A Matter of the Heart: Worldliness


A Matter of the Heart: Worldliness
1. Definition of worldliness: the attitude of a Christian’s heart that reflects the spirit of this age. The attitudes and values of a system that is spearheaded by Satan. This system is characterized by thoughts and actions that exclude God.
2. A lot of people would define worldliness with a list of do’s and don’ts, things they believe a Christian should or should not do.
3. Think about the unsaved world for a minute, many lost people are fine, upstanding citizens and all but they leave God out of their lives. They are worldly people. Their hearts are tied to this this world and the things of this world.
4. A worldly spirit makes us want to be independent of God’s control. It makes us want to say, “I’m going to do it my way”.
Worldliness and Conflict with Others
5. The first result of worldliness is conflict with others. A Christian who lives in perpetual conflict is revealing a worldly spirit. A husband and wife who fight all the time are revealing their worldliness, as are church members who constantly bicker with one another.
6. The Bible teaches us that fussing and fighting are part of the old life that is supposed to be behind us (Titus 3:1-3). Let me clarify; when I say fussing and fighting I don’t mean legitimate disagreements or differences of opinion nor and I including the kinds of confrontation that need to take place, such as confronting a sinning brother or sister. I’m talking about conflicts that have their origin in self-centeredness, jealousy, pettiness, evil desires, etc., in other words, a worldly attitude.
7. The Bible asks this question (James 4:1), “What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you”? Then the answer comes; “The source of conflict is pleasure that wage war in the hearts of believers”. (James 2:1-13) is a perfect example of worldliness-allowing the world’s spirit and values to influencing the world with God’s values.
8. At the root of so much worldly-minded conflict is the anger that flares up when we don’t get our way or someone messes with our little domain. I’m talking about the anger of man that does not achieve the righteousness of God (James 1:20). Some of us have been fussing and fighting for years about circumstances and people that bother us, and things still haven’t changed. Do you know why? Because as long as we are determined to use human means to try to accomplish a righteous goal, God steps back.
9. The Bible is clear (James 1:19) you and I can’t accomplish God’s work when we’re empowered by human anger. That’s why we need to be slow to anger, slow to takes matters into our own hands in an unbiblical way.
10. (James 4:1-2) worldliness results in internal conflict. And that internal conflict is behind conflict with others. The Bible shows us that truth. Is not the source of conflict your pleasures that wage war in your members? Verse 1-2 “you lust and do not have; so you commit murder, and you are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel”. The word members, here, is a reference to a believer’s physical body, not to the members of the church. James is talking about the pleasures that battle internally for control over us.
Summary
Illegitimate conflict can be traced to worldliness within. Until we identify and deal with the conflict within, we will never fix the crisis without.

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Matters of the Heart: What do you do when everything seems to go wrong? Job 1:1-22


Matters of the Heart: What do you do when everything seems to go wrong? Job 1:1-22

Growing in Godliness: The fruit of Godliness will develop in our lives as we grow in our personal knowledge and understanding of God. Godly living turns from evil and seeks to understand God’s perspective in every circumstance of life. Seek to walk before the Lord blamelessly, fearing God and rejecting evil. Recognize that simply hearing about God is not enough. Intimacy and a personal encounter enable us to perceive and know Him for ourselves.

Pursue diligently an understanding of God’s perspective when trying to apply truth to a given situation. Though Job’s friends spoke truth, they wrongly applied it and falsely accused Job. They did not speak right about God nor did they understand His perspective; as a result, they provoked God’s wrath.

Cultivating dynamic devotion is cultivated within the rich soil of knowing, understanding, and trusting in the character and nature of God. The book of Job does not answer the “why” question, but it does answer the “who” question. We may not understand why we go through trials and suffering, but by trusting in who God is in His love, righteousness and power, we can say with Job, “though he slay me, yet will I trust Him”.

Remember that God knows you. He knows what you can handle and will not allow you to be tested beyond what you can endure (1 Cor. 10:13). Rejoice that Jesus Christ is our mediator and advocate with the Father (1 Tim. 2:5, 1 John 2:1). Put your trust in who God is based on who His Word has revealed Him to be. Place your hope and trust in God the Creator and sustainer of all things; the loving, righteous, all-powerful and just one.

Pursuing Holiness: As we begin to see and understand the holiness and purity of God, we begin to understand our own need for holiness and purity. Commit yourself to keeping your eyes pure. Be careful to look upon things that honor the Lord and are consistent with holiness. Humble yourself before the Lord, just as Job did. He encountered God’s majesty and holiness and it left him deeply aware of his sin, and inability to justify himself (Is. 6:1-7, Rom. 5:18-21).

The Walk of Faith: Faith is the confidence of things not seen. Job’s circumstances made it appear that either Job had sinned or God was unjust. Neither conclusion was accurate nor faith brought Job through his trials, enduring patiently to the end. He learned God’s sustaining grace and experienced God’s merciful restoration (Heb. 11:1, James 5:10,11). Believe God is for you, even in the midst of intense trials. Recognize there may be a satanic source involved in suffering and affliction; but also remember He who is in you is greater that he who is in the world (1 John 4:4)! Do not be like Job’s friend. Do not assume that someone’s illness of trial is a result of sin or judgment. Encourage the downcast. Strengthen the weak; comfort the afflicted. Hold fast to Jesus, your redeemer. Be comforted knowing He is able to redeem any circumstance (Rom. 8:28).