WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
APRIL 16, 2021
TOPIC: LOVE THE LORD, NOT THE WORLD
BY T. O. BANSO
“Do not love the world [of sin that opposes God and His precepts], nor the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15 Amplified Bible).
The Bible does not say we shouldn’t love the people of the world, but the corrupt or evil world system. God loves the people of the world, and you should. The world could mean, among others, the universe, humanity, the society, or the corrupt value system of the world, which is opposed to God.
According to Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, “World may also denote the fleeting character of life’s riches and pleasures and the folly of making them of central importance in life.” 1 John 2:15 says, “Do not love the world [of sin that opposes God and His precepts], nor the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (Amplified Bible).
The Greek word translated love in this scripture is agape (verb: agapao), which is the highest and purest form of love. It is not only unconditional love; it is the love of the will rather than of emotion or love based on sentiments. Those who love the Lord don’t transfer the love meant for the Lord to the world.
Why should you not love the world or the things that are in this world? “For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see, and pride in our possessions. These are not from the Father. They are from this evil world. And this world is fading away, along with everything it craves. But if you do the will of God, you will live forever” (1 John 2:16-17 New Living Translation).
You cannot love (agapao) the Lord and love (agapao) the world at the same time. You cannot serve two masters; you must love one and hate the other (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13). James 4:3-5 warns, “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (New King James Version).
When the Bible says we should not love the world or the things that are in the world, does it mean we are to love nothing in this world? No. The Bible tells us clearly in 1 John 2:16 what we should not love in the world: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
According to Deuteronomy 6:5, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (New King James Version). This is also stated in the New Testament (Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27).
If you love the Lord, you’ll have more thirst and hunger for Him, devoting yourself, especially to more private prayers and study of His Word. Your heart will pant after God; nothing else will satisfy you. “As the deer pants for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I come and stand before him?” (Psalm 42:1-2 New Living Translation).
Many years after walking with the Lord, Paul said, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11 New King James Version). A Christian who loves the Lord is never satisfied with his current spiritual position; he is not complacent. He makes more effort to grow spiritually.
2 Peter 1:5-8 says, “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (New King James Version).
Part of Paul’s prayer for the Philippians was that they would keep on growing in their knowledge and understanding so that they would understand what really matters thereby living pure and blameless lives until the return of Christ (Philippians 1:9-10).
If you love the Lord, you’ll have deeper fellowship with the Lord and with fellow believers. The two are mentioned in 1 John 1:3. Hebrews 10:25 warns against forsaking assembling with fellow believers. You will also serve in the house of God, contributing your quota to the advancement of His kingdom on earth.
Furthermore, you’ll hold on tightly to the things of the Lord, but lightly to the things of this world. “Those in frequent contact with the things of the world should make good use of them without becoming attached to them, for this world and all it contains will pass away” (1 Corinthians 7:31 New Living Translation). You’ll acknowledge that you’re a stranger and pilgrim on earth, but a citizen of heaven; you’ll look forward to a better country that is heavenly (Hebrews 11:13-16; Philippians 3:20-21).
You’ll set your mind on heavenly things, not on worldly things (Colossians 3:2-4). In obedience to Matthew 6:19-21, you’ll not lay up for yourself treasures on earth but in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
You won’t run after worldly things and neglect the Lord because you know that an end will come to everything one day – death or rapture – and ultimately, you’ll face eternity, either with God or in hellfire. Hellfire shall not be your final destination in Jesus’ name. “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 lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17 New King James Version).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, help me not to love the world or the things in the world. Preserve me from the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Help me to do Your will so that I may abide forever. Holy Spirit, guide me to make good use of the things of the world without becoming attached to them.
(For about 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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