Do I Really Love God? (4 of 12) by Jonathan McLeod

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Do I Really Love God? (4 of 12)
Series: Authentic
Jonathan McLeod
I John 2:12-17

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 (v. 15).


In 2:12-14, the apostle John addresses his readers as ''children,'' ''fathers,'' and ''young men.'' ''Children'' probably refers to all of John's readers. (John might have been 90 years old when he wrote 1 John, so most of his readers would have been younger than him.) ''Fathers'' and ''young men'' probably refer to two groups: John's older and younger readers.

[Read 1 John 2:12-17.]


Everyone who claims to be a Christian would say they love God. But if we examined everything we did during the past week, how evident would it be that we love God? Authentic love is more than words or feelings. Love is demonstrated by our actions.

Am I really devoted to God?

John writes, ''Do not love the world or the things in the world'' (v. 15). (In this context, ''the world'' does not mean people, as in John 3:16, or the earth.) In verse 16, John tells us what is ''in the world'': (1) ''the desires of the flesh,'' (2) ''the desires of the eyes,'' and (3) ''pride in possessions.'' To ''love the world'' is to have the values of the world (i.e., to live for what the world is living for).

Loving ''the world'' is IDOLATRY.

The first commandment says, ''You shall have no other gods before me'' (Exod. 20:3). John concludes 1 John with a warning against idolatry: ''Little children, keep yourselves from idols'' (5:21). We might not go to temples to worship idols of stone, wood, or metal, but every culture has its idols. John Calvin said, ''The human heart is an idol factory.''

Tim Keller often says that idolatry is ''turning a good thing into an ultimate thing.'' An example of an idol is home improvement. Lowe's slogan is ''Never stop improving.'' Home improvement is a good thing, but we shouldn't tu ...

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