Beware of Jesus' Jealousy
"Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God."
-James 4:4, emphasis added
In yesterday's devotional, we saw that no one can serve two masters. In James, God strongly tells us that Jesus is so jealous of us that He does not want us to have friendship with the world. I am not talking about having friends that are unsaved, but loving the world system. In other words, Jesus does not want us to get involved in things that make us forget Him. He does not want the world to be on our minds all the time. He does not want us to be willing to sacrifice for it. He does not want the world, and all that is in it, to block Him out.
Before marriage, in order to have a relationship, you must be selective: you cannot have a relationship with just anyone--only one person. You aggressively pursue the one you love, and this is to continue on into marriage. Thus, God is saying, "You are married to Me, so you cannot be out dating anymore."
Did you know that one of the prime characteristics of God is jealousy? We humans believe that jealousy is bad and, from a human standpoint, it indeed can be. But because God is perfect, His jealousy is also perfect. Exodus 20:5 says that you shall not bow down to them nor serve them [the gods of this world]. For I . . . am a jealous God. (See also Exodus 34:14 and Deuteronomy 4:24.)
God truly wants us to listen to Jesus (Matthew 22:37-38). We should therefore regularly examine our focus by asking these questions: Who or what is my God? What is the center of my life? What do I rely on?
Worldliness is not so much a matter of activity, but of attitude. A Christian can stay away from questionable amusements and places and still love the world, for worldliness is a matter of the heart. Worldliness not only affects our response to the love of God, but also affects our response to the will of God: If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him (1 John 2:15; see also 1 John 2:17 . Doing the will of God is a joy for those living in the love of God (John 15:14), but when a believer loses his or her enjoyment of the Father's love, it will be hard to obey His will. Combining those two factors leads to this practical definition of worldliness: Worldliness is anything in a Christian's life that causes him to lose his enjoyment of the Father's love or his desire to do the Father's will.
The extent to which we fail to respond to the Father's love (our personal devotional life), and fail to do the Father's will (our daily conduct), is the degree of worldliness that has entrapped us. Always remember: if we fraternize with the world, we become enemies with God.
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