WHAT IS THE WORLD?

“Carrying The Weight Of The World?” Illustration by Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, 2017

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

“Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.” (I Corinthians 1:20)

This week, I asked my dear wife, what is the world? She immediately responded that it is the planet that we live on. How could I contradict that? The truth is that we use this word in two different ways. When Jesus speaks of the world, he means the atmosphere, the challenge of the culture that we live in. The world is that part of the culture that excuses doing things that are contrary to the teachings of the Bible. The world ignores or contradicts the teachings of the Bible. The world is that part of society that urges us to participate in activities that can harm us, and are contradictory to the scriptures and to wisdom. Why not smoke marijuana, every one else is doing it? There is a contest in this life between what is right and what is wrong. We do what is right, because the Bible teaches us. We are to worship God, not the world!

The world is not to be our director or our guide. We are to relish the word of God, and to seek to lead a life that pleases him. When we are faced with choices that are wrong, we must choose what is right, even though it hurts. Truth is better than falsehood. Kindness is better than meanness. Pleasing God is better than pleasing the world. We lay up treasures in Heaven. We have a challenge. We have a cause. “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.” (Matthew 6:33)

“As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting, upon those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.” (Psalm 103:15-18)

We know that God loves us. We do not see life as mean. We see purpose in life. In Christ, you are given guidance of what road to take. We are taught to treat others with respect. God gives us a good grasp of what is right and what is wrong. We are delivered from moral confusion. We understand that we are accountable to God. We do what is right, because the Bible teaches us. 

We are not to be surprised when trouble overtakes us. We know that our healing comes from God. We know that our guidance comes from God.

“Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30)

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
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