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.
Recently I talked about how I enjoy memorizing Scripture, but need to consistently remind myself that I have to store it in my heart and not just in my brain. I have been working on memorizing the book of 1 John and I came across these verses. I have read them before but they really gripped my heart this time.
You could take these verses and become extremely legalistic and judgmental of other people. Or you could take these verses and apply them to your own life and come out on the other side craving things that will last forever. The things that are pleasing to God.
“For when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.” That is harsh. The only real way for us to obey God’s commandments is to love others and we can’t do that with our own versions of love. Only the love of the Father in us can allow us to follow His commandments. So we have to figure out what the things of this world are and what it means to love them.
“For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see..”
All this world offers us is cravings and more cravings. There is never any satisfaction with the world. We always will want more, new, and better. I know this isn’t really new information to most people. We hear it all the time from different pastors and speakers, but I think it is something that we can always be reminded of.
It is so easy for me to get wrapped up in the things of this world and forget the real reason I am here. I am not here to become really good at grocery shopping and budgeting. I am not here to have a really good career and make a ton of money, have a mansion, and live the good life. I am not here to satisfy every desire that my body may have. In fact, I am not here for me at all! I am here for the glory of God, plain and simple. If I lose focus of that, the world has all kinds of ways to distract me and take all of my love.
There is nothing wrong with pleasure, as long as we don’t depend on getting our satisfaction from it. As long as we do not love it in the way that we should be loving Jesus. It should be a small part of our lives, not the sole reason we live and breathe. And yet, I see people living life for the sake of pleasure. Everything that we crave will pass away and then we will be left with nothing.
The book of 1 John is all about obeying God’s commandments. Sometimes his commands are to do things that require us to forego pleasures of this world. If we aren’t willing to put Him above every single pleasure in the world, we do not have His love. I don’t think God’s desire is to strip us of all life’s pleasures; far from it. But if we are clinging to them and unwilling to give them to Him, we will end this life with nothing more than ashes.
I do not want to be left with ashes. I want to crave the things of eternity and find my satisfaction and delight in the one that is eternal. I will eat delicious things and enjoy sex with my husband and be delighted with the little joys of life in this world, but I will not depend on them. Those things, although nice, will not last. I will seek Jesus and trust that He will guide me in this world and teach me how to please Him.
I will do these things, only by His strength and love that He has placed in me. And I pray that I will not be willing to give His love up for anything that this world could offer me. Something that I think I will be praying daily for from now on.