Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Mid-Week Message - Filling Our Minds

"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.  For all that is in the world--the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life--is not from the Father but is from the world."  1 John 2:15-16  (ESV)

During the time of quarantine, I really started thinking about the "stuff" of life.  When all I could do was sit in my home, I had plenty of chances to look around at all the belongings that it is filled with.  I am a very sentimental type of person so there are things that mean a lot to me, such as the cedar chest and a few other items that my father made by hand long before I was born.  I also have a set of three little angels that were given to me by a lady that I loved dearly.  "Billye's Angels", as I refer to them, are in a place in my living room where I can see them all the time.  Because they were a gift from her and she has now gone on to Heaven, they are important to me.  

During this time as well, I had plenty of time to watch television and I began to pay attention to the programs and advertisements that I was viewing regularly.  I realized that most of what is shown are things that, years ago, would never have been deemed appropriate or acceptable.  Sex, alcohol, drugs, violence, and children disrespecting parents are only a few of the topics.  But, by beginning to include these things little by little, programmers slowly got us used to seeing them and now they are rampant.  Game shows appeal to our greed.  "Win money!"  "Win a new car!"  So called "reality programs" pit people against each other and we find ourselves caught up in unlikely scenarios and rooting for one person over another.  

Have you noticed how many movies are being released that center around pure evil?  These films, most with an "R" rating, glorify the enemy with storylines dealing with the occult, witchcraft and spiritual darkness.  There was a time when there would have been a public outcry over this subject matter.  We would have forbidden our children from seeing them, but now, there are even parents who take their children with them when they to go to view.  Then we wonder why these young souls are skeptical of a real place called "Hell".  

This world is not our home.  We were created to love God and to worship Him.  How it must grieve Him to see us spending our time concentrating on how to collect and protect material items that will pass away or filling our minds with ungodly ideas created to drive our desires or to numb our awareness of evil.  What we think is harmless is actually deadly because it removes our focus from the Lord.

There is a song entitled "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus"  that says, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus.  Look full in His wonderful face.  And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace."  Brothers and sisters, we need to return to Jesus.  Rather than sitting in front of the television all time, we need to have our Bibles open and be sharing the love of the Father with those around us.  These are the things that make an eternal difference and lay up treasures in Heaven.  

I know it is difficult to stay completely away from the trappings this world.  But we have to keep a clear perspective on what we are exposing ourselves to.  If we do not guard our hearts and minds from the enemy, no one else will either.  May you have a safe and joyful week.  God bless! 

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