BCL Grow: What We Love — 1 John 2:15

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1 John 2:15 (Gospel)

Bible Passage

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


“To be human is to love, and it is what we love that defines who we are. Our (ultimate) love is constitutive of our identity…. This sort of ultimate love could also be described as that to which we ultimately pledge allegiance; or, to evoke language that is both religious and ancient, our ultimate love is what we worship.” — James K. A. Smith, Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation, p. 51.

Steps to Take

1. Reflect: In Scripture, the word world can have a broad range of meaning. Consider what John means when he uses the word to tell us not to love the world or the things in the world.

2. Remember: The word world may be said to have two general uses (though in detail there are more)—the first would be all of God’s creation in general, and the second is the world that has been corrupted and disordered by sin. God commands us to not love this sinful world, which is passing away—it is temporal not eternal. Rather, we are to keep our focus on solely loving God and each other (Matt. 22:36-40). When we love this world and the things of it, we run the risk of turning them into idols of the heart. They begin to capture our thoughts and imaginations, leading us to worship them.

3. Respond: Measure the loves of your life and ask yourself, “Have I raised up things in this fading world to be my ultimate loves?” “Am I placing God in second place behind them?” If so, then turn from them to God and desire and love him with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and each other as yourself. Keep these two commandments in the forefront of all you think and do, and by faith in Christ Jesus strive to keep God the center of all your desires and longings.

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