Day 2, Week 1 of Choosing God Instead of the World, a love God Greatly Bible Study
Scripture Reading: Genesis 25:27-34; 1 john 2:15-17(SOAP)
Do Not Love This World 15 Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. 1 John 2:15-17
Sight, sound, touch, hearing … our senses are catalyst for desires. From things we need to things we enjoy to things we’ve never tried but know someone else enjoys – from the time of the garden – our desires have been an issue. John’s warning about these desires is simple – they are not from God but from the world. He also reminds his readers that the world will one day come to an end while God’s kingdom and all who choose His will over the world’s- will live forever.
Seems like an easy choice, right? So why is it that, like Eve, we see something and it looks pleasing to the eye so we ignore what we know to be the right choice and go for the desirable? We all know the eyes aren’t the only culprits, all of the senses we have get involved and pull our attention in all sorts of directions that ultimately lead to desires and choices that may not line up with God’s will. Oh that we would consider John’s warning and check our desire against His Word before we take a bite of what the world is offering, which in Esau’s case was food versus his birthright.
He was famished, and most likely depleted of strength and energy to make the right choice or to care about anything other than his hunger. This is obvious by his reaction to Jacob’s proposition of the bowl of stew for Esau’s birthright. Esau certainly wasn’t about to die – he simply valued and desired the appetite of his flesh more than his birthright as Isaac’s oldest son.
Application: How Then Should We Live?
1 John 2:15-17 is a perfect companion, though an antithesis of sorts, to the example of Esau and Jacob that we find in the Genesis passage. John teaches his readers “[don’t] love the world or the things in the world”. So sure is he of this teaching that He declares the person who loves the world “does not have the love of the Father in Him”. He zeroes in on the “desires of the flesh”, pointing out that “the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions” (NLT). These, John says, are not from the Father. BibleRef.com’s explanation of verse 17 says it best – concluding “John’s condemnation of worldly thinking. John notes that this world is temporary. The world is temporary for each person, since every person dies. The physical earth is also temporary, since God will make a new earth in the end (Revelation 21—22). As a result, the desires of this world are also temporary.” The bottom line to our question of application and how we should live is this, “Believers are to resist evil desires, following the example of Jesus” (Matthew 4:1–11).
My synopsis, Don’t allow ourselves to become so enamored with the desires, the teachings, the thinking, of this world that they overtake us– and change the focus of our faith and what’s important to God, our heavenly Father. Feed the Spiritual-self, actually saturate ourselves with the Word so we don’t fall prey to the desires of the flesh. Finally, value what the Father values so that we do not trade the will of the Father and “a life lived in fellowship with Him”, for the ways and things of the world. To be sure, “doing God’s will cannot save us, — We are saved by Christ’s sacrifice, when we put our – faith in Him (Ephesians 2:8–9). However, a natural outcome of salvation is a desire to do God’s will (Ephesians 2:10). This is a hallmark of the believer, and only the believer will live with God forever. — Doing God’s will or desires is to be the goal of the believer.”1
1quotes from Bibleref.com on 1 John 2:15-17
Prayer: Response to God’s Word
Father, the world offers us much to love and to choose from – they are readily available and accessible – guard us from temptations of thinking, acting, and talking or living like the world. Help us to be so saturated with Your Word and aware of Your Presence so that we don’t fall prey to the deceivers of this world. – In Jesus’ Name!
- What’s your take away from today’s reading?
- What does it mean to choose the things of God?
- Can you choose the things of God and the things of the world? Why or why not?