Not of This World

In John 17:9(NLT), after his resurrection, Jesus Christ was praying to Heavenly Father, and he said, “My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you.” We can see in this verse how important the disciples were to Jesus and how much he loved them. Even before they entered the wombs of their mothers, they were destined to be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, because God had given them to him. Jesus said that his prayer wasn’t for the world, it was for those that followed him, and in this he makes a separation that is very distinct and crucial for us to understand. It wasn’t that he didn’t love all people, because he does. He gave his life on Calvary not just for those that are believers, but for the unbelieving as well. However, there can be no doubt that there’s a relationship between Christ and those that belong to him. There can also be no doubt that it is his desire that everyone makes the choice to give themselves over to his care, but sadly, many will not make this choice.  

In John 17:10(NLT), Jesus Christ said, “All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory.” Christ prayed for those who honored him, and these precious individuals belonged to God. This is an extremely important truth to grab on to with both hands and never let go. As followers of Christ and born-again believers, we do not belong to ourselves. 1Corinthians 10:26(NLT) tells us, “For “the earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it.” Everything that there is belongs to our Heavenly Father, and it is His good pleasure to share His wonderful creation with us. 1Corinthians 6:19-20(NLT) tells us, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” We are God’s property. He purchased us from darkness by paying the highest price that could ever be paid, the life of His only begotten Son. Yet He doesn’t punish us when we don’t do what He wants us to do, and He never stops loving us even though we sometimes behave very badly. 2Timothy 2:13(NLT) tells us, “If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.” He’s a loving God. He created us out of His tremendous love, and He wants to have a relationship with each of us.

God has called our attention to the reality that all will not choose to love, acknowledge, and honor Him. Some will have a different father that is evil and dark, and they will never follow Jesus Christ or give their lives to him. These are people of the world, and they are not at all interested in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 2Corinthians 4:4(NLT) tells us, “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.”

Some think of themselves as being neutral. They say, “I believe in God, but I’m not religious.” Some people say this because they don’t want to be involved and bothered in a way that makes them change. In truth, there is no such thing as being neutral or not choosing a side. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 6:24(NLT), “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other.“ God is overwhelmingly deserving of all the love, honor, and glory we can possibly give Him. He deserves more than an attitude of wanting to remain on the sidelines. This is nowhere near the attitude of gratitude every human being should have in their hearts for all He has done for us. 

Being religious is not a prerequisite to receiving the salvation that Jesus Christ offers. Christianity was never meant to be a religion. It is the Way of Jesus Christ. It is a commitment to live by his example. Some of us come to him in the most miserable condition, with wounded souls and broken hearts. We are almost paralyzed by the pain and disappointments we have faced. In our pitifulness, we recognized that we are unable to save ourselves. We can’t give ourselves life, only he can do this. In our weakened state, many of us have only the tiniest of cracks, but it is just enough for his love to come through and rescue us. As we grow in our knowledge and honor of Christ, his love totally permeates our hearts and minds, and we are transformed by it.

When we accept his love in our hearts, we become God’s children. Ephesians 5:8(NLT) says, “For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!” This is the distinction. We have the light of Christ by accepting his love into our hearts. Heavenly Father has set us apart and marked us out to be His very own, and we no longer belong to the world. Our Almighty God is our Creator and Source of all blessings, and everything we do should be to glorify Him.We must be sure to make this clear distinction in our minds and hearts, because we are holy and separate from the world, and through the love of Jesus Christ, we have the privilege to show others his light.■

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

“Not of This World”, written by JMack,© 2021. All rights reserved. All praise and honor to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

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