How does what we love compare to the things God says we ought not to love? If we know what He doesn’t want us to love, then we should know what He does want us to love. Though there are a lot of things God says we ought not to do, or love, we must remember that He knows our futures and the consequences of what we chose to love, or do, or not. So, when He tells us not to love, or do something, it’s for our own good, not because He wants to oppress us, or lead us in a boring life. In today’s passage of Scriptures, God warns us about what we ought not to love.
“Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For everything that belongs to the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle—is not from the Father, but is from the world.” (1 John 2:15-16 HCSB)
Here’s what God is trying to tell us in this passage. If we lust after the emotional and physical pleasures of this world, and are living to impress others with our lifestyles, we do not love God, our heavenly Father. There are many religious denominations out there that teach the complete opposite of what God is teaching us in today’s Scriptures. God is telling us that those doctrines are not from Him, but from the evil hearts of men who are out to deceive and hurt people. Greed, arrogance, selfishness, and self-sufficiency is evil in God eyes, and a person who is ruled by these qualities is a lover of self, not a lover of God.
Jesus reminds us that love is living our lives for His benefit, and for the the benefit of others, not for ourselves. And hat is what He expects from all these who belong to Him. Here’s how He puts it:
“Now great crowds were traveling with Him. So He turned and said to them: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, and even his own life—he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple (Luke 14:25-27).”
What He is telling us is that the love that we have for our families, and even our own selves, looks like hate, compared to the love we have for Him. We must love Him above everyone else in our lives, and love others as we love ourselves:
“He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39).”
Can you imagine what the world would be like if all Christians would love the things that God loves and hate the things that God hates? What would the world look like?
- How will we obey today’s Scriptures?
- With whom will we share today;’s Scriptures?
- With whom will we share the story of our salvation, and the story of what Jesus has done for us?
In Christ’s love,