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Date: January 17

Category: Follow God

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."

Slobodan & Ljiljana KrstevskiIn this teaching, I want to focus more on verse 16. What can we learn from this verse? Well it says that if we love the world, then we cannot have the love of God within us. Then it says in verse 17 that this world will pass away. So the world and all the forbidden cravings that come with it will all disappear, but the one who does the will of God will remain forever. Now that doesn't refer to the literal world. These passages don't suggest that we can't love the earth, the mountains, the trees, and nature. John is actually speaking about the unseen world – the spiritual world. This is what he explains in verse 16. That spiritual world is just as real as this physical world that you and I see.

The world that God doesn't want us to love is the lusts of the flesh or the cravings for sensual gratification. An example of this would be having a sexual life that is not pleasing to God. There is a way to have a sexual life that is pleasing to God, and that is in marriage. But any kind of sexual desires outside of marriage is sinful, whether it is the desire for pre-marital sex or the desire for adulteress sex. When you have those desires, it means that you love the world. When you love the world, than there is no way the love of God can be in you. Those things are the lusts of the flesh or the cravings for sensual gratification.

Something else that's mentioned in verse 16 is the lust of the eyes, which are actually the greedy longings of the mind. An example would be the desire to have more and more material things. Because of that desire, you often overwork just to accumulate more money to be able to buy more things. In doing that, you don't spend time with God, your spouse, or your children. So when material things become more important than spending time with God or your family, then it means you're working too much. So the desire for more and more material things is the lust of your eyes.

The last sin that verse 16 mentions is the pride of life, which is the assurance in one's own resources or the security of earthly things. The pride of life is actually the desire to please oneself. It is the pride that comes out of your own achievements and leads you to believe that you don't need God. But that isn't true. We always need God. Even when you have everything (materially speaking), you still need God. Your life can end at any moment. Your wealth can disappear at any time. What will you do then? All your achievements won't help you then. We all need God to sustain us.

So our faith shouldn't be in the things of this world; it shouldn't be in the lusts of our flesh or the lusts of our eyes. Our faith shouldn't be in our pride or our earthly possessions. Our security should be in God alone. If we love the world and the things in this world, then it says in verse 15 that the love of God cannot be in us.

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