Loving the World – Day 22

22 May 2023

3.5 MINS

Focus

Shift the Nation: 24/7 Prayer 12–22 May 2023

Intention

To align ourselves with God’s love for the people in the world, while shunning the things of this world.

Scripture

“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 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. 

And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”

– 1 John 2:15–17

Reflection

In one of the most confronting passages in the New Testament, the apostle John tells us, “Do not love the world”.

And yet the most famous verse in the Bible says this: “For God so loved the world, that he gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

So which is it? God has told us not to love the world, but here He says that He loves the world. Is he making one rule for us and one rule for himself? Is God being a hypocrite?

Not at all. When Scripture says that God loves the world, it’s not saying that God loves the world’s trinkets and toys. God is not like us – constantly in need of satisfaction, looking to anything that might fill an unnamed emptiness. That might be our problem, but it’s not His.

“God loves the world” means God loves the people in the world. Just read the rest of the verse. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Not just as individuals, but as a human race, we’ve turned away from God. In place of the Father’s love, every person on this planet is medicating him/herself with things that will never satisfy.

Our problem isn’t just that the world can’t satisfy us. It’s that we’ve loved the world and become enemies of God. Enemies of God? Yes, that is in fact what Romans 5:10 teaches.

God’s word to us is, “turn away from those things that don’t satisfy you, turn to me and be satisfied and live!” But we’ve ignored Him, and gone on in our envy and selfishness and pride and lust – these things God hates. We’ve made ourselves His enemies. We don’t just need fulfilment. We need forgiveness. We need to be reconciled to God.

That’s what “For God so loved the world” is about. God gave his only Son so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. Jesus went to the cross in our place. Jesus became God’s enemy so that we could become God’s friend.

When we believe in Jesus, we become God’s friend. We’re reconciled back to God and our relationship with him is restored. We can know the love of the Father. We become his beloved son or daughter. The Father’s love fills us and meets all of our deepest needs.

Do you love the world? We can love the world, and we should love the world – but in a totally different way. Not for its bright shiny lights and temporary kicks. Not for what we can get out of it. But for what we can give.

We can tell the world that in Jesus, we’ve found the Father’s love, and it’s all we’ll ever need – and that they can know Him, too.

Video

 

Prayer

Father, thank you for your sacrificial love and for reconciling us back to Yourself through Jesus. Help us to be agents of Your love and to love the world as You did. We declare that Your love is all that we need and all that this world needs. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Kurt MahlburgAuthor Bio

Kurt Mahlburg continues to work with Canberra Declaration as he and his wife, Angie, serve in South-East Asia. He hosts his own blog at Cross + Culture and is also a contributor at the Spectator AustraliaMercatorNetCaldron Pool and The Good Sauce. Kurt is also a published author. He recently authored the book Cross and Culture: Can Jesus Save the West?

Prayer Points and Purpose for GO 2023 in May

  1. To worship Jesus and give extravagant praise to God. Heb 12:28–29
  2. Pray that the Lamb who was slain might receive the reward for His suffering. Rev 5:6–14
  3. Pray for revival for Australia and for millions to find Christ. Isa 64:1–2
  4. Pray for revival for Israel and millions to find Christ. Rom 10:1
  5. Pray for five friends to find Christ and share the gospel with those five in May. Matt 28:18–20

We invite you to support this prayer campaign to multiply prayer in Australia for revival and see millions come to Christ. Every donation to the Canberra Declaration helps us promote prayer and make a stand for Family, Faith, Freedom, Life, and the Good News of God’s love through Jesus Christ His Son.

Join us for our nightly Zoom prayer call:

DATES: Every night for the month of May

TIME: 8pm AEST

ZOOM URL LINK: https://zoom.us/j/776881184

ZOOM MEETING ID: 776881184

ZOOM TUTORIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFhAEoCF7jg

May Daily Devotionals: https://dailydeclaration.org.au/tag/go-2023-prayer

Daily devotions are brought to you by the Canberra Declaration.

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