This past Sunday we looked at 1 John 2:15-17, which says,
"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 the pride of life-- 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." (ESV)
While I would encourage you to listen to the sermon on our "Sermon" page, I would like to offer three ways you can not love the world.
1. Immerse Yourself with the Father
John repeated uses the word "abide" to describe our need to be with God. In chapter two the word appears in verses 6, 10, 24, to name a few. Interestingly, John often attaches God's Word to our abiding (2:5-6 and 2:24-25). I think an argument could be made from these passages that the believer, if he or she is to not love the world, must be immersed with the Father. Thinking of a picture of food, it is hard to be tempted with beef jerky when you have a filet minion in front of you. Applying this to our present passage, it is hard to be tempted with the world's lusts when the glorious incomprehensible, soul-satisfying God is in front of you.
2. Learn from the Mistakes of Others
Paul discusses the importance of the Old Testament accounts as being examples for us today (1 Corinthians 10:6). Using the three-fold expression of the world (lust or desires of the flesh, eyes, and the pride of life), one can easily examine men and women in the Bible who gave into those fleshly cravings and their concluding results. Noting the failures of Eli as a father and the resulting blasphemous actions of his sons will encourage parents to take their parental responsibilities seriously (see 1 Samuel 2-3).
3. Consider the End
A third way not to love the world is to consider the end. With this, you can incorporate the two methods above while meditating on 1 John 2:17. Those who give into the desires of the world are and will pass away. There is a terrible end for the world and those who love it. However, there is a blissful beauty for those who do the will of God. Immersing yourself in the Father, and contemplating on the failures of others, will only enhance your consideration of the end.
Let us love the world less and love the triune God more!