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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world."—1 John 2:15–16 (NLT)
I was born in Miami and am a diehard Dolphins fan. Through winning seasons and terrible losing seasons, I love my team. As a born and bred Dolphins fan, I am programmed to dislike the New York Jets. There is simply no way I could ever harbor anything but rivalry toward them. If anyone loves the Jets, they’re clearly not really from Miami.
In today’s verse, the apostle John implores us to not love the world. He takes it a step further and makes it clear that, just like there is no way I can be a Jets fan since I’m from Miami, if the love of God is in me, there is no way I can love this world or the things it offers me.
When I read this, I began to ask myself, What does the world have to offer? In that moment, I was immediately transported to the wilderness with Jesus (Matthew 4:1–11). I imagined “all the kingdoms of the world and their glory,” and then my mind started to drift to wild fantasies of what the world could offer me. I imagined everything I could ever want . . . riches, power, fame, adoration, a perfect Herculean physique, the finest meats and cheeses known to man, a house full of sneakers and caps, video games, and the latest and greatest pieces of tech.
And then I realized that my greatest earthly desires keep me from glorifying the Lord and living and walking like Jesus. In fact, they make me an enemy of the cross of Christ! That’s not where I want to be. As Paul tells us, “Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things” (Philippians 3:19 NIV). That is what the world offers. That is what love for the world leads to: destruction.
The world deceives me into making an idol of myself and my desires—to self-glorification and self-gratification. But like a car dealer who sells you a lemon disguised like a Lamborghini, what you’ll come to find out (too late) is that the things of this world will leave you high and dry, broken down, and empty on the side of the road. These things won’t satisfy or bring rest, peace, purpose, or meaning to life. Only a relationship with Jesus can do that! If we truly love God, we will seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, take up our cross, and follow Jesus. We’ll not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds, nor will we lift our souls to another, even if all the kingdoms of this world are promised to us.
DIG: What does the world offer?
DISCOVER: How have you seen the “craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions” impact your life or the lives of others?
DO: Consider your life. Is there any area where you love the world? Give it up to Jesus. Allow Him to transform you in that area. Pray for His help and ask for forgiveness for holding on to the things of the world.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.