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” literally means “to prefer.” And its usage includes “to take pleasure in,” “to long for,” “to esteem.” Now, what I failed to mention in the video is that not all of these definitions might apply in every situation. For we are to love other humans, including the people of the world and our fellow Christians, but we are not to long for them or to take pleasure in them, at least not in the sense to where they end up replacing or superseding our Lord in our affections and devotion.
But what I am getting from this passage today is that we are not to prefer the world to our Lord. We are not to prefer and to long for, esteem, and take pleasure in the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride of life. For all that is of our sinful flesh and it is not of God. And as followers of Jesus Christ we are to prefer what God prefers, which is what is holy, righteous, godly, morally pure, honest, upright, and trustworthy, etc. And we are to prefer to live through Christ and to embrace his will for our lives.
Also, all that is in the world is of the flesh and is not from the Father but from the world. And the desires of the flesh and of the eyes and the pride of life are of our sinful flesh and not of God, so we are not to prefer and to long for and to take pleasure in these things. For these are expressed in such things as idolatry, adultery, sexual immorality, lying, cheating, stealing, gossiping, drunkenness, and hating, etc. And love does no harm to its neighbor, and love for God forsakes such sins as these.
So, if we end up preferring the world and loving and embracing and being passionate about the desires of the flesh, and thus we neglect our Lord and our allegiance and obedience to him, then the love of the Father is not in us, regardless of what our lips profess. For it is whoever is doing the will of God who abides with God forever. It is not those who give lip service to God only while they deny Jesus Christ by their life choices and by their lifestyles. So, we need to take this seriously, for lip service only will not grant us eternal life with God and heaven as our eternal destiny.
[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]
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Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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