Today we are praying for the country of Malaysia. Please help us lift up this nation to the Lord today. You can follow the two links below to learn more about the nation and its unreached people groups. You can watch the video below to help guide you in your prayers.
Please take time to meditate on the devotion for today as well.
Please pray for the nation of Malaysia by joining in prayer with the video below.
Watch the above video and pray for the requests listed at the end.
Today's Devotional Thought
We have seen the command and the caution that John gives us in 1 John 2:15-17 this week. Today, we will see the contrast provided.
III. The Contrast v16
John goes on, in verse 16, to contrast the things of the world with the Father. He writes, “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.” All that is in the world, is contrary to the Father. John describes for us all that is in the world. This is all that the world has to offer you! This is it! The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life. Every “thing” in the world falls into one of more of these three categories. And all of these categories, and everything in them, is contrary to the Father.
First, John mentions the lust of the flesh. The lust of the flesh is simply normal desires that turn into sinful desires. These are desires that are normal, that everyone experiences naturally, that Satan and sin corrupts. Consider James 4:1-4.
“What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
The source of our quarrels and conflicts are our pleasures or desires. These pleasures and desires are corrupted and become lusts that lead to sin. These desires, that have now become sinful, are so overwhelming that they are now praying for God to provide them with the capability of pursuing more! James even goes so far as to call his readers adulteresses. They are guilty of spiritual adultery! In the word of John Piper, “Even though praying, they are forsaking their husband (God) and going after a paramour (the world). And to make matters worse, they are asking their husband (in prayer) to fund the adultery.”
John not only mentions the lust of the flesh. He also mentions the lust of the eyes. The lust of the eyes is simply a desire for things you see. Covetousness at its worst.
Finally, he mentions the pride of life. The “pride of life” is literally a “pride in possessions.” Take time to consider Luke 12:4-21. First, take note of the context and the content of Jesus words in verses 4-12.
4 “I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him! 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
8 “And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels of God; 9 but he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him. 11 When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you are to say; 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
Jesus is preaching a sermon, and a serious one at that. This is a sermon about fearing God, trusting God, confessing Christ, judgment day, and the unforgivable sin! With this in mind, read on and consider what happens next!
13 Someone in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.”
Are you serious? In the midst of this somber, fearful, eternally important sermon some guy in the back pipes up and wants Jesus to settle a family dispute over money? Look at Jesus’ response in verses 14-15.
14 But He said to him, “Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?”15 Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.”
Our life does not consist in our abundance. We think if we can just make enough money, get the right home, the right cars, the right clothes, the right social standing, we can be somebody! We long for the pride that comes from having the lust of our eyes fulfilled and the lust of the flesh satisfied. But, our life does not consist of our possessions! To illustrate, He tells a parable in verses 16-21.
16 And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. 17 And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ 18 Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ 21 So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
There is a massive contrast here between the things of the world, and what they offer, and God, and what He offers, as is illustrated by our fourth and final point in verse 17, which we will see tomorrow. Until then...
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