1 JOHN 2:15–17 – 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.”
THEME OF THE DAY: AN ALLURING FOE. Ask any Christian to name the three spiritual foes we must fight each day of our lives and it would be easy. We do battle against a crafty devil, our carnal flesh, and an alluring world. When it comes to the actual combat against these foes, few, if any of us, have directly engaged the devil. He is not omnipresent so he cannot be everywhere at once. As for our carnal flesh? It is relentless and does its greatest work in cooperating with the world full of undisciplined coveting and lust. Likely the biggest area of battle our flesh does against us is in the area of comfort and ease. And we easily give in to the flesh. It is called “laziness” and lazy Christians are not only defeated Christians but ineffective Christians not making much of a difference in their families, churches, and communities for Christ. But the world, that foe is extremely dangerous for it has one single objective in battling the Christian.
The world with all its alluring gadgets, pleasures, persuasions, and distractions seeks to do one thing in the lives of Christians. This one thing is identified by the Lord Jesus in His letter to the church at Ephesus found in the last book of the Bible – the Revelation. Our Lord says, “I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent” (Revelation 2:2-5).
The world wants to cool, then replace, first love for Jesus with love for it. This is the worst thing to ever happen to a Christian; love of the world replacing love for Christ. When this occurs, gone is zeal for holiness and thus fellowship with the Lord is absent; gone is zeal for sharing the Gospel for the burden for those outside of Christ has been smothered; and gone is zeal for loving other Christians for we give our time over to worldly things more than spiritual fellowship.
So we must be diligent in obeying today’s command “Do not love the world or the things in the world” and that begins with identifying a few things that show the world is cooling our affections for Jesus. Here are five; we start developing inconsistency in church attendance and justify our absence; we go days without reading our Bibles with no remorse; we never think about or desire to pray with other believers; we would rather be in the company of unbelievers in a worldly activity or event than being in the Word, prayer, and spiritual fellowship with Christians; and we are quick to criticize, gossip, slander other Christians or churches without one bit of conviction or sorrow.
Yes, the world is a formidable spiritual foe and very alluring. Be on guard. It will never give up seeking to replace love for Christ with love for it.
PRAYER: “Father, teach me to ever be on guard against a deceptive world that seeks to cool my love for Your Son.”
QUOTE: “The world has one goal in attacking Christians; cool our affections for Christ by heating our affections for it.”
Because of Him,