Who Do You Love?

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Do not love the world or the things in the world. 1 John 2:15

 

The entire adult Sunday school class loved Bill and Sue’s parties. They had been “blessed abundantly” by the Lord so their get-togethers were something to talk about. And this one was no exception. They rented the Riverboat Queen complete with two bands, one for each deck, gourmet catering, professional photographers and child care back on the jetty which included free arcades.

Each band played to perfection and the food was delectable. They even included beer and wine since they were all adults, after all. The party lasted for nearly four hours. Since they were picked up by a bus, those who were a teensy bit tipsy had no reason to worry. All in all, the night was a smashing success. In some cases, smashing was an accurate description.

The next morning in Sunday class, there was a strong scent of breath mints and mouth wash with a few headaches. It seems the Bible class had a little too much fun at the party. Surprisingly, Bill asked if he could speak before the lesson.

“Last night, or rather, early this morning, I was awakened by something. I’m not sure if you call it God or the Holy Spirit but He woke me up and brought me to my knees. I must repent to all of you for having these worldly parties, ignoring the presence of God and causing you to stumble as well. If Jesus had shown up at our party I would have cried out for forgiveness. My heart aches as I consider how far away from God I have strayed and, consequently, brought so many of you with me.”

At first his words were greeted by silence, then slight anger and embarrassment; but then the tears began to flow as contrite hearts called out to God for forgiveness and healing. Friends hugged and prayed for each other as they admitted their shallow and carnal behavior, not just on the boat but in their lives every day.

Because of Bill’s confession and repentance, many of the class followed his example, pouring out their hearts to each other, just as the Bible encourages us to do.

  • James 5:16  So confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great effectiveness.
  • 1 John 1:9  But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness.
  • James 4:4  You are like unfaithful wives, flirting with the glamour of this world, and never realizing that to be the world’s lover means becoming the enemy of God! Anyone who deliberately chooses to love the world is thereby making himself God’s enemy.
  • 1 John 2:15-17  Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love these things you show that you do not really love God;16 for all these worldly things, these evil desires—the craze for sex, the ambition to buy everything that appeals to you, and the pride that comes from wealth and importance—these are not from God. They are from this evil world itself. 17 And this world is fading away, and these evil, forbidden things will go with it, but whoever keeps doing the will of God will live forever.

 

In our world of personal rights, striving for success and adding more each year to our financial wealth, God is reminding us and putting into perspective our sinful focus on pleasure and desiring the trinkets and comforts of the world. Instead of gathering together for “fun and fellowship”, we should be on our knees, filled with grief and sorrow that we have allowed ourselves to blend in with the world and its desires. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honor!” James 4:10

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