Love Not the World

"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever" (I John 2:15-17)


John Calvin made the observation long ago, that however much people might say that they want heaven, "if you examine [their] plans, [their] efforts, [their] deeds will find nothing else but earth."  The apostle John tells us that we can't love both the world and the Father at the same time because they are diametrically opposed to each other.  Jesus agreed with this and said, "No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money" (Matthew 6:24).  Demas is an example of this very point: "for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me" (2 Timothy 4:10).  The word for "deserted" means completely forsake, to utterly abandon.  Because Demas began to love the world he completely abandoned Paul and left him in need.  What did Demas fall in love with?


The term "world" in our text is not the only place where the term is used.  James said, "To keep oneself unspotted from the world" (James 1:27); Paul said, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is; His good, pleasing and perfect will" (Romans 12:2).  The Greek word translated "world" in our text is "kosmos," which is used in different ways, but here has a moral connotation and means "the world apart from God."


John defines the "things of the world" as the "lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life."  The word "lust" is defined as "Desire for what is forbidden; an obsessive craving." Lust as used in this place refers to the desire for things that are contrary to the will of God. Lust is NOT simply desire; it is illicit, unlawful or forbidden desire.  (1 Corinthians 10:6) tells us that Israel "lusted after evil things." The context of 1 Corinthians 10 shows that many different things were included in their lust. James describes lust this way:  "But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death" (James 1:14-15).  It is therefore possible to lust after money, sex, power, pleasure, or nearly anything else on earth. Whatever we lust for to gratify the flesh is what is forbidden by our text.  The "lust of the eyes" obviously refers to what is seen, or what we want to see. The eyes enjoy things of beauty, or riches, and when we lust after those things it is the lust of the eyes.  The "pride of life" is an insolent and empty assurance which trusts in the stability of earthly things.   Those who fill their lives with "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life" need to be advised and warned, for "the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever".




Living for Jesus a life that is true,

Striving to please Him in all that I do;

Yielding allegiance, glad-hearted and free,

This is the pathway of blessing for me.


O Jesus, Lord and Savior,

I give myself to Thee,

For Thou, in Thy [redemption],*

Didst give Thyself for me;

I own no other Master,

My heart shall be Thy throne,

My life I give, henceforth to live,

O Christ, for Thee alone.


Living for Jesus who died in my place,

Bearing on Calv'ry my sin and disgrace;

Such love constrains me to answer His call,

Follow His leading and give Him my all.


Living for Jesus wherever I am,

Doing each duty in His holy name;

Willing to suffer affliction and loss,

Deeming each trial a part of my cross.


Living for Jesus through earth's little while,

My dearest treasure, the light of His smile;

Seeking the lost ones He died to redeem,

Bringing the weary to find rest in Him.




"Daily Devotions by Guy Roberson"



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