WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 06, 2022
TOPIC: WHY YOU SHOULD NOT LOVE THE WORLD
BY T. O. BANSO
“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” (1 John 2:15 New King James Version).
The word “world” (Greek: kosmos) is used in different ways in the Bible. In other words, the word means different things depending on the context of its usage. For example, John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (New King James Version).
This means God loves all the people on earth, humanity, and sent Jesus to the earth so that those who believe in Him will not perish but have eternal life. The Contemporary English Version puts John 3:16 this way: “God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die.”
If God loves the world, it suggests that His children, Christians, should also love the world. But 1 John 2:15 says, “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” (New King James Version). Take note of the phrase “Do not love the world.” This may also be rendered as “stop loving the world” On the surface, it looks contradictory to what God did. God loved the world. But 1 John 2:15 says not to love the world. Does it mean Christians should hate the world that God loved and send His Son to die for so that they will not perish? No.
Just as I have said, the word “world” has different meanings in the Bible. The world God loved is not the world Christians are to hate. The Amplified Bible renders 1 John 2:15 thus: “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.” Christians are not to hate the world that Jesus died for. The world that Christians should not love refers to “the ways of the world, its passions, pleasures and pursuits” (People’s New Testament Commentary).
Christians should not love the world or the things of this world. The phrase “the things of this world” means what the world can offer or the things that are in the world. The Greek word translated as love in this scripture is agapao (verbs)/agape (noun). This is the highest kind of love. It is sacrificial and unconditional love, the kind that God has for the world.
Explaining the phrase “Love not the world”, Albert Barnes says, “The meaning is, that we are not to fix our affections on worldly objects–on what the world can furnish–as our portion, with the spirit with which they do who live only for this world, regardless of the life to come. We are not to make this world the object of our chief affection; we are not to be influenced by the maxims and feelings which prevail among those who do” (Albert Barnes’ NT Commentary).
Why should you not love the world or you should stop loving the world? The Apostle John tells us the reasons in 1 John 2:15-17.
1. Because you cannot love the world and love the Father at the same time. Loving the world will hinder you from loving the Father. You will either love the world or love the Lord. You cannot love both. “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other” (Matthew 6:24 New King James Version). The Bible also says a similar thing in Luke 16:13.
1 John 2:15 says, “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (New King James Version). You must choose whom you will love. If you already love the world, stop it and begin to love the Father. Stop loving the things of the world, too. Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (New King James Version).
Be possessed by love for the Father, not love for the world or the things of the world. As Jesus said, you must love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37). Mark 12:30 and Luke 10:27 say nearly the same thing, which is quoted from the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 6:5, 10:12, 11:13). Love the Lord wholeheartedly, not the world or the things of the world. Demas, an associate of Paul, forsook him and left for Thessalonica because he loved the world (2 Timothy 4:10). The Bible does not tell us what happened to him thereafter. Don’t love for the world or the things of the world.
2. Because the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life come from the world, not from the Father. 1 John 2:16 says, “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” (New King James Version).
The phrase “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” refers to “the cravings of the earthly nature, the cravings of the eyes, the show and pride of life” (Weymouth’s New Testament), “the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, and the pride of life” (Bible in Basic English), or “a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions” (New Living Translation). These three are the things in the world that John says we should not love because they are not from God. He doesn’t say we should not love anything on earth.
Beware of greed or covetousness and pride. Jesus said in Luke 12:15, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (New King James Version). Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18). When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom (Proverbs 11:2). Also, Proverbs 29:23 says a man’s pride will bring him low but the humble in spirit will retain honour.
3. Because the world is passing away with its lust. This world will come to an end with everything that people crave. The world is not permanent, and nothing in it, including achievements and possessions, is. Nothing that the world can offer will ever satisfy a man and it doesn’t last forever. Therefore, whoever loves the world or everything in it is building his life on what will not last or is transient or temporary. 1 John 2:17 says, “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (New King James Version).
As a child of God, let your priority be to do the will of God, not to love the world or the things of this world. Only those who do the will of God will abide, remain, or live forever. This doesn’t mean they will not die but they will spend eternity with God.
As a Christian, you are a citizen of heaven, not of this world. “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20 New King James Version). You are a stranger and sojourner in the world (1 Peter 2:11). You are in the world but not of the world (John 15:19; 17:14, 16). Therefore, set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:2).
1 Corinthians 7:31 says those who use this world, should not misuse it, for the form of this world is passing away. The New Living Translation puts 1 Corinthians 7:31 this way: “Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away.” God’s Word Translation says, “Those who use the things in this world should do so but not depend on them. It is clear that this world in its present form is passing away.”
1 John 2:15-17 in the J.B. Phillips New Testament says, “ Never give your hearts to this world or to any of the things in it. A man cannot love the Father and love the world at the same time. For the whole world-system, based as it is on men’s primitive desires, their greedy ambitions and the glamour of all that they think splendid, is not derived from the Father at all, but from the world itself. The world and all its passionate desires will one day disappear. But the man who is following God’s will is part of the permanent and cannot die.”
Don’t love the world; stop loving the world. Love the Father. As Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15 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 that 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 God raised Him on 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: Holy Spirit, I receive your help not to love the world or the things in the world. I shall not be possessed by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. I shall not love this present world as Demas did. I shall love the Lord with all my heart, soul, and mind in Jesus’ name. I shall not build my life on what will not last or is transient or temporary.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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