October 1 I Thursday

Isaiah 11-13

Ephesians 4

“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?”  

—James 4:1


When I was in New Zealand several years ago, I gave a talk at a high school. I asked the students, “What do you think is wrong with the world?” They said some silly things like parents, teachers and politicians. I told them, “It’s interesting that all those you’ve named happened to be people. Nobody here said cats, mice or flies are what’s wrong with the world. It’s people.” I followed by asking, “Tell me, what’s wrong with people?” The students blurted different responses, “people are greedy,” “people are selfish,” “people are proud” and “people are jealous.”

      I posed a scenario: “Suppose, you got the whole school together in the gymnasium and you said, ‘Hey listen school, our world is in a mess. People are greedy, selfish, proud and jealous.’ If you stayed up all night trying to work out how to put the world right, do you think by tomorrow morning you might discover that there are still some people in your school who are greedy, selfish, proud and jealous?” The students said, “Yes.” I continued, “Now, suppose you went home and got your family together and you said, ‘Hey listen, our world’s in a mess, our school’s in the same mess; people are greedy, selfish, proud and jealous.’ Do you think by tomorrow morning you might discover somebody in your family a little bit greedy, selfish, proud and jealous sometimes?” The students answered, “Yes.”

      I posed the final scenario: “Supposing you didn’t go home tonight. You spent all night by yourself up in a tree saying, ‘The world’s in a mess, my school’s in a mess, my family’s in the same mess. They are greedy, selfish, proud and jealous.’ Do you think by tomorrow morning you might realize that you’re a teeny bit greedy, selfish, proud and jealous?”

      No one answered. I asked a student, “Do you?” He said, “I don’t know.” I pressed in, “Yes or no?” And he said, “Yes.” I pointed to a different student and he said, “Yes,” and another student, “Yes.” I went, “What’s wrong with the world? You and I are.” That was pretty blunt, but it was the truth.

      To understand the world, we may look at politics, economics or philosophies of life, but the ultimate solution is not found there. Instead, we have to look at the human heart and interpret the world biblically. We have to understand the Bible, and its diagnosis and remedy. The diagnosis is that the human heart is corrupt and in need of repair, because I am my biggest problem. The remedy is Jesus. We cannot do it alone; we need a Saviour. May we humble our hearts and accept our need for Jesus.

Prayer: Lord God, I confess I am greedy, selfish, proud and jealous. I need a Saviour. Thank You for sending Jesus to remedy my corrupt heart. Praise You!

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