ARE YOU LOSING THE BATTLE WITH SIN?
Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
1 John 2:15-16
Every Christian I know struggles with something. It may be related to lust or pride or insecurity or greed or bitterness or selfishness or whatever. Regardless of what the something is, we all are subject to temptation and must continually be on guard against the allure of the world.
How can you and I truly walk in victory? How can we defeat that “besetting sin” that seems to consistently rear its ugly head and steal away our peace, joy, and fellowship with God? The key is in the second part of verse 15, “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
IT ALL FLOWS FROM LOVE
The Christian life is a life of love—and it all starts with the love of God. 1 John 4:19 tells us, “We love, because He first loved us.” The love that God has for us is the beginning point of it all. Jesus came to save sinners because “God so loved the world …” (John 3:16).
The number one commandment, according to Jesus, is that we love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. When we truly understand His great love for us, we want to love Him back. And when we love Him back, we obey Him and keep His commandments. Jesus said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me” (John 14:21).
Now when we are losing the battle with sin and starting to desire the world and the things in the world, the cause of the problem is clear: we have lost connection with the love of the Father. Our spiritual engine is running dangerously low on the motor oil of God’s love. The spiritual oil light is bright red, warning us to STOP and RETURN to Him!
Years ago, I heard these wise words, “The eye sees what the heart desires.” Without question, the lust for the things of this world is a heart problem. When we are walking closely with God, basking in His love and loving Him back, our heart desires fellowship with Him. We are blown away by His mercy and grace that we so vividly see at the cross of Christ. We are thoroughly convinced that His ways are right concerning everything, and we want to walk in those ways, regardless of the hardships we may encounter for doing so. But if we allow ourselves to drift away and leave our first love (Revelation 2:4), the temporary pleasures of this world start to look extremely appealing.
CHECK THE SPIRITUAL OIL
Will you check the oil in your spiritual engine today? Does the dipstick indicate you are full of the love of God or are you dangerously low? Let me encourage you to take a trip to Calvary today. Read the gospel accounts of the sufferings of Jesus and experience afresh the love of God for you. The Lord says, “Return to Me, and I will return to you” (Malachi 3:7). Return to your first love. Fix your eyes on Jesus, and the allures of this world will fade away in the light of His glory and grace.
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 182 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.
"Vanity of vanities ... all is vanity," says Solomon, the writer of Ecclesiastes. How strange for a book of the Bible to say this. Is life really empty and meaningless? It is "under the sun." When you leave God out and heaven out, you can never find satisfaction. But when you seek the Lord beyond the sun, you find fulfillment in full. Join Pastor Jeff Schreve as he journeys through the often misunderstood and puzzling book of Ecclesiastes.