The Lord's Prayer, Part Four
Sometimes we sing a hymn with the chorus, "When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be!" Well, let's sing a new verse and put in today's date. For instance, "When May 1 comes, what a day of rejoicing that will be!" and the next day, change the verse to, "When May 2 comes, what a day of rejoicing that will be!" And if you are planning to teach a Sunday School lesson next February 20th, include in the lesson, "When February 20th comes, what a day of rejoicing that will be!" April 15-that's tax day-"What a day of rejoicing that will be!" "Well," someone says, "I'm having final examinations." "What a day of rejoicing that will be!" You see, God says it doesn't make any difference about the circumstance. He said "I am inside." Circum means around. Stance refers to the things that are standing, like a man's stance when he's playing golf. Circumstances are the things that are all around you. Well, what difference do the things around you make if Christ is in you? You see, that's joy. That's the utter absolute joy that we may have day by day and moment by moment.
Now He's talking about joy, and He says, "I have given them thy word, and the world hath hated them" (v. 14). Look back in verse 8 "I have given unto them the words"-plural, but here in verse 14, "I have given them thy word." Day by day He had given them the words, but now He has given them the Word, the great truth that which we have in Scripture. And this, He says, is the channel of the Father's love. If it's the channel of the Father's love, then it's the source of joy. Our source of joy is to be found in this Book. It's the cup from which we drink, the invisible eternal Word.
Now get the word, and that's important. "I have given them thy word and the world hath hated them." Now as I said before, the word world is found seventy-nine times in the Gospel of John. What is the world? Oh, the world is, "Get your name in the paper." "Be seen with prominent people." The world is the name dropper.
I read in the New Yorker once a story of someone who had just come back from Hollywood. He became insufferable because in every conversation, when people said to him, "Oh, you've been out in Hollywood?" he would say, "Oh, yes, and Clark said this to me, or Gary said this, or Marilyn said this and Lana said that." And the person was pompous out of all proportion because of his name dropping. That's what the world wants: to be seen, to be heard. That's why they're so definite about being at the theater and the opera on opening night. That's when it really counts to know the right people.
And believe me, this exists in the Christian world too. A lot of two-by-four Christians want to prove they are from this Bible institute or that, and they let everybody know it. You see, this is the fad. This is the world, and this worldliness is in the church.
Now Jesus says that the world hates-hates-hates the true believer. The world is never going to hate a believer who is a pompous, boastful, proud person. If you're just out shooting off your mouth about Christianity playing the world's game, the world will say you're just a religious nut. But if, all of a sudden, you come to Christ, and you don't care what the world thinks about you, and you'd rather be found talking to someone who is born again, whom the world never heard of and never will hear of, then the world will hate you.
- In what ways can we learn to be thankful for today?
- Do we benefit from being on earth as well as our future kingdom in heaven?
- In what ways can we become more joyful? What is the key to joy?
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