This Week’s Passage and Memory Verse (in red): 15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
The first question that comes to my mind is this: What does loving the world look like in real life? In other words, how can I tell if I love the world – especially in the culture in which we live where materialism is prized so much more that spirituality and a relationship with God.
I’m having a difficult time with this question. It would be easy for me to come up with a nice answer that sounds spiritual and that justifies my lifestyle. Our lifestyle. I mean let’s face it – I love the world that I live in. I love the fact that I was born in America and not in Haiti. I love my house with all its bedrooms, it’s garage, and big yard. I love my big screen TV. I love the fact that at the push of a button I have electricity and running water. I love air conditioning. I love my comfy bed and my refrigerator which is full of food that I can get to any time that I want. I have a smart phone, an ipod, 2 computers, and a kindle. I am amazingly wealthy – probably among the top 1% of the world’s population. Do I love the world? Of course I love the world. Would I care if I lost it all? Of course I would care.
So here are the questions that I am left to grapple with:
Do I CRAVE worldly things? (v 16)
Do I LUST for more stuff? (v 16)
Do I BOAST in my possessions? (v 16)
Does all the stuff hinder me from doing the will of God? (v 17)
It is that last question that stumps me. If I did not have all that I have would I GO overseas and take the gospel to an unreached people. Would I be willing to GO and live in Haiti among the poorest of the poor to serve among “the least of these?” Instead of finding security and safety by everything that I own am I actually being crippled by it.
I’m not sure that there is a right answer across the board for all of us who are as rich as we are. I mean let’s face it, if you are reading this then you also are one of the wealthiest people in the world. So much of the answer has to do with attitude and desires of the heart. And I can’t speak for you. I can only speak for me.
I do love how the Apostle John does not mince words – especially as he closes out his letter at the end of chapter 5. Instead of saying “Hope to see you soon,” or “May God be with you,” or some other nice way to close out his letter – he simply says… “Keep yourself from idols!”
As I continue to ponder this passage this seems like a good place to start and a great way to begin praying.
“Father, would you root out the idols of my heart that cause me to love the things of this world more than I love you. And would you plant in their place a passion for the glory of Your Name and a hunger for your great and astonishing Word”
I’m just sayin’!
Next Week’s Passage: 1 Peter 2:9-12
Next Week’s Memory Verse: 1 Peter 2:9