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Don't Love The World

Don't Love The World

13 December 2018

GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Jim Stephens

Scripture: 1 John 2:15-17 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)

15 Don’t set the affections of your heart on this world or in loving the things of the world. The love of the Father and the love of the world are incompatible. 16 For all that the world can offer us—the gratification of our flesh, the allurement of the things of the world, and the obsession with status and importance—none of these things come from the Father but from the world. 17 This world and its desires are in the process of passing away, but those who love to do the will of God live forever. (1 John 2:15-17 TPT)

Why is it alright for God to love the world and not for us to love the world? Because God loves the world and those caught in its system and loves with an unconditional, redeeming, sacrificial love. The Father’s love is self-giving, focused on others, and eternal. The world’s love is covetous, focused on self, and is fleeting! The love of the world is a lust for short-term pleasures, its shiny baubles and toys, and its temporary, pride-driven desires for status, position, and power over others. The love of the Father and the love of the world are incompatible!

We tend to think of “don’t love the world” in terms of behaviors that we are forbidden, but in God’s eyes, the love of the world is a condition of the heart. Have you noticed that we mostly tend to concentrate on making rules to restrict unapproved behavior but so often don’t address the root cause of these desires hidden in the dark places of our hearts? If our attempts at behavior control are only external, we’ll either live miserably with our unfulfilled desires, or succumb to the temptations of the world, or both.

As with pretty much everything else in this life (and the next) the origins of sin and the roots of righteousness are in our hearts and eventually work themselves out in attitudes and actions. We address them best when we allow the Spirit’s pure light to shine into each dark corner and allow Jesus’ atoning blood to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Prayer:

Father, 12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. 13 Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. 14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:12–14 NLT)

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