Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
1 John 2:15-17
As we turn on the tv, listen to the news, talk to co-workers and friends, it is easy to get caught up in all that is going on around us. What is everyone focused on today? Covid? War with Russia? Masks? Mandates? The Olympics in China? The latest snowfall? Those are just the immediate thoughts that come to my mind. We can be consumed by what is going on around us.
In our reading for today, God reminds us that He has a plan and purpose for our life. He reminds us that we need to take time to hear from Him.
“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you” (verse 15). This is a pretty harsh statement. Jesus is saying here that you can’t serve two masters. This doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the good things of this world, but God should always be our first love. And we should indulge in only those things that please God.
Verse 16 helps us understand what John meant when he talks about “things of the world”. It is easy to focus on things of this world that might quickly satisfy any desire or craving we have. These contain desires of the flesh, desires of the eyes, and boasting of possessions. All of these things are important to the world around us. We see them displayed everyday on social media, television, and even displayed through our neighbors. This verse is stressing that our Christian desire should be for God, and pleasing him.
John reminds us in verse 17 that these desires are fleeting, but our souls are eternal. We should be focusing our lives on things that matter. Things that will last, not on things that will just make us feel good in the moment. Only in Christ can we find eternal satisfaction and contentment.
May we keep our focus on pleasing God in this week ahead. Tomorrow is not promised to us. No one knows what tomorrow holds. Each day we get to choose who or whom we will serve. We get to choose pleasing God or the desires of this world.