Love What Matters

Collide  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  53:07
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Today, we are concluding a series that we began several weeks ago called Collide. So far, we laid the foundation of standing firm in our faith when the world attempts to convince us of a different value system. Next, we talked about the importance of allowing God to transform our minds, and from there, our lives. Then, last week, we spoke about receiving truth from God’s Word, while both holding onto it and giving it away.
Today, as we close out this series, I want to look at a very important four-letter word. That word is LOVE.


My message today is titled, Love What Matters.
If you have your Bible, go with me to First John. I want to read three verses for my text. Those verses are found in chapter 2 of first John.
1 John 2:15–17 NIV
15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
Before we continue on the subject of Love, I want to first define what John is talking about when he uses the word “World”.
The term “world”, which is kosmos in the Greek, is used all throughout the New Testament. It often refers to the vast world system that exists independent of God and it is basically opposed to him. This is how things in the world has operated ever since Adam and Eve gave in to Satan’s temptation, disobeyed God and brought the curse of sin upon all of creation.
When Adam and Eve defied God, they gave up the authority over creation that God had originally delegated to them. Satan then took control and began to dominate human endeavors with his evil purposes.
1 John 5:19 NIV
19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.
This means that the “world” in its present condition is characterized not only by wicked, immoral and selfish lifestyles, but also by a spirit of rebellion and indifference toward God and his revelation.
So, when John is using the term “world”, he is using it to describe a world that is controlled by Satan. So, with that being said, I believe that God is giving us three solid points for us to live by from these three verses.

We Can’t Love the World and Love the Father

1 John 2:15 NIV
15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.
You must love God. And we must love other believers as well. But we must stop loving the world and all that it offers.
It is so important that we commit our life to loving God. And you and I should love the people of the world enough to share God’s message with them.
Satan has a hold on this evil world. His world opposes God and his followers and Satan tempts us away from God and into sin.
James 4:4 NIV
4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
John wanted to show his readers that to attempt to love both God and the world would be as impossible as trying to combine light and darkness.
1 John 1:5 NIV
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
When John is speaking this word he is not saying that we are to remove ourselves from all contact with the sinful world, that would be impossible. And he is not saying that we are to refrain from anything pleasurable. The only time that we should do this is when those pleasures disagree with God’s word.
So, as believers, we have to find a way to Love God, not love the world and live in the world and share God’s love with the world.

John Identifies 3 Desires that are From the World

These three desires are subjective because they speak of attitudes of the heart. As believers we can look perfectly clean on the outside, but then harbor any or all of these attitudes on the inside. John is warning us to restrain from these desires.
1 John 2:16 NIV
16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.

1. The Desires of the Flesh

Or as he puts it the lust of the flesh. This is our thoughts, our will, our desires, our actions. Jesus spoke of how adultery begins not with the act, but with the desire.
Matthew 5:28 NIV
28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
These words picture any kind of desire but especially the craze for sex. Everywhere we look you can see sex in all of its immoral and grotesque forms. You can see it all throughout movies, television, magazines, and computer screens. Why? Because it appeals to the sinful nature.
And while this desire seems to refer mostly to sexual lust, it could include any sort of selfish or greedy cravings simply to satisfy one’s physical desires in rebellion against God.

2. The Desires of the Eyes

This would be of course anything that is seen. When you think about things that you see, you could put anything that has to do with cravings and accumulating possessions. Materialism. I want this, I want that, this mentality makes us greedy and it doesn’t want to let go. As believers we must not become obsessed with what we see. And while sex may also be included here, people’s “eyes” can lust after many things.

3. The Desires of Life

This refers to both the inward attitude and the outward boasting because of an obsession with one’s status or possessions.
Each one of these desires show selfishness and greed. These sins, begin almost unnoticed within the heart and they become temptations that lead to the sin’s working in people’s lives.
The last thing that John is telling us here in this passage in found in verse 17.
1 John 2:17 NIV
17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

The Only Way to Live Forever is to Do the Will of God

The people that are here on earth who live in rebellion to God are focusing on a world that is already fading away.
Think about this for a moment.
The workaholic will die unfulfilled. The greedy politician will die in despair. The pleasure-mad party-goers will find their lives ruined by drugs or alcohol. Indulgence never satisfies; it only whets the appetite for more.
Christians though, they understand that the world will not last forever and that no one lives on this planet forever.
And if you will turn away from the sinful world and hold on to God then you will hold on to the eternal. If you place your trust in God they you have already begun a life everlasting.
And as a church that is what we are here for. We are here to help you to live forever. We are here to help you do the will of God. Everything that we do is about people.
Are we perfect yet? Absolutely not. But we are working towards that. And we are wanting to walk with you and help you to be all that you can be in Christ.
Maybe you have noticed 3 little words on the doors of this church. Maybe you haven’t. Maybe you haven’t heard me say them enough. If that is the case then I have failed. But these 3 words is what we want to help you do.
First, understand this, everything that we do as a church is about people. And it doesn’t matter if it is white people, black people, red people, yellow people, or purple people. We want to help people be all they can be in Christ.
And we believe that in order for you to be all that God wants you to be, we, the church, CTC, has to help you do 3 things.

1. Seek After God

We must provide ways and opportunities for you to seek after God.
How do we do that? Sunday morning worship services. Wednesday Night Bible Studies. Bracken writes out a devotion that goes along with the sermon each and every week. That devotion is posted on Facebook and our Faithlife app. We want to help you in any way we can to seek after God. But you have to want to do that. As we grow, we are going to look for more ways to help you seek after God. So SEEK is the first word.

2. Connect with Other Believers

As a church, CTC, we must provide ways and opportunities for you to connect with other believers.
How do we do that? We have a time before the morning service where you connect with each other and have a cup of coffee. We provide times of fellowship every month with our ladies coffee and men’s breakfast. We have times throughout the year where we get together for fellowship like when we did the tailgate party, the fall fest, and the block party.
Wednesday nights is a great time for you to connect with other believers. And as we grow we will provide more opportunities for you to connect with people. But you have to want to do that. It’s like the old saying, “you can lead the horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” I can provide all the opportunities for you to make connections but I can’t force you to do them.
So, the second word is CONNECT.

3. Reach the Unbelievers

God has called every believer to reach out into the world and reach the unbelievers. You and I are called to go into the “world” and make disciples.
As a church, we will provide opportunities for you to reach unbelievers with the gospel, but the church can only do so much. At some point as believers we have to get off the milk and start eating solid food so that we can grow in our faith and in turn be able to reach those that do not know Christ.
We provide opportunities for you to do this through things like the Halloween Neighborhood Outreach, Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, Our monthly food pantry, the blessing bag homeless ministry, our annual fishing derby, and many other opportunities.
Wednesday night is also a great way to do this through Royal Rangers and Girl’s Ministries. Get involved in the ministries that this church provides so that you can reach people.
The third word is REACH.
This is who we want to be as a church. As a church we have to learn to Love What Matters. People matter to God so, therefore, they should matter to us. Everything that we do is about People.
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