The message we are going to look at this week is out of 1 John 2: 15-17 “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. For all this is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
The question we want to ask is “ What do you value in life?” What would you be willing to sacrifice everything for? We must realize that what we value affects our life. It controls everything in our life. Our values affect our stress levels. When our values are unclear, there is confusion. When our values are in conflict, it’s because we have not clarified in our mind what is important and what is not. The result is stress.
Our values control our success in life. Every time we make a decision, we filter that decision subconsciously or consciously through what we value. If our values are right it will lead us to growth, success, and maturity in our life. It also affects our salvation. Jesus said that it is possible to be outwardly successful financially and socially and still be spiritually bankrupt inside. Jesus said, “ What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?” Our values can and should affect the people around us. How many of us have come home from work or school being grumpy? We bring that mood home with us and in no time we see it affecting all our loved ones around us. Even though the verses we are looking at were written over 2000 years ago, it is very relevant for us today. The values of the world back then are still the same values we have today.
The world has three basic values in life; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. These three things are what the world says is important. Another name for lust of the flesh is called pleasure. If you ask most people “ What do you want most out of life?” they would say something like “I just want to have fun… I want to be happy…. I want to feel good.” There are many different ways of saying pleasure. We live in a pleasure -obsessed culture. The second item is lust of the eyes or possessions. Have you ever fallen into the category of buying something you really do not need, with money you really do not have, to impress people you do not even know. For many their self worth is based on their net worth. The third item is the pride of life or prestige.
In our culture image is everything. We want people to look up to us. We want people to think we are important and successful, and when that happens, we have value. I used to own an old van which had a big dent in the side, lots of rust, and an old rack on top. It made a good hunting vehicle because you were never concerned about adding another scratch to it. We were moving from Spokane to Pocatello and of course we loaded up the old van to bring with us. A friend came to help us move and when we got close to his home town, he wanted to change me vehicles for he did not want people to see him driving something like that. Actually, I could not blame him. The last part of our scripture tells us the world is going to pass away and so will the lusts of the world. It says we should be focused on doing the will of God. In Psalm 119, the Psalmist wrote this: “ Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statues, And I will keep it to the end. Give me understanding and I shall keep Your law; Indeed I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I will delight in it. Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to covetousness. Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way.” Take some time this week and evaluate your values. Are they of the world or are they of Christ?
By Pastor Rod LaFee