Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 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. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. I John 2: 15-17
As this year draws near the close, it certainly is unlike anything we could have expected this time last year. There are unparalleled health concerns, violence in the streets, a sagging economy and the list goes on. Our plates are still full of uncertainty, both personally and as a nation and world.
We believe and pray things will get better. Maybe a vaccine, soon. Maybe protests will become peaceful. Maybe solutions will be found in conversations to make us an even better nation. But in the meantime, where do we find a life of certainty, security and peace? It doesn’t seem to be coming from the world around us. But that’s the problem. Our solutions are not from the world, but from God.
In 1 John 2:15-17 is the answer. It’s not about loving the world, but loving God and following Him in our walk, to love and lift others in the world around us. The text begins with a command: “Do not love the world or the things in the world.” Love for the world pushes out love for the Father.
All things of the world have an expiration date, including you and me, but if You do the will of the Father, you will live forever. In summary, then, the text contains one commandment and three arguments, or incentives. The commandment is, “Don’t love the world or the things in the world.”
▪ The first incentive is that if you love the world, you don’t love God.
▪ The second incentive is that if you love the world, you will perish with the world.
▪ The third incentive is that if you love God instead of the world, you will live with God forever.
The path of victory that overcomes the world and leads to eternal life is the one path of faith toward Christ and love for God. There are not two ways to heaven. There is one narrow way.
The main point of this passage is “Do not love the world; love the Father.” But that’s much easier to read than it is to live. As we move forward facing whatever is before us personally and with what we face together in our communities, nation and world—we would do well to follow this kind of life.
We won’t find life, certainty, success, peace and security in the ways of the world, in our bank accounts, in what we own, or prideful accomplishments. We won’t find it in resumes, trophies, or trying to meet the world’s expectations. But we will find the life we were created to live, by walking in the will of God, by walking with God everyday of our lives. And then one day, throughout eternity. We should simply face whatever is before us each day, by simply walking hand-in-hand with God.
The main point of this passage is “Do not love the world; love the Father.” But that’s much easier to read than it is to live.
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
WISDOM FROM PROVERBS 18:
▪ It’s selfish and stupid to think only of yourself and to sneer at people who have sense.
▪ Fools have no desire to learn; they would much rather give their own opinion.
▪ There’s nothing so delicious as the taste of gossip! It melts in your mouth.
▪ The rich think their money is a wall of protection.
▪ Pride leads to destruction; humility leads to honor.
▪ It’s stupid and embarrassing to give an answer before you listen.
▪ A man’s greatest treasure is his wife— she is a gift from the Lord.
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Sometimes, we have to remember that it’s not all about us:
We have been put into places and positions for a purpose, for a reason. We are where we are to bring glory and honor to God. We are where we are, as John the Baptist exemplifies, to help others see and know Jesus through who we are, what we do, how we act, and how we respond. Our job, first and foremost, is to turn the focus from ourselves and on to the Son of the Living God, the Bridegroom… Jesus. What are you doing with the platform you’ve been given? Marty Stubblefield.
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself. Marcus Aurelius
Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart. Seneca
Discover what God is up to and join him. Henry Blackaby
Faith is when we discern from a myriad of impressions (hear God’s voice) what God wants to do in a given situation and then acting in harmony with it. Great with God
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month. Teddy Roosevelt
To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead. Thomas Paine
Name your greatest challenge this morning. Did you choose it? Probably not. Can you choose how to respond to it? Absolutely. Jim Denison