"Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." 1 John 2:15
During a bible class last evening, a dear sister said, "The god that most people love and serve is themselves." I was struck by the profundity of the statement. As we pursue the pleasures of life at the expense of nearly all else, particularly our relationship with the Father, we practice the most insidious form of idolatry. We literally worship ourselves by prioritizing, serving and gratifying ourselves. How do we accomplish this? It is done by preferring the things of the world.
Beloved, it is not to say that we should not enjoy the life, beauty, comfort and joys that God has so graciously given. The earth and all that can be found in it was created for us to inhabit and enjoy. We err, however, when we place the created above the Creator and when we get attached to the present rather than eternity. Paul said, "Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man," Acts 17:29. Though he was specifically speaking about materials created by God being fashioned into gods and worshiped, the thought is easily extended to a prohibition against subjecting oneself to stuff and by extension, self.
What are the pitfalls of loving the world? "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever," 1 John 2:16-17. The encouragement today is to pursue that which is above and beyond. Our Father sits on high and looks low and has promised an eternity with Himself to those who deny themselves and follow Him.