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All That is in the World

One of Jesus’ disciples makes an interesting observation about the world. John points out three temporary pleasures that the world offers: the lust of the flesh, the lust of your eyes, and the pride of life. These words appear to be a continuation of Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 6:19-24. These earthly treasures speak to human beings through enticement and lust. This is all that is in the world.

For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself], 1 John 2:16.

The concept that sex sells appeals to the lust of the flesh. Whether this is in the form of advertising. commercials, or scenes from a movie, these images are designed to entice your cravings for sensual gratification. The second form of lust coincides with Jesus’ third temptation in Matthew 4:8-10. The Devil offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world in exchange for his worship. The lust of the eyes plants a seed in minds for seeking control and power on earth.

And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever, 1 John 2:17.

The final temporary pleasure that the world offers is the pride of life. This ungodly belief makes some people think that you can control your own destiny. This desire is what has caused some in Hollywood to believe that they are God. Unfortunately, the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, 2 Corinthians 4:4. You may try to fill the void in your heart with all that is in the world, but only Jesus satisfies, John 10:10.

by Jay Mankus

I Saw I Thought I Felt

The spirit of lust was conceived with a second glance at a ripe piece of fruit in the Garden of Eden, Genesis 3:6. One of Jesus’ disciples refers to this internal desire as the lust of the flesh. Eve’s lustful glimpse started an unhealthy trend that now pushes the envelope further and further with each passing generation. According to Jesus, you can break one of the ten commandments, committing adultery when a look leads to a sexual longing, Matthew 5:27-29.

Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself]. 17 And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever, 1 John 2:15-17.

When Eve began staring at forbidden fruit hanging from the Tree of Knowledge, thoughts began to race through her mind. Instead of obeying the only rule laid out by God, Genesis 2:15-17, a cunning serpent planted ungodly beliefs into her brain. The apostle Paul explains this internal battle in the passage above and in Galatians 5:16-18. When thoughts switch your focus from God toward selfish desires, it’s only a matter of time before sin is conceived, James 1:13-15.

For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit. Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever]. [That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot, Romans 8:5-7.

After you see and think, lives will begin to chase after feelings. Immediately following the first act of sin, Adam and Eve were overwhelmed by a feeling of guilt, Genesis 3:7-11. If you keep breaking God’s laws or can’t escape falling prey to temptation, people gradually change for the worse. Spiritual leaders in the Old Testament began to do what was first in their own eyes, Judges 21:25. This course of action is a byproduct of seeing, thinking, and feeling. The next time you sense yourself sliding in the wrong direction, look for the way out, 1 Corinthians 10:13.

by Jay Mankus

Terminators of the Faith

The decade of the 1980’s gave birth to an unusual phenomena, the desire to embrace bad boys.  Thus, as The Terminator series was introduced in 1984 starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, for many people fantasy turned into reality.  Whether it is a coincidence or not, three years later the Jamaican reggae group Inner Circle first released Bad Boys on their One Way album.  Two years later this song was re-released on Identified which was then adopted as the theme song of the show Cops.

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them, 1 John 2:15.

In a chapter dedicated to explaining the concept of spiritual warfare, Ephesians 6, the apostle Paul compares Satan to a skilled warrior who shoots flaming arrows at his enemies.  If the shield of faith is not used to defend yourself, battles will be lost.  Earlier in his teaching, Paul refers to bringing a knife to a gun fight so to speak in 2 Corinthians 10:3-4.  Essentially, if you don’t arm yourself with the right spiritual weapons, you will be unable to overcome the terminators of the faith.

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 John 2:16.

The Christian group Tribe of Dan illustrates this in their song The Beast of Lust.  Everyone has a weakness, vulnerable to specific temptations.  Once hooked, these bad habits turn into addiction, causing wondering eyes to crave for more and more.  When you reach the point of no return, the pride of life takes over, telling you, “everything is alright or I can handle this.”  If intervention does not occur, this downward spiral leads to what C.S. Lewis calls diabolical pride, where you are right and everyone else is wrong.  If you find yourself trapped, held captive by these terminators of the faith, may the Holy Spirit show you the way out of your predicament, 1 Corinthians 10:12-13.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

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