Monday, July 21, 2014


Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. ... Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.  (Luke 4:1-2a, 13)
You can love the Lord or you can love the worldnot both.  Jesus said you cannot serve two mastersyou will choose one.  John tells us that these loves are in conflictone negates the other.  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.” (1 John 2:15).  
What do we mean by the world? 
Obviously not the planet—this is my Father’s world.  He created it and pronounced it, “Good.”  Although I am not to worship the creation, the creation declares the glory of the Creator.  I am to be a good steward of that which God has fashioned. 
Neither is the world John writes of speaking of the people, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son...” and I must love people.  If I love God then I love those who are made in His image. 
“The world” I am not to love is a principle of evil, a spiritual power that permeates man in rebellion against God with the passions, philosophies, practices, pursuits and pleasures that mark it.  John described it in 1 John 2:16, “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.”  We might define this unholy trinity as hedonism, “the lust of the flesh” or the love of pleasure; materialism, “the lust of the eyes” or the love of possessions; egotism, “the pride of life” or the love of position:  sensuality, stuff and status that sinners seek.
These, Christ steadfastly resisted.  Jesus was tested at every point, and was triumphant.  He came and showed us how man was to live.  He did not face these temptations as God or they would have been no test at all—nor helpful to we creatures of flesh and blood who are not ominpotent.  Rather, as a true man, Jesus fought and won the same way that we can.  This is the way to victory.  Let us study His manner carefully and by God’s Spirit apply it consistently, and we too can though tested can be triumphant.

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