Love not the World
June/Training for Mission
18 June 2010
Who can satisfy God in the last times, when the noble rules of truth have been changed, save for those who scorn this present world?
- Columcille, Altus Prosator (Irish, 6th century)
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
- 1 John 2.15
Celtic missionaries lived an austere life. In the first generations, at least, they took nothing from the world, but learned to live off the generous supply of their faithful God and the work of their own hands. Initially a missionary might go off by himself and build a little hut in the woods. There he could live off the land while he learned to trust God and praise Him with greater frequency and consistency, and began to build bridges with whatever people might be living around him.
He might then be joined by a few disciples, and they would acquire property - often as a gift from some friendly ruler - which they would then develop for agriculture, living, and worship. As the community grew, so did their industry and their outreach. They rejected the comforts of the court and refused the lavish gifts often proffered to gain their favor. They lived simply but powerfully, and many came to Christ through their efforts.
They did not love the world, and, as a result, the love of God shone mightily in and through them. And what about us? Would those who know us say that we do not love the world? That we are so manifestly focused on pleasing our heavenly Father that nothing this world might offer to entice us away from Him has any allure whatsoever?
The way to keep from loving the world is to love God more. This means prayer, solitude, contemplation, observing His glory in the world around, and talking with others about Him as though He were, indeed, just the best thing in your life. When we know God truly, we will love nothing more. And then we will be ready to be used for His glory.
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