Bible Reading: 1 John 2:15-17
”Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself]. And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever” [1 John 2:15-17 Amp. Bible]
We concluded yesterday’s reading with a statement that if our Christianity has not cost us everything that this world counts dear, we really do not know the meaning of serving God. The apostle John says that it is impossible to love the world and to love God [1 John 2:15]. What exactly is meant by “the world”? Some people think that the world is doing things like smoking, clubbing, sexual immorality, or drinking and getting drunk. The world is none of these things, although these are all symptoms of the world. The world is actually an invisible and yet surrounding atmosphere in which we live, and which erodes faith, dissipates hope and corrupts love.
The world does not hold to the truth as God’s Word states truth, but rather sees everything as relative. Leighton Ford has wisely observed that the only absolute that the world understands is the absolute that there are no absolutes. The world is a system ruled over by the “Prince of this world” which is another name for the devil. All that the world system has to offer is cosmetic attraction that is surface and external; the Father’s love is from within. Speaking to His disciple Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” [John 16:33].
The Amplified Bible translation helps us to understand just how much the world is opposed to God. It is lustful, coveting, and greedy. It is full of pride, self-dependence and sensual gratification. In the words of James the wisdom of this world is earthly, sensual and demonic, and therefore utterly opposed to agape, self-sacrificing love. The fruits of the world are the fruits of the flesh [see Galatians 5:19-21] and not the fruit of the Holy Spirit. To be filled with true agape love demands a choice to live in a way that is different from the world.
Why is it not possible to have a foot in both worlds and at the same time be filled with the love of God?
Read 2 Timothy 4:10. Why did Demas forsake the apostle Paul?
What does James 4:4 say about friendship with the world?
Are there things in your life that you need to let go of in order to be filled with God’s love? Will you make that decision today?