They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is for ever praised. Amen
Romans 1:25 (NIV)
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 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. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives for ever.
1 John 2:15-17 (NIV)
Finding purpose and meaning in life can be elusive. Many people struggle with it and as a result try to find satisfaction and meaning in what the world can provide. If you’ve ever read the book of Ecclesiastes you will know it is about a man who is seeking meaning in life. He samples all that the world has to offer to fill the aching void inside himself. What he finds is that worldly pleasures give fleeting satisfaction, but not meaning.
When Paul wrote his letter to the church at Rome, he used the words ‘created things’ to describe what some people use to replace God in their lives – in other words, something meaningless. Of course Paul was probably thinking about idols and idol worship. He couldn’t have understood that in the 21st century we would live in such a technologically advanced age that some people would value their possessions (homes, cars, computers, phones, etc.) above God. Society marvels at the things that we humans can create, but fails to marvel at the one who gave us the ability to do so.
John in his first letter uses the words ‘lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life’ to describe exactly the same issue. He knew that people can sometimes seek meaning in things that satisfy the body, possessions and power/position. While there is nothing inherently wrong in any of these things (in their correct context), the problem is when we use them to replace God, then these things can become gods to us.
The verses above from 1 John 2 end with: The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives for ever.
So get things in perspective. Enjoy life, but remember that there are things that are of eternal importance.
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