Bible Reading Blog
“Do Not Love the World”Categories: Congregational Bible Reading
BIBLE READING: 1 John 2
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2.15-17)
We easily get caught up in loving this world. We love our hobbies and our vacations. We love our houses, cars, and other possessions. We love the patterns and habits we establish, the places we go, the things we do that make us feel competent. These things offer us a sense of purpose and satisfaction as we invest in them, but only temporarily (Ecclesiastes 2.24; 8.17). This is an admonition we need to hear regularly.
Don’t get me wrong: There is nothing sinful with enjoying the good things in life (Ecclesiastes 8.15), but that must not be our pursuit. Not only will it leave us unfulfilled, but it will keep us from truly knowing God. That is why John offers such a strong admonition: love of the world steals our love for God (1 John 2.15b). It sets our focus on things that are temporary and don’t fulfil the needs of our soul. This is no small matter. If our treasures are on earth and in this life, we will receive nothing from God in eternity (Matthew 6.19-21; Luke 12.16-21).
John wants to expose our way of life (1 John 1.7-10). He wants us to be honest about what we truly love and what we gain from those pursuits. Many of God’s people throughout history have claimed to love and know him but actually have divided interests (Hosea 8.2; 9.17; Matthew 7.21-23).
Jesus’ parable in Luke 12 should be a sobering reminder of how easily we get caught up in worldly things. The rich man tore down his barns to build bigger barns as he prepared for his future. He was prudent and considerate, but he gave no thought to God as he made plans. My friends, it is foolish to invest in anything without consideration of God’s thoughtful blessings towards us. This is easy to impose on others, but it must expose us as well. Have I considered the purpose of God’s blessings toward me? The best things we have are given so we can know God's love and see his grace.
Too often we identify ourselves by what we do, where we go, what we have. These things are passing away. If all of your worldly possessions were gone, who would you be? Are you defined by your things or by your relationship to God?
Have you considered what you truly love? Is God the center of your affection? Are your daily activities storing up treasures in heaven? Do not love the world. This world is passing away. Let’s get our focus upward and be sure we love the One who supplies our every need.
“Set your mind on things above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3.2)