When the Bible speaks of the world, it generally is speaking of one of three things. The world system (I John 5:4), the material world (I John 2:15), and the people of the world (John 3:16). So the Lord says He loved the world, all the people of the world; that includes you, and it includes me.
More than 50 years ago at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, a young sociology professor assigned his class to a city slum to interview 200 boys. They were instructed to predict the boys’ futures on the basis of their findings.
Shocked at what they found in the slums, the students estimated that 90 percent of the boys interviewed would someday serve time in prison.
Twenty-five years passed. The same professor asked another class to try to locate the survivors of the 200 boys and compare what had happened. Of 180 of the original boys located, only four had ever been to jail.
Why had the predictions not turned out? A common denominator was sought in their lives, some value or influence that may have marked the difference. Through more interviews, it was found that over 100 of the men remembered having the same high-school teacher, a Miss O’Rourke, who had been a tremendous influence on them at the time. After a long search, Sheila O’Rourke was found in a nursing home in Memphis, now 70 years old. When asked for her explanation, she was puzzled. “All I can say,” she concluded, “is that I loved every one of them.”
Just as Miss O’Rourke’s love changed these boys, God’s love can change the world.
Thought: If we want to change the world, let others see Jesus in us.
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