Love the Lord and Not the World
1st John 2:15-29
I love to go outside and look up at the stars. The greatness of God’s creation always amazes me. I have often thought that were we to pile all of mankind’s accomplishments together in a heap, it would be a pitiful sight compared to even the simplest of God’s works. As an example, look at the complexity of the human brain. Small enough to fit inside the human skull, yet capable of handling input from millions of sources, it is a marvel of Divine engineering.
Despite its complexity, the brain does have certain annoying quirks. It is possible to store as much as eight quadrillion bits of information in the brain, but some of that information can prove nearly impossible to recover. When trying to remember a name or a face we often come up empty, yet a jingle or a catchy tune can get stuck in our memory like a scratched record. Perhaps you’ve watched a game show and they asked a question you had the answer for but couldn’t get it out. The instant the answer is given or the name said aloud you slapped your forehead and exclaimed, “I knew that!”
Did you know that phone numbers come in groups of seven to ten digits because the average human being can only handle seven to ten bits of information at a time? Or that most of us need a list when we go to the grocery store because our short-term memories can only hold so much data? As the brain has its limits so does the heart. The heart of man is incapable of owning but one master at a time (Matt. 6:24).
John encourages us to live as if the world around us is an alien environment. Christians cannot survive apart from the fellowship of Christ and their fellow believers. In the upper room, Jesus prayed that His followers would reside in the world but remain separate from its influences. We must tie our lives to the Church and remain aloof from the lifestyle that would lead us to fit in and adapt.
I. Reasons For Remaining Aloof
A. Love of the world excludes love for God
1. The motivation is different – God is love; the world’s motive is greed and selfishness
2. Neither God nor the world will compromise
B. The world is transitory
1. It is possible to waste life on living
2. Life is where we prepare for eternity
II. Love of the World Allows Pride To Grow Uncontrollably
A. Pride focuses inward rather than upward
B. No sin has caused more grief; but for pride
1. Satan would not have fallen
2. Adam and Even would still be visiting with God in the garden
3. Pharaoh’s bones would lie in a pyramid and not scattered at the bottom of the Red Sea
4. Herod would have knelt alongside the Magi
C. Pride creates a flaw in human character
1. An impatience and unwillingness to trust God
2. Pride demands the place of honor
III. Many Have Grown Weary of Christ’s Teachings
A. “Grace through faith” tests our logic
1. Easier to work for salvation than to accept it God’s way
2. Men are too wise to believe and too good to need a Savior
B. We see ourselves as we hope we are
There is little doubt that the majority of believers have removed Christ from the first place in their lives. It is clearly seen in the way society is changing. Pride was the sin of Satan and the first sin of man. No other sin has brought so many low. We must be emptied of self in order that we might be filled with grace. We must be sown in weakness that God may raise us in power!