Short Life-Expectancy

The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever."—1 John 2:17 (NIV)

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to explain to my kids why their Lego tower came crashing down. “It’s too top-heavy.” “It doesn’t have a strong foundation.” Essentially, their ambitious Lego tower is simply not built to last. 

In today’s verse, the apostle John speaks to us about two very different strategies for building. In one corner, John describes the world and its desires. Cementing what he said in verses 15 and 16 about not loving the world or the things in it, the apostle here tells us what will happen to the Lego tower of the one who builds their foundation based on the world. It’s going to fall apart and pass away. Nothing will be left standing. 

You see, the things of this world are not built to last. They are flimsy and poorly constructed. There is no true rhyme or reason, there is no greater purpose behind it all. It’s all about instant gratification. When we build our lives on this world and its desires (the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life), we’re essentially just stacking blocks on top of blocks and hoping that this uneven, uncoordinated, top-heavy mess will hold together. But it won’t . . . it can’t. 

Physical pleasure (lust of the flesh) is fleeting and temporary; it has no staying power. The lust of the eyes (craving for everything we see) leaves us underwhelmed when we inevitably realize that the grass is not greener on the other side, full of dashed expectations and bitterness. And the pride of life (pride in our achievements and possessions) has an expiration date on it. Why? Because we live in a “What have you done for me lately?” society where you’re only as good as your last game; because as we age, our accomplishments are often forgotten or shown to be trivial in the grand scheme; because at the drop of a hat, we, like Job, can lose everything we have. Bottom line: There is no permanence in this world—there is nothing of value, nothing of meaning or true purpose.

But God doesn’t build like us. Every block and brick, every step and stone, it’s all been precisely, carefully, divinely, and perfectly built to last. And if we build based on His design, if we build the Lego tower of our lives on obedience to His will and Word, it will not fall, it will stand tall for all eternity! 

DIG: Read Hebrews 12:18–29 and Ecclesiastes 1.  

DISCOVER: Why do believers so often build with one foot in the world and one in the kingdom? Why do we cling to the things of the world? What steps can we take as Christ-followers to put away the things of the world and focus on the kingdom?

DO: Pray for believers around the world that the Lord would burden us for the kingdom, that He would convict us to our core in any area that we may be holding on to the world, and that He would give us a unified passion for advancing His kingdom. 

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

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.