October 30, 2023

1 John 2:15–17
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 lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and
the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.
17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the
will of God abides forever.
What is most important in your life: You, your family, the things of the world,
God? John knew what was to come. He knew this world was only temporary
and greater things were awaiting the followers of Christ.
We know if we love God. A very simple test is what do we put ahead of God?
Kathy and I just visited Arizona and viewed the beauty of God’s great
creation. I love the mountains. I have enjoyed the beauty of the mountains
in the eastern United States. In Arizona, I was awe-struck by the beauty of
the mountains in the deserts. I could allow myself to get so caught up in the
creation of God that I forget God.
Putting God’s creation ahead of God is idolatry. Another form of idolatry is
the material riches of this world. Maybe a too simplistic question is, “Are we
more in love with things than God?” What is it we put first in our lives? When
God is put first then all other things fall into their proper order.
What have we become attached to? The world or God? The world of John is
not the planet we stand on but the system of governments, and societies
formed around us. In America, we are taught throughout life to focus on
having things, living the high life, and having the best. Even in many
churches and religious organizations, we are taught money is the most
important thing to work for. All things of this world will one day be gone. So
why do we labor for the finite and not the eternal?
John makes it perfectly clear that this world, the things of this world are
passing away. Our lives one day will end. What will we be left with? The
world will be gone. The pleasures of this world will no longer be. We should
enjoy and appreciate what God has given us but not be so attached to it that
we forget God. We should never put the temporal things of this world ahead
of God. Our focus must be God! We are to love God with all we are.
Deuteronomy 7:9 “Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the
faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with
those who love Him and keep His commandments,”

Romans 12:9 “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to
what is good.”
Mark 12:30–31 “And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the
first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your
neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”