"What is the world to me with all its vaunted pleasure, When You, and You alone, Lord Jesus, are my Treasure! You only, dearest Lord, my soul's delight shall be; You are my peace, my rest. What is the world to me!
"The world seeks to be praised and honored by the mighty, Yet never once reflects that they are frail and flighty. But what I truly prize above all things is He, My Jesus, He alone. What is the world to me!"
In Scripture "the world" and its people are described as God's creation, loved and sustained by His care: "The earth is the LORD's and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein" (Psalm 24:1). Yet Scripture also refers to "the world" as a place at war with its Creator, as the home of those who oppose God's will and hate Jesus and His followers. Jesus said, "If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you" (John 15:18).
God loves the world and the people He created. He sent His Son to be the world's Savior. Jesus, the One by whom and for whom all things were made, came to live in the world He created. He treated people with care and compassion, yet He also spoke against the evil of this world. Jesus endured hatred and rejection and, when the time was right, He carried the sins of the world in His own body on the cross. He suffered the penalty of death for the world's evil, dying to reconcile the world to its Creator and rising to life in victory over sin, death, and the devil. As He told His disciples, "In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33b).
By God's grace through faith in Jesus, we are reconciled to God. As children of God, we reject the sin and evil of this world and rightly exclaim, "What is the world to me!" We are to be managers, or caretakers, of God's creation (see Genesis 1:28). At the same time, we are warned against the world's temptations: "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" (1 John 2:15). We resist the world's evil and its "vaunted pleasure" because Jesus alone is our Treasure and soul's delight. Like our Lord we seek to treat others with care and compassion as He sends us into a world lost in sin. We have Good News to proclaim, the message of repentance and forgiveness in His Name. Jesus, the Treasure we "prize above all things," is a Treasure to be shared!
WE PRAY: Jesus, You are my Treasure and my soul's delight. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "What Is the World to Me?" which is number 730 in the Lutheran Service Book.
1. Why is the world at war with God, its Creator?
2. What has God done to set us free from the world and its luring temptations?
3. How do you keep your eyes on Jesus to combat the world and your sinful desires?
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