Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A HEART CONDITION

1 John 2:15
"Do not love the world or the things of the world, if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him". 

The Apostle John states clearly who his audience is in verses 20-22 -
  • But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth.
So, he is writing to those who "know the truth" - believers in Christ. To the believers in 1 John 2:15 John writes instruction with a warning.

Let us begin with the warning first - if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Notice the verse does not say that the Father does not love him/her.  The verse says "the love of the Father" is not found in the person. The "love of the Father" can be viewed as God's mind, heart, or will and the extension thereof through the believer to the rest of the world. In the original Greek, the word "love" in this phrase ("the love of the Father") is the word Agape, meaning to cherish, devote, respect, esteem, and concern. This kind of love, this agape, this "love of the Father" is stated throughout chapter 2 of 1 John as how true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ should act toward God and toward others.

The condition of loving the world and/or the things of the word prevents "the love of the Father" residing within the believer so that it may flow out to God's glory. Any believer can have the Father's mind, heart, and will - the second decision is what to do with it.  As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. (James 2:26) The first decision is to have the proper perspective of the distractions of the world - not loved. The word for "love" that John is directed to use by the Holy Spirit in the instruction and the first section of the warning - "Do not love the world or the things of the world, if anyone loves the world, - is Agapao, meaning to accept. So, God through John is saying "Do not [accept] the world or the things of the world".

The instruction, then, becomes simple and James helps John by saying, You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (James 4:4) Then Matthew contributes, but gets specific calling out the world financial system as a huge culprit of division - "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. (Matthew 6:24)

For the followers of Christ, John lists a few examples of how the world or the rest of society will know you are different, follow Jesus, and most importantly - have "the love of the Father" within you.

  • We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.(v.3)
  • This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. (vv.5-6)
  • Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble.(v.10)
So, combining what we know about the Father's love that we should be exhibiting and the worldly love that we should be rejecting, the translation could read -

Do not accept the world or the things of the world, if anyone accepts the world, the concerns of the Father (the Father's heart) are not in him. [Pritchard Paraphrase]

Prayer:
Dear Father God,
Change my heart, make it ever new.  Change my heart my Lord to be just like yours.  Make your concerns to be my concerns. Make what touches your heart and what is on your mind to influence my decisions. Allow me to be a powerful instrument of your love.  In your name Jesus I pray...Amen.