Encouragement For Each Maturity Level
1 John 2:12-14 – This is a passage that has puzzled a lot of people over the years. There is some repetition here, but enough differences that you notice them.
John is talking about different levels of maturity in faith. Those who are young in the faith – new believers. Those who are a bit older – no longer new believers. Fathers… those who have a deep relationship with God.
Love Not The World
1 John 2:15-17 – John says that we shouldn’t love the world. This is the natural outcome of loving God with all of our being.
The world is something that needs to be overcome.
John 8 – You are from below, I am from above.
John 15 – If you were of the world the world would love you as your own. But because you aren’t… the world hates you.
So What is this World?
- It is anti God.
- We can be a member of it.
- It is filled with evil desires.
- All that is in the world is not from the Father.
- It isn’t going to last.
- It is attractive.
The world is the anti God system that is designed to feed evil desires. It is attractive and we need to be on guard against it.
James 4:4 – Friendship with the world is enmity with God. Being a friend of the world makes us an enemy of God.
We should be concerned and on guard about loving the world.
Three Desires of the World
- Lust of the flesh. What your body wants.
- Lust of the eyes. You see it and you want it.
- Pride of life. The desire to be lifted up above those around us.
All three of these were evident in the sin in the garden of Eden. These three desires are like evil rulers who would like to rule our lives.
A pattern of obeying these lusts can move you rapidly towards loving the world.
What Does it Mean to Love the World?
The word used here for love is referring to behavior as apposed to feeling. This isn’t just about “talking about not loving the world.” It is an action, it is a behavior.
Becoming a consumer of an anti God product we are in danger of loving the world. If we are doing things to impress people we aren’t buying into God’s philosophy.
This is a heart issue. However the things we love are a direct reflection on where we are in our hearts.
So how do we obey this command?
- Matthew 22 – We must understand how much we need God and what he did for us not he cross.
- 1 Timothy 6:17 – Hope in God. Riches can steal our hope. If we fall for this we have fallen for the worlds philosophy.
- Practice restraint. Ask the question, “why am I doing this?”
- Listen to your brothers and sisters. Be open to outside guidance. There may be people who can see things more clearly than you can.
Love God with all your heart. Loving the world is a hard problem. Don’t just coast along, ask yourself questions about why you are doing the things you are doing.
May God help us to love him above everything else.