Yesterday morning I was humbled and blessed by the opportunity to preach at my home church, Winnipeg Centre Vineyard. We’re currently studying the book of 1 John and my message was from chapter 2 verses 15-17.
In these verses John, who has been all about the love for the first part of this book, says something shocking. He says “Do not love the world” and immedietly it looks as though he’s contradicting himself. However, what he’s really saying is “don’t love the world’s ways and the world’s goods.” (The Message)
John then goes on to define what “the world’s ways” are and lists the following 3 desires. As you read them ask yourself if you’ve been caught up in these wants.
1. Wanting your own way
2. Wanting everything for yourself
3. Wanting to appear important
I can relate to all of these desries, and at different times I get caught up in each one. But what’s so wrong with wanting my own way? Why shouldn’t I keep what’s rightfully mine, to myself? And why wouldn’t I try to make a name for myself – earn a little respect and credibility in the world?
Here’s John’s response: All of those desires have “nothing to do with the Father. [They] just isolate you from him.”
The last things I want is to be isolated from my Father. And the world’s ways, specifically these selfish desires, are not the way Jesus modelled for us to live. If we really want the full, satisfying, fulfilling and abundant life he promises, we need to follow his way.
Jesus didn’t want his way, he wanted the Father’s way.
He didn’t keep everything for himself, but gave his very life for us!
The Son of God didn’t come to appear important, but to be the servant of all.
When we embrace his way instead of the world’s way, we truly find rest for our souls.
I watched the movie 127 Hours last week. It amazed me to watch a man last nearly 6 days on only half a bottle of water. And when he finally got “unstuck” (that’s putting it mildly), the one thing he wanted was a drink – he was literally dying of thirst. The first bit of water he came across was a filthy pond, not more than a big puddle, covered in scum, stale and rancid from sitting in the sun for days. He dove in head first and drank deeply from the shallow puddle. And though it may have satisfied him for the moment, I’m certain it made him sick later. What he really needed was pure, fresh water.
Are you drinking from the shallow, scummy puddles of the world’s way when your soul is really thirsting for a drink from the living well?
Embracing the way modelled for us by Jesus is to drink from the living well. Here’s how Jesus explained it to the woman at the well,
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)