First of all...Happy March! It‘s my birthday month. Woot woot! Now that that most relevant announcement has been made we can proceed.
Call me crazy. Call me antiquated. Call me whatever you want to call me, but there was a time - not so long ago, when people were taught to “Put a difference between clean and unclean; between holy and unholy.” (Lev 10:10) We (me along with the circle of peeps I had the privilege to grow up around) were also taught: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love for the Father is not in them.” (1John 2:15)
Well... what exactly is this writer talking about when he references “anything in the world,” because that’s literally impossible right? If you keep reading, that question is answered explicity and in great detail so that there is no confusion. He breaks it down by saying “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” Ok, so what the heck is that?” you may still be asking. You should check it out for yourself when you have a moment, but on the surface the lust of the flesh is pretty self explanatory. So is the lust of the eyes, and unfortunately there is plenty to see nowadays, even on prime time television. I won’t give examples: because I’d hate to call the names of some of your favorite artists... (cough cough) “Lizzo.”
Lust of the flesh is not just ankles and thighs though... it also refers to the endless display of stuff we see that keeps us spinning on the hamster wheel to have more physical possessions, having our own way, and being deemed important by our peers (who really don’t matter much anyway). It can be endless. It’s not only tangible things, but mostly a wrong attitude of the heart.
This passage closes by telling us that this world is passing away (catch the present tense, not WILL PASS away.) and with it goes shameful pursuits and ungodly longings, but the one who does the will of God and carries out His purposes will live forever. What I’m trying to figure out is when that changed. 🧐
Or did it?
It is most confusing to me as a believer to barely be able to distinguish between someone who follows the teachings of Christ, and someone who does not even know what they are; let alone carry them out. Is it just me or have the lines become very blurred?
This is not an attempt on my part to isolate or ostracize any particular group of people, but if I can‘t tell the difference, is it logical to think that a soul who is lost and seeking to find their way can distinquish? When I’m lost I am looking for road signs to point me in the right direction. What if they all read exactly the same? I’m still lost, right? Who does that lost sheep go to for wise counsel, or for prayer, when you - (the one who says they live for Jesus) lifestyle matches parallel to someone who could care less about Jesus?
You go to the club, they go to the club.
You “sip” every weekend beyond your limit, they get wasted every day. You cohabitate with your boo, and they do as well.
You cuss people out on the job at the drop of a hat..... and.....
I’m just asking... for a friend (inserts air quotes.) I think we need to step back as the Body of Christ, the Ecclessia, the called out, the chosen ones, and ask ourselves some very pertinent questions. Actually, it is not the questions that are hard, as much as giving ourselves honest answers is. THIS kind of straight-no chaser truth is very unpopular teaching- I am well aware of that. It’s not preached or taught very much anymore,, but I want you to pay close attention to what is coming across pulpits every week. Look at the sermon series topics yourself to identify what you see and hear, then judge for yourself. People can never do better until they know better.
In my heart I truly believe there is such a strong effort to make people feel comfortable that preachers are neglecting to give the necessary truths. Inclusivity seems to be a trending thing right now. Not making people feel isolated is what seems to be significant, but it is crucial in these last days (yes I believe we are living in the last days) that leaders stand tall and not be cowards. We must learn to strike the proper balance of speaking the TRUTH in LOVE that Ephesians 4:15 tells us to get right.
Too much truth (presented unlovingly) comes across as mean, harsh and legalistic. Too much LOVE feeeeels nice, but will prove to be useless in the end when people perish. In your own time and private devotion (I hope you do have that), ask yourself if you are guilty of loving this world and the things of this world. Has your focus shifted from eternity? It does not happen over night, rather it tends to be a slow gradual drift. Enjoy your life, live well, and have fun when you can, but in doing so don’t forget what truly matters most. Yes, this is a charge.
Maybe somebody else’s blog will give you butterflies and cotton candy on this first Monday of March. ILU still.