Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you” (NLT). Of course it is not forbidden to love creation as the work or God or to love people living in this world. In fact the previous verses instructed us to love people! But we are not to focus on material things, the lusts of the flesh and eyes, and the ungodly principles surrounding us in our culture today. We are not to love this world as if it were our true home, but as pilgrims dwelling here with heaven as our destination. We love the people of the world, but we do not love the sinful attitudes and values they may embrace. The Father and the things of this world cannot truly be loved at the same time. “Friendship with the world is hatred toward God” (Js. 4:4).
Although I rarely think of myself as materialistic, I certainly enjoy all the creature comforts modern American life provides. And I spend most of my days distracted my chores to do, places to go, and children to raise. Precious few of my moments are spent truly loving the Father. If we were as concerned with the cleanness of our hearts are we are with our outer appearance, clothing, and dwelling places we would truly be showing our love for the Father. The things of this world pass away, decay, and are forgotten. Only what is done for God’s kingdom will last.