Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, written by Pastor Ryun Chang, was first posted on February 15, 2013.
Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend
“Slaying Our Doubled-Headed Enemy”
1 John 2:15-17
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
No one saw coming what is presently happening around our globe: apparently unstoppable and certainly very contagious coronavirus, with people dying everywhere (so it seems). If we ever had the problem of loving the world and fearing death (aren’t we all guilty), we are facing this double-headed monster up close and personal. So, what would falling headlong into the trap of loving the world and fearing death look like?
Perhaps no one ever feared death quite like Thomas Donaldson who was afflicted with brain cancer in 1990. Hoping that science could one day make immortality possible, Donaldson, then 46, asked the California court judge to permit cryogenic specialists to freeze him, and then sever his frozen head to store it for the future. He hoped that someday science would provide a cure for cancer, but for this plan to succeed, the doctors would also have to master the technique of brain transplantation. Only then could Donaldson’s head be thawed out and his brain implanted to another body. At $35,000, freezing a head was a good deal cheaper than what it would cost to freeze an entire body for $100,000. “I am dying,” said the cancer patient, adding, “I might later be revived and continue to live.” Fortunately, he managed to beat the disease until finally succumbing to it in 2006.
This man really tried to hang on to this world as long as he could, because for him there was no other world but this one, which he so desperately loved, since he never came to believe Jesus for eternal life. Evidently, the more you love this world, the greater the fear of death will be.
What’s more tragic is that there are many believers, mostly in the affluent West, who will do almost anything to prolong their stay here on earth. And it’s not because they want to do God’s work; rather, to them (who make up the top 1% of incomer earners globally since $32,400 is all it takes), Western affluence is their heaven; it is what they love. I wonder whether this is a case of “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 Jn. 2:15b).
May the present pandemic, which is turning our lives upside down, be used to slay the doubled-headed enemy of loving the world and fearing death by way of affirming our faith in Christ, who declared, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16:33)
Prayer: O God, let the present crisis that is exposing our love for the world and fear of death to drive us to Your Son Jesus Christ wherein we shall find true rest, peace and assurance. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 55