By Robert Halsey Pine
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world; for all that is in the world—the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches—comes not from the Father but from the world. And the world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever.” (1 John 2:12-17 NRSV).
Is there any hope for me? I think so, but when I consider my love for the world and many things in the world, I am ashamed. Putting Christ before all these is the key. We have been placed in the world, but we can only love our Lord God Almighty and His Son Jesus the Christ. Everything else is secondary. Nothing else counts if we are not seeking to be saints. Our status and our wealth or poverty matter not. As John says, “The love of the Father is not in those who love the world.”
There is so much around us to distract us. Today’s modern world has something for everyone. One has no problem finding things that are attractive. We are pulled in this direction and that. Our opinion is not our own. So many external things influence the way that we view the world. It is our fight for this external kingdom that challenges our seeking God’s eternal kingdom. As we move from place to place, we want to play by the local rules instead of following God’s rules.
There is too much intellectualizing about God. God is an emotion and a Spirit. He came to us as the Son of Man, Christ Jesus. This is how He sent us His Word. We are so arrogant that we first ignore Him, then when we foul things up beyond our control, we call upon Him only to pull away when we have our comfort zone restored. We are the opposite of the fair-weather friend. We think that we don’t need God when things are going our way. We come to Him when chaos closes in on us. We are foul weather friends with Him.
It is easy to surrender to God when disaster strikes, but we are fickle friends as a rule. We are unworthy. When we need God and turn to Him, we find Him at our side. He needs us to help Him further His Kingdom among the peoples. Are we always at His side? We must continually turn to God and invite Him into all aspects of our lives. As John writes, “And the world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever.”
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.