John presses on in his letter with a continued exhortation to be watchful. This world is a dangerous place for the Christian, and it is so easy for us to fall into the traps Satan lays for us. That’s why the love we have cannot be for the world. Listen to what he writes:
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 everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s possessions—is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.1 John 2:14-17 CSB
The dichotomy of life lessons continues with John in these verses. Just as we cannot love God and hate our brother, we cannot love God and love the world. It’s all or nothing with God. Either we’re his or we’re not.
Devotion is not a word the world likes or uses.
Not only is it easy to break up your marriage for the love of another, so too is it easy to not marry at all. Why do we need to commit ourselves to one person in the first place? They just disappoint. Love is fleeting, after all. Do what makes you happy. Live in the moment. You’re worth it.
Happiness doesn’t last. Living in the moment can lead to years of living with regret. If I truly look at myself, my life has no value.
That’s why John says the world only cares about flesh, what we see, and stuff. No wonder social media has moved from people using words to pictures. Does a picture really paint a thousand words or does it simply capture your attention without any thought of consequences? When we use words, we are required to think through something, so it’s obvious why Twitter only wanted you to use 140 characters. The less you say, the less you use your mind. But oh, the lust of the eyes, that’s so much better for Satan’s purposes.
But the world and her lusts won’t last forever.
Just like happiness is fleeting, so too are all the ways the world seeks to snare you and get you to fall. There is coming a day when all that we know in this world will pass away. How much better to know that our eternity is secure because of our faith in God through Christ and our singular devotion to him.
Though Sandy, in the musical Grease, sang “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” I think John would want our song to God to be “Hopefully Devoted to Him and Him Alone.” We can be by his…
Grace and Peace