Less of the world, more of Christ
Updated: Dec 7, 2019
I and eight other members from my church returned from the Philippines recently. We support a missionary there, and we went to help and encourage him in his ministries. This was my second trip to the Philippines, and it was just as eye-opening and challenging as it was the first time around.
Normally, I would give you four or five takeaways from my trip, but, instead, I want to meditate one big impact. There is no question what it is—this mission trip made me want less of the world and more of Christ.
Our missionary does so much for his community. He is literally at work every day doing something to serve the Lord and his fellow Filipinos. One of the ministries he leads and serves in is called The Street Ministry. He and a team go into strategic areas of their city and feed homeless people they have built relationships with. They know where these people are, and when they find them, the people are happy to see our missionary and his team. They give them food, medical care, love and the gospel.
This really challenged me.
First of all, our missionary is so compassionate. Just as Jesus tells us to do, he goes to the least of these and shows them the love of Christ. And he works tirelessly doing so. This man never seems to stop. His heart won’t let him. He is driven by a love for God and these people.
I was also challenged by the impoverished state of the people he ministers to. They literally have nothing. They live in filth and seem to have very little hope.
I went back to our hotel that evening with mixed emotions. Honestly, I was really quite confused. I didn’t know how I felt. One thing I did know, I want more of Christ and less of this world. It sickens me how in love with this world we can become. We love the world’s comforts, pleasures, and favor. I think if we asked most Christians: “are you ready for Jesus to return?” They’d say, “yes, but I’d really like to get married first or have children first or enjoy retirement first. Then he can return after I get as much out of this world as I can.”
Don’t get me wrong, “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17). God has given us many things in this life to enjoy for His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31). But we are not to be at home in this world. “Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20). We are sojourners and exiles in a foreign land. We can’t grow too comfortable here. We definitely cannot fall in love with this world. “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4). You can be sure, if you love the world, you’re not a Christian. “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).
This is why I want more of Christ and less of this world. I want to serve the Lord like my missionary friend—tirelessly and for the glory of God. I want to find my satisfaction in the bread of life, not the bread of this world.
What about you? Would you be happy for Jesus to return today? Or are you enjoying this life too much right now?
Thanks for reading!