13 April 2021

How do you know if you love something? Consider what happens when you lose it. Are you desperately trying to find it? Then consider people. If you offend that person (which we all do), are you sorrowful, thinking about how you can make it right with them?

There are many things we like but we don’t have that attachment to. But there are some things that we should be deeply attached to. In my mind these are but a few things.

We should love God.

We should love our spouse and our family.

We should love the church — with this intensity. The church is the people not the building.

For other people, we should be decent. But there are those to whom we are bound by covenant. So when John is writing, he is writing to all stages of people, reminding them that they are loved by God.

And that this love should not include any of the things the world wants us to love.

1 John 2:12-17
12 I am writing to you, dear children,
because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.
13 I am writing to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.
I am writing to you, young men,
because you have overcome the evil one.
14 I write to you, dear children,
because you know the Father.
I write to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
because you are strong,
and the word of God lives in you,
and you have overcome the evil one.
15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 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. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

I’ve had a look around this evening at what passes as news. The only things worth emulating involved dogs or sports, and the sports was woke. Apparently people are starting to riot, at times not caring about the body count. There are things this world wants us to love, above all their will to power.

But it is our lusts that trap us. Our want for new stuff. Coveting that which we have no right to. Thinking its unfair that others do better than we do.

Or if we do well, the pride we have, the power we control, can become as much a barrier between ourselves and those we should care for as any resentment. Power corrupts. Wealth is a more challenging test than trials.

We are to hold what we have in this world lightly. Our status and our possessions can be gone in minutes. But relationships… they can move to becoming eternal. For the church will join Christ for ever.

We just have to follow him and smash the gates of hell and the powers of this age first.