Build a life that lasts
15 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. 16For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
1 John 2:15-17
A life that lasts, it is what God wants for us. It is a movement from inordinate concern for our success to delight in our significance emerging in the truth and grace of our Saviour.
The elder John is concerned for the continued growth and development of the disciples of Jesus from their new birth in Christ Jesus, to their growth in His Word to become strong and courageous in character, and then to become reproducers sharing the Father’s heart. But John knows that Satan and the greedy desires of the heart can derail growth. So he commands them: Do not love the world.
The “world” here is not specifically a reference to creation or to people, but rather to the system of belief and thinking, attitudes and actions, that are independent of the Heavenly Father. He knows that we live “in” the world, but he also knows we do not have to be “of” it. Jesus has set us apart, even as He was set apart for the glory of the Heavenly Father. Such autonomy and independence from God does not originate in His love.
Three approaches to life that are “normal” to our cultures and societies ruin us for a life that lasts. John calls them the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes and the pride of life.
The desires of the flesh
The impulse of fallen human nature to satisfy physical desires in ways that are not of God.
The desires of the eyes
The shortsighted desire to live for only what one sees physically, without a thought for its real or eternal value.
The pride of life
The temptation to make worldly things and wealth our source of security and pridefully overlooking our need for and dependence on God.
Here’s the problem with this kind of life. It has destruction as its end. It will abandon the virtues God calls for in Christ and it seeks a victory that has nothing to do with Jesus. John says this kind of life will not last. The world and these desires are passing away (verse 17).
The Life that Lasts
But, the person who does the will of God abides forever. This person will last. Their life will last. It is the will of the Father, that you and I find our greatest joy, satisfaction, and even life in His Son, Christ Jesus. What you do in Christ Jesus, with Him, and in congruence with His character will last. Dependence on Jesus, humility and sacrifice, courage and love will matter into eternity. Its never wasted! This kind of life will last!