Affections: Vertical or Horizontal?

Where is our affection centered? This is a very important question for us to seriously consider. Colossians 3:1-2  charges the child of God: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” John adds this warning: “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.” James, in James 4:4, “draws a line in the sand” in these words: “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” The Holy Spirit adds some more for us to think on: “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Galatians 5:24). It would be hard to make this issue any clearer than these verses. So, is our love and affection directed upward to our Blessed Lord and the things of God, or are they on an even keel with the things of this fallen world? Has worldliness so invaded the average church today that true believers have had their gaze misdirected outward rather than upward? If so, it’s time for a sharp correction of focus! In Robert Lowe Fletcher’s hymn, “Take the World But Give Me Jesus,” we have a prayer to love Him, not this fallen world system: “Take the world but give me Jesus,  He who died, He lov’d me so; gladly now I yield earth’s treasures,  Jesus only would I know. Now I hail my gracious Savior, Living Head and glorious King; and for His redemptive favor, all my gifts and pow’rs I bring. Take the world but give me Jesus, and my heart shall be His throne; King of kings, and Lord forever, He shall rule, and He alone. Take the world but give me Jesus, that dear Friend who loves me so; all the world I leave, to follow Jesus thro’ this vale below.” Selah! What do we mean by worldliness? I hope to address this tomorrow, God willing.   Ron

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