James is one of our college students who attends Auburn University. I wish I could explain to you the amazing work that God has done in James’ heart, faith, and life since he began college. It is obviously a powerful work of the Holy Spirit. He has started his own blog @ . Check his blog out and read his latest article here! You can encourage James at @jamesurobertson on Twitter.
“15 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. 16 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. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:15-17
We as Christians are called to be radically different. The natural response to following Jesus should be to leave everything we have behind and to run towards him, to deny our self and to pickup our cross daily and to follow him (Luke 6:23). What we are doing though, is the very opposite. 1 John 2:15 says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world.” Period. Do not love the world or the things in the world. Is it possible that we’ve seen these words, heard what Christ says and yet not believe it? Are we hearing, but not understanding? Seeing, but not perceiving?
If you were to look at the church today then you would see that most Christ proclaiming Christians look strikingly similar to non believers. We are just as materialistic. Just as sexually immoral. Just as self centered. Even our giving patterns look the same if not worse than non believers. Some studies show that the average Christian tithes only 2.5% of their income. Jesus warns us in Matthew 6 to not lay up for ourselves treasures on earth but to rather lay up for our selves treasures on heaven. To not be anxious about life, what we will eat or what we will drink, nor about our bodies, what we will put on. He asks “Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing (v. 25)” He then gives the analogies of the birds of the air and lilies of the field and how he feeds them, clothes them, and how they grow. He then rhetorically asks “Are you not of more value than they (v.26,30)?” He later promises that if we seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness then all of these will be added to us (v. 33). Along with Matthew 6, Paul warns Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:8-12 to likewise to flee the pursuit of worldly materialism of loving Money. He has these words for us:
“But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith…” (1 Timothy 6:8-12 ESV)
Do we really believe these words? Does our life reflect this truth of God words? Or are we pursuing worldly security? Are we putting our life in the hands of our God or in the hands of our Money? And not just money, but anything that we are putting our security in besides the loving hands of Jesus who has adopted us into his eternal Kingdom.
I also want to remind you that 1 John 2:17 says that the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
My prayer is that in reading these short paragraphs you would perhaps realize the sin you may be in of following into pursuing worldly materialism. So I beg you.. Flee Materialism! Pursue Christ. Rest in Christ. Come to him and drink. And drink freely from his water (John 4:14). There is going to come a day where everything in this world will be wiped away.
In writing this, I don’t want to come across as self righteous at all by any means. This topic is something that the Lord has been working on in my own life these past couple months and is continually at work in. I’m just as, if not more, sinful than you and I find myself pursuing worldly materialism just as often. What we need to do is come to the Lord Jesus, confess our sin before him and repent. Be reminded that we have a gracious Father who is always faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
However, I don’t want to leave without saying something if you don’t know this Jesus that I’m talking about. There is good news. The Good news. The Great news. In the words of David Platt (@plattdavid).. ‘All through out history every single man and every single women has succumbed to the seduction of the ways of this world, has turned aside from God to seek after the things of this world. All of us have, but there came one man in all of history, on the scene of human history, who did not succumb to the ways of this world. Who resisted the seduction of this world at every single point. Who fully sought his satisfaction only in his Father. Who fully obeyed his father, and yet the one man who deserved no punishment, no wrath, no death. Died. On a cross. In the place of sinners.. Taking the wrath and punishment that are due rebellious men and women who have turned aside from God. He died on the cross, He rose from the grave in victory over sin and death and satan so that everyone, every rebellious sinner who turns to him and trusts in Him as Savior, Lord, and Conquering King will be saved from their rebellion forever and will be reconciled into a relationship with God. This is Glorious news for rebellious sinners who have given into the ways of this world. Your sin is covered. Your guilt is taken away. Sin atoned for by the blood of Christ. If you are not a christian, I urge you turn away from the ways of the world tonight and trust in Jesus as the only one who can save you from coming judgement, coming wrath in this world. God is Holy. We are sinners. We deserve just judgement for our sinful rebellion against him. But God is loving. He sent his son to pay the price for our sin so that when you turn from your sin and trust in him you can be saved Forever. By his overcoming Grace he calls us to be saved.’
To conclude, Love for the things in the world cannot coincide with Love for God. What happens when we fill ourselves up with the things of this world is that we have no room left for God. We wonder why we don’t have ‘good’ quiet times, we wonder why we don’t ‘feel’ close to God. We wonder all these things and question God but could it perhaps be it’s because we are filling our appetites up for things of this World? So again, I urge you. Flee Materialism! Pursue Christ. Rest in Christ. He says in Matthew 5 that everyone who hungers and thirsts for righteousness will be satisfied. So come to him and drink, and drink freely from his water.