11/01/M – Who or What do You Love?

Daniel 8:15-27; 1 John 2:7-17; Psalms 119:160-168; Proverbs 26:24-26

Proverbs: “A hateful person disguises himself with his speech and harbors deceit within. When he speaks graciously, don’t believe him, for there are seven detestable things in his heart. Though his hatred is concealed by deception, his evil will be revealed in the assembly.” (‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭26:24-26‬ ‭CSB)

Most people who harbor hatred in their heart do it secretly. They won’t come out and openly admit that they have hate toward another person or group of people. Instead they mask their hatred with kind words. This is very apparent in the realm of politics, where politician use smooth and deceitful words to hide their true motivations against a group of people or a particular belief. Where there is unrighteous hatred, there will be darkness and deception – but eventually the evil motivations will be revealed and brought out into the light.

NT: “The one who says he is in the light but hates his brother or sister is in the darkness until now. The one who loves his brother or sister remains in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his brother or sister is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and doesn’t know where he’s going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes… 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. For everything in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s possessions — is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.” (‭‭1 John‬ ‭2:9-11, 15-17‬ ‭CSB)

As the proverb above explained, hatred, darkness and deception go hand in hand. Where there is Godly love, you will also find light, truth and life. Because hatred is born out of darkness, those who harbor hatred for another will be blinded by that hatred and will ultimately stumble and fall. In order to see clearly, you must rinse unrighteous hatred from your heart and put on love and light. One cannot fellowship with God if that person has hatred for God’s people. There are people in our day that claim to have a love for God, but a hatred toward His church. According to John, that cannot be. A love for God will manifest itself into a love for His people. If you have hatred in your heart for other believers, and believe that you truly love God, you are deceived and blinded.

In putting on the love of God, there is one thing that we are not to love: the world and the things (material trappings) of the world. Sometimes the word “world” can refer to the natural world that we live on. Other times, the word “world” can refer to the people of the world. In this case, the word “world” refers to the systems of this world which are informed and motivated by the kingdom of darkness. While the kingdom of God is based on love and humility, the systems of the world are founded on lust and pride. The lust of the flesh has to do with the things that the flesh desires and lusts after – as in sexual lusts or physical addictions. The lust of the eyes has to do with coveting and desiring what you see that is not yours. The pride of life (or in this translation, the pride in one’s possessions) is the drive to make a name for yourself through selfish ambition and self-promotion. Those are the sins of Satan. Those are the lures that Satan used to deceive Adam and Eve. Those are the temptations that Jesus faced in the wilderness. Those who love the world will be driven by the lusts and pride of the world. Jesus overcame the world through a love for the word, will and ways of The Father. If we cultivate a love for God, His word, will and ways, and obey His will in faith, we too will overcome the world by grace.

Psalms: “Princes have persecuted me without cause, but my heart fears only your word. I rejoice over your promise like one who finds vast treasure. I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your instruction. I praise you seven times a day for your righteous judgments. Abundant peace belongs to those who love your instruction; nothing makes them stumble. Lord, I hope for your salvation and carry out your commands. I obey your decrees and love them greatly. I obey your precepts and decrees, for all my ways are before you.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:161-168‬ ‭CSB)

There is a righteous hatred. The psalmist declared that he hated and abhorred falsehood (deception, fraud, lies). However, he greatly loved, and therefore obeyed, the word of God. It was through this love for God and God’s word, coinciding with a hatred for deception and darkness, that brought the psalmist abundant peace. The same can be true of us.

Prayer: Lord, I thank You that as I love you, that will manifest in me a love for Your people. I thank You that as I love You and love Your people, I will not be blinded by hatred and will be able to clearly walk in light and life. I thank You that as I love and obey Your word, will and ways, I will be able to overcome the world just as You overcame the world. Grow in me a love for Your word, will and ways and a hatred for the things of this world as I walk in the light by faith. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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