Tuesday in the Sixth Week of Easter

1 John 2:12-17

Encouragement in a Difficult World

I’ve said it somewhere already – that the world is not our friend.  John bears that out again and again, in his gospel, his letters, and Revelation.  (Bear in mind that we do not mean “world” in the sense of the natural world, but “world” under the dominion of sin.)  The world, in John’s writings, is the means whereby we are tempted to sin.  It brings before us desires that are not of God.  That is why John can say, “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

And how does the world tempt us, or better, how does Satan use the world to tempt us?  One way is through the desires of our flesh.  Now here again, we mean not our bodies in and of themselves, but our bodies under the dominion of the sinful nature.  These are sinful desires that arise from our sinful nature, such as sexual immorality, greed, and intemperance.  The desire of the eyes is much the same since the eyes are often the way that temptation enters into the soul.  Lust and envy are two examples.  We see something that we want for our own pleasure, without regard to the harm it may do to ourselves or to others, and certainly without regard to God’s wishes.  Pride of possessions is obvious as it speaks to arrogance and vanity, as we desire for the prospect of show.

These are the ways that Satan uses the world to turn us away from the Lord.  This is why the world is not our friend.  And what is even worse: the world will not benefit those who become slaves to it; indeed, in the end, it will utterly betray them since “the world is passing away along with its desires.”

So John encourages us.  He singles out three different groups, which some understand literally and some figuratively.  He singles out children because they know the Father and their sins are forgiven.  He singles out young men because they are strong and have overcome the evil one.  He singles out fathers because they know “him who is from the beginning.”  If we will be sure to fall into these three groups, we can face the wiles of the devil and ward off the temptations of the world.  The heavenly world will not betray us, as this world will.  There, we shall have an eternal reward, kept in heaven for us, ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:4-5).

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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