Do not love the world…

“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.”  – John

It seems that in these verses and a lot of chapter two of 1 John is where John places 1) love & hate, 2) the world & the Father, and 3) our desires & the Father’s desires as polar opposites. If we as C’s love the world, the love of the Father is not in us. And if we don’t have the Father, then we don’t have true love since [the Father] is love (4:8). Henceforth, hatred and darkness (1 John 2:9) abide in us. If darkness is present, then we will keep walking in it and not know where we are going (2:11). This subsequently brings up the point that the love of the world and the love of the Father lead to contrasting desires; so these two options must be very different. These desires are then manifested in our everyday actions and words. That is why I believe that John is aiming at our hearts when he writes this part of the letter. He’s laying out for us black and white terms, including the most important choice, to choose the Son, who is the propitiation for our sins and the sins of the whole world (2:2), or to choose the world. These opposites should be looked at deeper in order to have a better understanding of the paths and what they mean exactly in this life.

Polar Opposites
1) Our hearts’ choice.
     Within each of us, there is a choice to love or to hate. But if [the Father] is love, then we must make the decision ourselves to have His love, change for the better with conviction (or repent, 2 Cor. 7:10), and share it with others locally and around the world (Matt. 28:19-20) by action and by word of mouth. We have this choice in every “little” circumstance of everyday, and it will show even subconsciously because what we treasure with our heart will show where our heart is (Luke 12:34). Do you want to know the Father and what His Son did for you? This is the starting point.

2) What our hearts desire.
     The “world” is defined in these verses as “the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life (or possessions).” These desires of our own are from the world and quite frankly, from the beginning, we are of the world. We need to change from our original state of sin. This is proven in the way the world loves us since we don’t desire what the Father desires (John 15:19) and we instead desire the things of our flesh and eyes. But if we start to desire what the Father desires, then those of the world will hate us. The Son said not to be surprised about this happening because the world hated Him when He was here on earth. It’s been this way since Adam and Eve, it happened when the Cornerstone came and was convicted, and it still continues today around the world through persecution. Our pride, idols, and possessions rule over our hearts unless we surrender them all. It is then that our hearts’ desires die and that we are willing to die for the Father’s desires. Does your heart desire what the Father desires?

3) The actions of our hearts.
     Our heart’s choice and its desires will show in our actions. If our actions everyday of the week show and speak only of rest and rejuvenation, then what are we saying about the Son that we believe in? Is He really present here with us on earth? If we tend to stay in the comfort of our own homes everyday and not get out to visit friends or the community, then will we become uncomfortable and grow in our faith? Is that was the Son did? Did He only spend time with believers? Do we do what the Father wants us to do or do we do what we want everyday in every situation? Materialistically, do we have what He believes we need or do we have what we want? Would you be willing to give up something if the Holy Spirit nudged you to do so? Are you going to retire from spreading the Good News to the world?

As you go into the world, train up followers of every nation so that the Father, who sent His Son to save us all, will be glorified. It is for His glory alone that we live and die.

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