What do you Live for?

Scripture: 1 John 2:17, ‘The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.’


Observations: John is blunt, ‘do not love the world, or anything in the world. (v15)’ John defines the world as ‘the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastfulness of life. (v16)’ According to John all the desires of this world will pass away, they don’t last, they are fleeting. However, the person ‘who does the will of God lives forever.’ Jesus says, ‘…my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. (Jn 6:40)’ So firstly, God’s will is that we believe in Jesus Christ and look to him in faith for our salvation. It’s only in Jesus that we will receive eternal life. But John is actually contrasting what this world desires with what God desires. He is contrasting the desires of the flesh with the desires of the Holy Spirit. Rather than lusting after our desires, we ought to be passionate about what pleases God. God’s will is that we should be holy and avoid the sins that this world offers (1 Thess 4:3).


Application: What do you desire in life? Do you desire the things that this world desires – a nice house, exotic holidays, to look beautiful and be popular? Or do you desire what pleases God – faith in his Son, Jesus, doing his will, bringing him glory, proclaiming his kingdom? It might be helpful to remind yourself that the things of this world are only temporary, ultimately they won’t fulfil us, whereas the things of God last forever, and they will bring us lasting joy. Jesus said he came to bring us life to the full, and that life is not found in following the desires of this world, but only in following Jesus Christ.


Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, it is so easy to follow the things of this world. It is so easy to get distracted by the comforts and pleasures of this life, and forget about You and Your will for my life. Lord, forgive me when I am distracted by the lusts of the flesh and the pride of life. Fill me with Your Spirit that I might instead choose Your will and do what is pleasing to You. May I never take my eyes of Your Son, Jesus Christ, through whom I have eternal life with You. Lord, may I do Your will and live for Your honour and glory. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


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