Loving What the Father Loves
By Dawn Tolbert
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.” 1 John 2:15
I caught a whiff of a memory as I pulled a steaming broccoli casserole from the oven—the first I’d made since my daddy’s death. I knew he would’ve tried a bite to be polite, but if he’d had his preference, he’d never have eaten the stuff.
Having different preferences than my earthly parents is okay; that’s part of what makes me an individual. But when it comes to spiritual matters, it’s important to love and reject what our Heavenly Father does.
In 1 John 2:15, the author, believed to be the Apostle John, wrote “Do not love the world or anything in the world.” Scholars have spent centuries discussing what “the world” means in this instance. Is it bad to enjoy the beach or the mountains? Aren’t they part of God’s creation intended for our pleasure? Are we to not love the people around us? Since Scripture commands us otherwise, that can’t be right.
I think John wants us to understand “the world” in a different sense, to see the part of existence at odds with God and His plan. When we focus on things in place of God or seek to fulfill ourselves or our desires outside His will and plan for our lives, we’re following the world. And John is clear: we need to stop. It’s so serious, he added, that if we love those things then the love of the Father isn’t in us. Loving the world in this sense is a sign we haven’t truly been renewed by God.
My prayer today is for God to show me areas where my thoughts and actions aren’t in line with His will so I can confess them. I want to love what He loves, and I want His love in me.
Dawn Tolbert is a contributor to Wholly Loved Ministries Daily Devotional, a Christ-follower who writes to honor God, thank Him for His goodness, and encourage readers by sharing her faith journey. She works in higher education public relations and is writing her first novel and her first book-length Bible study. She has earned a B.A. in Communication Studies and English (Gardner-Webb College), a M.A. in Professional Writing (Kennesaw State University), and an Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership (Union University). She and her husband, Larry, live in Cedartown, Georgia, and serve actively in their church. Dawn blogs at dawntolbert.com.
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