If Anyone Loves the World

1 John 2:15-17 ESV

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”

This word “love” has at its meaning “to prefer,” which preeminently refers to what God prefers as he is love. For the believer, it means to prefer to live through Christ, embracing God’s will, choosing his choices, and obeying them through His power. For the believer it means actively doing what the Lord prefers, by his power and direction. And what God prefers is what is upright, holy, righteous, honest, just, morally pure, faithful and obedient (https://biblehub.com/greek/25.htm).

But it also means to take pleasure in and to long for. So, if we take pleasure in and long for and prefer this ungodly world and the things of the world, the love of God the Father is not in us. For all that is in the world – the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life – is not from the Father but is from the world. So this is not talking about loving the people of the world, which we are to do, but loving and embracing and preferring the sinful pleasures this world has to offer us, which we are not to do.

And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. Amen! So if we go after the sinful pleasures that this world has to offer us, and we do not seek after God and his righteousness, then the love of God the Father is not in us. We don’t have Christ living within us. We don’t know the Lord. For to know the Lord means we are following him and we are obeying his commandments. And we have forsaken our sins and living for the pleasures this sinful world has to offer.

We now prefer the Lord and his righteousness and holiness. We now prefer to walk in his ways and in his truth. Our desire and our longing is for him and not for the world. We want to do what pleases our Lord because we love him. We want to be in pure fellowship with Jesus Christ. We want to know his will so that we can do it in his power and strength. And the world no longer has the draw for us that it once did, and now we see the world through the eyes of God, and that grieves our hearts.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

1 John 3:1-3 ESV

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.”

Now this is a true picture of what a Christian should look like. Instead of loving the world, we love our Lord. Our desire is for him to please him in every way instead of us desiring the sinful pleasures of this world. And because of this, the world does not know us because it did not know Jesus. And this means that we are looking like Jesus for we are following him in obedience, and we are walking in his ways, and our hearts are committed to him and to doing his will.

But the sad reality is that many who profess faith in Jesus Christ don’t know us, either. They don’t understand us. Who we are is foreign to them because we are not like the world and we don’t think like the world and we do not behave like the world does. So many professing Christians have become so much like the world that it is indistinguishable between Christian and non-Christian these days. And I think they see their lives as “normal” and ours as “abnormal” if we are truly following Jesus with our lives fully.

And so the closer we walk with Jesus in obedience to him, and the more we prefer him and what he prefers instead of preferring the world, the more the worldly Christians and the people of this world will pull away from us and not want to have anything to do with us. And the more they will reject us and even persecute and oppose us. For we just don’t seem normal to them, and our lifestyle choices don’t fit with theirs, and so they just won’t be comfortable with us and who we are.

But we do not live on this earth to meet the approval of other humans. We live for the glory and praise of God. We live to serve our Lord and to do his will and to get out his gospel message to the people of the world so that many will be saved. And we live to minister God’s love and grace to the body of Christ in doing the part (the body part) that God has designed for us. And this is so we can encourage other believers in their walks of faith.

[Matt 5:13-16; Matt 28:18-20; Jn 4:31-38; Jn 13:13-17; Jn 14:12; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:42-47; Acts 26:18; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Rom. 10:14-15; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 3:17; 1 Co 5:1-13; 1 Co 6:19-20; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 1:4,22; Eph 2:19-22; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-30; Col 1:18-22; Col 2:19; Col 3:12-16; 2 Tim 1:9; 2 Tim 2:21; Heb 3:13; Heb 10:23-31; Titus 2:11-14; 1 Pet 1:13-16; 1 Pet. 2:4-9,21]

Hear my Voice

An Original Work / July 9, 2012
Based off Psalm 27

The Lord is my great salvation.
He’s the stronghold of my life.
When my enemies attack me,
My heart will not fear at all.
Though a war break out against me,
Confident in Christ I’ll be.
Of the Lord, I ask that I may
Live with Him eternally.

Hear my voice, Lord, when I call you.
Merciful to me You’ll be.
Though my relatives forsake me,
My Lord God will receive me.
Teach me Your way, O my Jesus.
Lead me in Your righteousness.
I will sacrifice to my Lord.
I will sing with joyfulness.

I am confident that I will
See the goodness of the Lord.
All the richness of His blessings,
My Lord has for me in store.
He asks me to be of courage;
To be strong and to take heart,
Patiently as I wait for Him,
And from Him to ne’er depart.

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