|Volume 23 Number 3 March 2021
Just Be There
Cecil May, Jr.
Job’s three friends were a comfort to him for a full week. They were silent, but there (2:13). When they spoke, they were “worthless physicians” (13:4) and “miserable comforters” (16:2).
A little girl was “adopted” as a grandchild by a couple next door. The wife died; the girl went next door and sat outside with the old man for a couple of hours. When she came home, her mother asked, “What did you say to him?” “Nothing,” she said. “I just sat with him and helped him cry.”
When death or other tragedies occur, often there are no appropriate words to say. To be of genuine comfort, just be there.
We Are Not of This World
In 1 Peter 2:11, the apostle describes Christians as “strangers and pilgrims” in this world. In Hebrews 11:13, we read of the heroes of the faith: “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” It is very clear from Scripture that those who are the servants of God are set apart from the rest of humanity.
There can be no doubt that God loves the world. John 3:16-17 tells of this remarkable love, but that does not mean He approves of the ways of the world. Jesus our Lord said in John 18:20, “I spake openly to the world,” and declared His kingdom to be “not of this world” in John 18:36. He also spoke regarding our relationship with the world in which we live. We come out from of this world, and we are now His. In John 17:16, we learn from the Master’s lips, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” So where is our true home? Where Jesus reigns right now – Heaven – is our home!
We have also been left in this world with a purpose. In John 17:18, the Lord said, “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” Remember John 3:16-17, which reads, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” His mission is now our mission on earth. We are as He was – a gift, a blessing, a necessary need for all who would obey the good news!
How wonderfully touching it is to realize that Jesus has not left us without support. “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.” In John 17:11, He said, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” In the previous verse, He said, ”I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”
In Christ Jesus, we are kept from the world, while at the same time being in it! Scripture reveals in John 17:15 that Christ prayed that the Father would “sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
We understand that this message will not be popular with all, and some will even hate us. As His servants, as agents of Heaven on earth, we must be a light in its darkness, even as He is! In Matthew 5:14, our Lord said, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” In 1 John 5:4-5, the beloved disciple wrote to the saints, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”
When we obey the Gospel call, we become God’s own beloved people. While living in the world, we must not give our love to it but to our Holy God. In 1 John 2:15, we read, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” We must avoid the lust of the flesh and the pride of life that leads to destruction.
While we are in the world, let us not forget where our true home is! Let us never forget who is our true King. May the Lord keep us from those who forget their place. 1 John 2:4 reads, “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
Scripture reveals this fact: We are not of this world. God commissions us to be a light in the darkness in this world. We will be opposed, but “greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Get right with God today and be added to his kingdom (Acts 2:38) while yet you may do so.