Sunday, March 26, 2017

Love the World

Love the World
March 27, 2017
2 Timothy 4:10 "for Demas, because he love this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica."

There is a fine line between loving something and having love for something. When you love something, you are personally and emotionally invested to the point of wanting to be at the epicenter of it. If you have love FOR something, you're mature in your position of that which you love; you understand it is not the epicenter of your life but respect and appreciate it. It's subtle, I know, but important, nonetheless. Hopefully you truly love the Lord. Hopefully, you truly love your spouse and family. Hopefully, you truly love the Body of Christ. But hopefully, you don't love the world. You should have a love FOR the world, wanting to see it saved, appreciating it for what it is, a fleeting time and place that will all turn to ashes and dust. If you love the world, like Demas loved the world, you will be in jeopardy of being enticed by it and carried away by it, possibly not making it to Heaven.

Demas was a friend of the apostles. He was not of the original twelve, but he was a contemporary of them. He was saved by their efforts in reaching him, and so filled with love for the Lord that he decided to accompany the disciples on their apostolic journey. He became a disciple of the disciples and wanted to carry the word of salvation to all mankind. He felt led and called into the ministry. Demas was a friend of Luke, the apostle Paul, Timothy, Philemon, and many others. Demas traveled with them; he watched and learned from their ministry; he witnessed the miracles and lives changed first hand. He truly was one of them. Demas even suffered along side of them. And then, sadly, he decided not to be one of them any longer. He left the work of the ministry; he left their side to go back to the world and live like the rest. The Bible doesn't say if Demas lost his salvation, but the Bible does say he abandoned the apostles because of his love for the world. Demas let his love FOR the world change into loving the world. He lost the healthy respect that the world was and is a fleeting thing. He loved it the wrong way and wanted to live according to its provinces.

Demas fell into the temptation of the world and what it had to offer. Remember Jesus was tempted in the desert, weakened from fasting; Satan offered Him all that the world had to offer. Jesus let His love FOR the world overshadow His love of the world. Jesus followed the will of the Father, not being tempted to have what the world had or live like the world lived. Jesus denied Himself the temptation of living like the rest of the world.

How do you live your life? Do you live like you have a love FOR the world, or do you live among them, loving the world like everyone else? There is a fine line, I know, but important nonetheless. Do you want the same cars, and houses, and vacations? You might say no, but you possibly want it to a small degree, or maybe justify it with a lesser variation. I fight the same battle, on a daily basis. Since I have to live in the world, how do I live in it but not like one of them? The disciples were a success at it; Jesus even said so. But how do I draw the line, especially since I'm not in vocational ministry? How does the world differentiate me from all the other church goers? Am I different enough while living among them that Paul wouldn't accuse me of loving the world the wrong way?  How would Paul accuse you? Would he measure your life, like he did Demas, and find that you love the world too much? While Paul is not your ultimate judge in Heaven, he at least was able to judge the worldly behaviors of Demas. What do your behaviors say about you? How do you love the world? Demas was labeled a deserter by his behaviors. 

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Matt 4:1-11, John 7:13-19, Col 4:14, 2 Tim 4:9-11, Philemon 1:24

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