“If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in Him.” (1 John 2:15-17)
Well, love is in the air. As of today, we are one day away from our culture’s annual feast of love and romance called “Valentine’s Day,” or as one single adult called it, “my worst day of the year.”
Valentine’s Day is wonderful if you have someone you can call your sweetheart, but obviously for some it’s as painful as being an Orthodox Jew who is expected to sing Christmas carols. I do believe we are wired for relationship and wired to love. But that love can be co-opted and distorted and, according to our text, focused in the wrong direction.
That is the love John is warning against: a love that is misdirected, wrongly focused; a love that is truly not worthy of the name.
Don’t spend your love on that which is not worthy, not honoring to God, not lasting. Investing a life of love into a person… spouse, child, parent or brother and sister in Christ, pays eternal dividends. People will last forever. Loving this world, which is transient and temporary, is to borrow the phrase of an old mystic, like “painting firewood.” It’s all going to burn. Why dress it up?
“He who does the will of the Father will last forever.” (1 John 2:17) Make sure your investment is in the right thing. Don’t love what can’t be kept. Don’t “store up treasures on earth.” Invest in the eternal… people, the Gospel, God’s Kingdom. And that way, your love doesn’t have to end…
“Our Loving God, Your Name tells us that You are love. You define it’s essence; You alone truly shown us the nature of a love that is permanent and selfless through sending Jesus Christ as our advocate and our atonement. The love You give never fails. It never gives up. It loves even when the love You give is not reciprocal. And while we use the word often today, too many times our love is not truly reflective of Your great love for us. Please help us to love those who need it most as we look around us today. And may the love we share truly be eternal. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.”