Dedicate yourself to God.
We have been looking out our dedication to God. Last week we talked about dedicating ourselves to worship.
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.1 John 2:15 King James Version (KJV)
Love is a powerful concept throughout the Bible. Today we see how the love of the world puts us at enmity (or positioned against) God himself. In the verse we see here we are told not to love the world or anything in it.
Agapate = Love
The word “love” here is the word agapate which means “to wish well or take pleasure in”. God is saying that we can’t truly love God if we “take pleasure in” all the things the world wants to do. If we put the world before our God, the Bible says we don’t love God at all, and that is exactly what happens when we choose to take pleasure in the world. When you decide to love the world, you dedicate yourself to the world.
Many christians love the idea of God. When asked if they love God, they say “I go to church.” or “I listen to Christian radio.” Here today God is saying that to love God is more than to just go through the right motions. You need to dedicate yourself specifically to God.
What then is true Christianity? Really the simplest answer is “It is everything that the world is not.”
Don’t Dedicate yourself to the world
16 For all that 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.1 John 2:16 New King James Version (NKJV)
God is love and those who make no room for the lusts of the flesh walk after God. God came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). What are the works of the devil?
- The lust of the flesh
- The lust of the eyes
- The pride of life
The devil comes quickly to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10) but God has come to bring life.
17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.1 John 2:17 New King James Version (NKJV)
God has come to bring eternal life but to change your situation you have to change what you are doing. The three things this world comes against us with will try to rob us of all joy and love of God.
Don’t lose Focus
All the devil has to do is shift our focus maybe not totally to serve him but away from serving God. Few christians will turn completely away from God to serve the devil consciously, but they will be burdened down by the pride of what they are doing in their job or worse yet their ministries “for God”. They become blind to their ineffectiveness and how their pride of life is separating themselves from God.
Romans 13:14 says to “make no room for the flesh to satisfy its lusts”. Don’t allow a little “harmless” TV show or song that isn’t quite right to steal any part of the effects of God’s love from you by allowing the love of the world to creep into you.
This is not a popular statement because we are all guilty of it in one form or fashion. We will serve God as long as…
- I get to keep my favorite TV shows
- We still get to go out to the bar with the friends
- We get our ME time
I’m here today to say there is no such thing as truly in love with God and with these things. Have things but the problem we face is that we have allowed things to have us. When we WON’T give something up that’s the moment we should probably choose to lose it.
Someone is saying, “Well what about witnessing? I can’t witness if I don’t know what is relevant and current.”
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel [a]of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.Romans 1:16 New King James Version (NKJV)
This gospel only needs to be preached. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict and point those lost to the Savior. We put ourselves in the way of God by thinking I have to have the right words to say to convince someone that God is real.
No one will ever become a Christian because they were convinced by you. True christians have to hear the word which brings faith, faith has to spring in their spirit, and they have to speak it out releasing their faith and that is how they receive Christ (Romans 10:9-10).
It’s time that we step away from what we want to do. Dedicate yourself to God. Push on to the prize of the upward high calling. Look past the desires of this world, crucify the flesh and press into God.