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Moving Upward Instead of Forward

"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 in possessions—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." (1 John 2:15-17)

In addressing the youth last evening from John’s first letter, my own heart was challenged by how I am often influenced by the “world agenda” that John describes and commands not to love—(the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions). The reasoning that he provides for not loving this “system” includes: 1) if you do love it, the Father’s love is not in you (its impossible to love both); 2) this system is temporary, fading away, perishing; and in contrast 3) if you (love the Father) and do his will, you will live forever!

In his book, Overcoming the World, Joel Beeke reminds us that: “The goal of worldly people is to move forward rather than upward, to live horizontally rather than vertically. They seek after outward prosperity rather than holiness. They burst with selfish desires rather than heartfelt supplications . . .”

By the grace that God supplies through Jesus, may we lift our eyes upward pursuing greater love for Christ and greater distaste for the offerings of our world apart from Him.