Over the last few days we have been having a discussion on what it means to be a “friend of the world and an enemy of God.”
If you have missed the first two segments of our discussion you can pick them up
Today we will begin to discuss the nature of friendship with the world…
The problem is most of us can’t get out of our own way when it comes to having a relationship with God all because we won’t take Johnny Mercer’s advice. When it comes right down to it, many of us struggle in our relationship with God because we keep messin’ around with Mr. In Between or as James would put it we have a friendship with the world that makes us an enemy of God.
Folks, if this is going to change we must begin to accentuate the positive and eliminate the Negative, and I am not just talking about “thinking happy thoughts.”
John the apostle helps us to understand what we have to accentuate and eliminate when he gives us a definition of what being a friend of the world really entails.
Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 17And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. I John 2:15-17
So let’s put this to a list:
James says“Come close to God” (James 4:8)– Which means to accentuate a life in God that is a life rich in: prayer, church and study of the Bible.
John says- Eliminate a life focused on physical pleasure and comfort. (I John 2:16)
James says- Wash your hands you sinners and purify your hearts (James 4:8)– which means to accentuate a life based on Kingdom principles. Accentuate a heart that desires the things of the Kingdom of Heaven before everything else. This was the last point of last week’s sermon.
John says- Eliminate the tendency to crave and want everything we see. Stop wanting what everyone else has. Stop wanting all the creature comforts. (I John 2:16)
James says- Accentuate humility (James 4:7). This is a whole sermon series itself. I encourage you to do a study through the Bible on the subject of pride versus humility because humility is one of the most misunderstood virtues in the Bible. Suffice it to say we should accentuate the truth, which is that we are just empty vessels. Our created purpose is to be filled up and poured out, nothing more
John says- We need to eliminate the tendency we have to take credit for God’s work by thinking our achievements are all about us and our talent, when they are really only gifts from God. (I John 2:16)
Tell me which of these forms of “worldly friendship” stands out to you as the hardest to avoid?