I Can’t Feel at Home in this World Anymore

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: 2 Chronicles 28-29; John 17

13 Now I’m coming to you and I say these things while I’m in the world so that they can share completely in my joy. 14 I gave your word to them and the world hated them, because they don’t belong to this world, just as I don’t belong to this world. 15 I’m not asking that you take them out of this world but that you keep them safe from the evil one. 16 They don’t belong to this world, just as I don’t belong to this world. 17 Make them holy in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 I made myself holy on their behalf so that they also would be made holy in the truth. (John 17:13-19, Common English Bible).

The late Jim Reeves sang these words, “The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.” Those words came to my mind as I read today’s John lesson. Jesus said in this lesson, “…the world hated them, because they don’t belong to this world…”

It seems to me we may have gotten upset about something Jesus was telling us to expect! We continue to hear throughout our country that Christians are losing more and more rights. There has been anger over not having prayer before school. There was anger when Christians lost the right to pray before a football game. We have gotten angry when Nativity scenes were forced down from public property, Bibles removed from city halls, and city councils and school boards stopped praying at the beginning of their meetings (I actually prayed at both, on the same night one hour apart in May).

These things have happened at the hands of those who are of this world. They have happened because they don’t have God’s Word. We have God’s Word. This world is not our home. And yes, the world seems to have a hate that grows stronger and stronger as time marches on.

So, why are we upset? We are citizens of another world. Jesus knew what the disciples, disciples both then and throughout history would face. We are the heirs of Roman Emperor Constantine’s moves that made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire, a move many historians point to as the primary action leading to the fall of the Roman Empire.

Throughout world history events occurred where the world has shown its hatred to matters of faith and to people of faith. I am not saying we should be happy about it. But, it should not be unexpected either. It seems to me, what we should be feeling is sorrow for the world that does not know the answer to life’s real question, that meaning and purpose and eternity are found in what we know, that Jesus is the Christ who was born into this world, lived in it, died in it and rose from the dead in it that each of us might have life.

I would challenge you that as the world marches on and demonstrates its hate toward matters of faith and people of faith, instead of responding in anger and hatred, to show the love of Jesus. And, we all need to pray. We need to pray for our children and our grandchildren. For we who are senior adults or are rapidly approaching that status, we have seen what is perhaps the beginning of a more difficult time on its way than what we have experienced. We, at least many of us, will not be here to see it. Our children and grandchildren likely will be. We need to pray now that they stay strong in the faith as even now we see more and more of them walking away from the faith in which they were raised.

Stand firm but stand with a heart filled with love and compassion. Our anger will not return people to God. That will only happen as they see the light and love of God shine through from our hearts.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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