1 John 2:15 “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. 16 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. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
WHAT DOES IT SAY?
The word for “love” here, is “Agape”. This word says, do not “Agape” this world or the things in the world. (i.e., do not love, wish well to, take pleasure in, long for; denotes the love of reason, esteem.) “Agape-love” is the type of love God shows us. It is reserved for loved ones, those who are most dear to us and affect our minds, will and emotions, those we can barely live without.
If we “Agape” the world then you can be sure, the love of God is not in you.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
First, let’s deal with the (1) ‘desires of the flesh’, the (2) the lust of the eyes and (3) the pride of life. Christians have always been, and will always be, lured by the same three temptations Eve and Jesus experienced. Satan doesn’t change his methods; he doesn’t have to because they continue to be successful. He tempts us with
(1) The lust of the flesh—sexual gratification, gluttony, excessive alcohol consumption, and drugs, both legal and illegal, as well as the “deeds of the flesh” about which Paul warned the Galatians, “sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these” (Galatians 5:19-21).
(2) The lust of the eyes — the endless accumulation of “stuff” with which we fill our homes and garages and the insatiable desire for more, better, and newer possessions, which ensnares us and hardens our hearts to the things of God.
(3) The pride of life — the very sin that resulted in Satan’s expulsion from heaven. He desired to be God, not to be a servant of God (Isaiah 14:12-15). The arrogant boasting which constitutes the pride of life motivates the other two lusts as it seeks to elevate itself above all others and fulfill all personal desires.
The pride of life is the root cause of is the root cause of strife in families, churches, and nations. It exalts the self in direct contradiction to Jesus’ statement that those who would follow Him must take up their cross (an instrument of death) and deny themselves.
The pride of life stands in our way if we truly seek to be servants of God. It is the arrogance that separates us from others and limits our effectiveness in the kingdom. The pride of life “comes not from the Father, but from the world.” And, as such, it is passing away with the world, but those who resist and overcome the temptation of the pride of life do the will of God, and “the man who does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:17).
To honestly and accurately answer this question, have to ask yourself what is most important in your own life? In other words, what do you emphasize or demand for yourself? Where do you spend the majority of your time, effort and money? Do you get your ‘goosebumps’, that is, your greatest pleasures, from beautiful material things and from sensual pleasures?
Are you deeply concerned about what you own or how you look? Do you spend excessive time climbing the ladder of success? Are you concerned when people don’t pay attention to you or don’t meet your expectations? Do you, even unwittingly, give to others with the expectation of getting something back? As simple and normal as this sounds, the Bible says that these things are not from God, but are from the world.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU?
The Bible says we are to give without expecting anything in return. We, as God’s Children, do good things from the treasures of our heart. It is God Who repays us. (Proverbs 24:12)
Furthermore, the Bible reminds us that God looks on the inside of a person – our attitude, our intentions, our desires – not on the outside. (Samuel 16:7) This is our standard.
These verses tell us that the world is passing away and if our attention in on the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life, what we have and what we have done in this life will vanish, it will be burned up like worthless “wood, hay and stubble”.
However, the Bible also tells us that “whoever does the will of God abides forever”.
All of us are affected by the attraction of the world’s pleasures in some way. Please, let’s pray for one another that we do not stumble and will be found as faithful servants.
Your Brother and Friend,
Matthew 19:23 “And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.””