to glorify the Lord and bring Him pleasure - to joyfully serve Him. A good way to see if you are in bondage to something that does not contribute to meeting the basic material needs of food, shelter and clothing, and the basic purpose of glorifying the Lord, is to do without it for some months. Can you do without the television for several months? If not, why not? Are you like the deceived alcoholic who says, "I don't have to drink, I just want to, but I know I could stop at any time". Why not test yourself and turn the world box off during that half a year when you typically watch it. If you can't do it, then you are in bondage to it.
"Oh, How Fanatical"
What justifications are mulling in your heart right now. Is it, "Oh, that is so fanatical everybody watches television". Really? I don't, and I know a few others who don't either, and they all say it is a blessing to be rid of it. "Well, that just proves you're a fanatic". Well, thank you! If you mean by fanatic, that I don't enjoy watching people ignore Jesus in all their words and deeds, then I guess I'm a fanatic. If you mean by fanatic, that I am not 'entertained' by watching the lost world perish and approve of all manner of sin while it is doing so, then yes, I am a fanatic. If by fanatic, I would rather spend my time seeking the Lord and trying to help others do the same, then yes, I am a fanatic. If by a fanatic, you mean I would rather spend time worshipping the Lord, or talking to Him in prayer or reading His Word's in the gospels, or helping other people to love Him, then yes, by God's grace I am guilty!
In what way is one doing the above as one sits in front of the world box being "entertained" by the perishing world? Does filling your mind with God-ignoring things of the world and of the flesh help you to seek first the Kingdom of God?
Another response I hear to the suggestion that the disciple of Jesus do without the world box is, "well, I need to stay informed about what is happening in the world so that I can have something to talk about with people". Really? Where is that commanded by Jesus? You need to spend your time wallowing in the details of the perishing world so that you can have something to talk about with someone? It's like wanting to watch an animal die a slow, horrible death so you can describe it in detail to others. How about talking with people about the basic issues of life and the circumstances the Lord brings you through each day in your realm of influence? Perhaps you don't know what it is to walk with the Lord, and thus you have nothing to describe? How about talking to them about life and death, true love and hope and the meaning and purpose of life, which you as a disciple of Jesus should have the answers to, and they as the world, need to hear?
Can you imagine Jesus or the disciples sitting around watching the world perish so they can use the gory details as an ice breaker in talking to someone? I hope you cannot imagine this, for the New Testament says this is not what happened. Did Jesus say to the Samaritan women, "uh, hey, did you hear about the hurricane in the Mediterranean ?" No, He immediately focused her on spiritual things and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God " (John 4:10).
Still yet another response is, "I'm not going to throw the baby out with the bath water. There are some good things on the television. Such and such preacher is on at 9:00am Sunday morning." Well, OK, that is well and good, but what about the other 98 percent of the time you spend watching the world's God ignoring, God hating garbage? How soon do we forget the truth. Remember the drug addict and the glutton and the foolish and ungrateful patient. They all tried to justify their sin by saying there was something good associated with it. What is the difference between their justification, and the justification for watching the world box saying that there are some good preachers on television? A little water in the heroin justifies the heroin junkie? Some milk in the chocolate bars justifies the glutton? The "exercise" of sucking on a cigarette justifies the lung cancer patient's smoking cigarettes? A "good preacher" justifies all the other hours spent watching the world and the things of the flesh? The truth is that the "good preacher" is probably the worst thing you could pour into your mind.
In the case of the person looking to justify their television watching, the one hour of "good preaching" justifies the dozens of hours of God rejecting, Jesus ignoring, sin loving "entertainment"? Do not be deceived my friend. "Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (1 John 2:15).
To pare it down even further, all language communicates something true or false. All human relationships, and the communication of those relationships, can either acknowledge Messiah Jesus as Lord, or ignore Jesus as Lord. This is a simple fact that cannot be denied. One is either abiding in Messiah Jesus (John 15:1-10) and will thereby be talking about Him before men (Matt. 10:32), or one is walking in the flesh and ignoring Him before men (Matt. 10:33). When you talk to people, are you telling them about the Lord Jesus and His Father's great salvation? Are you saying, "praise the Lord", as you recognize and acknowledge His goodness when you talk with people? (Prov. 3:5-6) Are you speaking of the Lord before your children and seeking with all your heart to train them up in His ways? (Deut. 6:6-7) If you are not doing these things, then you need to examine yourself before the Words of Jesus to see if you are in the faith.
Perhaps one of the saddest things I have viewed over the years is the people's religious leaders getting the people to cheer for some sports team during a meeting of their organization. It grieves me to see the people of God getting caught up with the world's idolatry - the exaltation of sports heroes. Let me ask the reader a question. Are sporting events and their focus, means and goals part of the Kingdom of God or the kingdom's of this world? Did Jesus teach us to defeat the human opponent by forceful means? Can you imagine Jesus suiting up to go blast someone to get a ball from them? If you can, then you don't know the Real Jesus. Where does Jesus teach us to use forceful means of the flesh to defeat people or opponents for any reason, let along for 'entertainment's' sake? If you can't see the answer to those questions, then you are sadly deceived.
I think if you are willing to look closely enough, you might find that you would rather spend time entertaining yourself with eternally meaningless garbage, than with loving and serving the Lord. This is the tragic and sad reality for many christians. The truth is that the prince of this world has many who label themselves as christians hooked on his television programming. I exhort you to turn away from "entertaining" yourself on the prince's perverse world, and instead focus on the Lord by learning of Him and serving Him. If you only knew the abundant life you were missing by your choosing to spend time with the world instead of with the Lord, you would repent immediately! Didn't you agree with the words in the first section of this article? [go back to The Desire of the believer's Heart] Now that you see the cost, are you unwilling to pay it? (Luke 14:26-35) Will you truly submit your life to the Lord?
I exhort you quite seriously to throw the world box out and spend time on building relationships in the Lord - first with Him, and then with other believers, and finally reaching out to the lost and perishing world. This is where life is found. Jesus says that He is the Life, and therefore if you are essentially ignoring Him except on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights, then you are missing out on life itself. Repent, and return to your first love, "or else Jesus will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place-unless you repent." (Rev. 2:4-5).
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