OCTOBER 9

Love God, Not the World

If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1 JOHN 2:15

I don't have to tell you how hard the world is vying for your affections. It beckons you and me with the lure of lesser loyalties. The world wants you to have a better car, a bigger house, more-fashionable clothing, a sleeker cell phone, a snazzier computer. And nearly every day in the mail, you are offered a brand-new credit card to buy it all with.

But what you may not realize is that money and possessions are not the only things the world offers to demand your affections and compromise on one of the Bible's clearest commands.

Non-negotiable Number Three: Love God, Not the World

What in the world do you love? Why not complete a year-end inventory of your heart and its affections? Just like a year-end inventory in a big warehouse, walk down the aisles of your heart and take note of what clutters the shelves. How do you use your time? What do you think about and talk about?

Perhaps you'll find some "old inventory" that should be moved out of your heart. Perhaps there are some habits you've developed over the years—and if you are honest, you really love these old habits more than you love God.

Things like hobbies or television—or perhaps even addictions like food, alcohol, drugs or pornography.

Perhaps the inventory will reveal a possession that you realize owns you. It is in competition with God for your love.

Perhaps it's time to clear out some inventory and replace it with some fresh obedience to God's commands.

Wasn't it Jesus who said the greatest commandment was to "love the Lord your God with all your heart" (Matthew 22:37)?

Love God. Love His people. Love His mission and will. When you're consumed with love for Him, you won't have much room left to love the world.

DISCUSS

Discuss a year-end inventory of your hearts. What is competing for the affections of your heart today?

PRAY

Spend some time together expressing your love, praise and adoration of God. Whatever else may compete for your affections, ask Him to be your first love.  

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