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Weekly Encouragement

8 Things We Ought Not Love

We know that we ought to love God with all our heart, soul, and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5), we know that we ought to love our neighbor as ourselves (Leviticus 19:18), and we know that whoever doesn’t love cannot know God because God is love (1 John 4:8).  Yet we continually fall short in terms of loving others.

Why?

Why can’t we love the way God wants us to?  First it’s because we need God to love through us.  Without Him, we’re incapable of genuine love.  And secondly we give our love away to things we shouldn’t instead of what God wants us to love.

So here’s our list of 8 things we ought not to love:

1.  Praise

Jesus taught many times about the perils of doings things, even acts of service to God and your fellow man, for the praise of men.

He said things like: “When you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you . . . when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:3-6)

2. Money

Who didn’t see this one coming? It’s that age-old root of evil, not money, but the love of money.  Why do we love it so?  We love it because we don’t have to worry so much when we have it.  Wean pay our bills, we can buy our food, and we can even buy a little R &R.  We don’t need God at all when our bank accounts are flush.

But Jesus says, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:33-34)

3.  Possessions

I’m writing this article on a MacBookPro.  I love this MacBook Pro.  But it’s almost three years old now, and I’m itching for a new one, much to my wife’s chagrin.  Yet, I do not love it enough to hold tightly to it.  I recognize that it’s a gift from God to do the work that I need to do, and as such I use it to bring Him glory.  There is nothing in my home that I see as mine.  How about you?

Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all, and in your hand is power and might; and it lies in your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone. Now therefore, our God, we thank you, and praise your glorious name. But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from you, and from your hand we have given you. (1 Chronicles 29:12-14)

4. Violence

Our world is full of violence right now and not just physical violence; it’s full of insinuated violence.  Movies and television shows fictionalize violence.  Video games simulate violence.  And nothing is considered newsworthy if it doesn’t have some violence in it.  We debate a lot about whether these things are good for children, but most think it’s just fine for adults to love this violent entertainment.

Here’s what God says, “The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates.” (Proverbs 11:5)  Notice it does not say, “Those who love committing violence just “those who love violence”.

5.  The World

This world is temporary.  There’s a saying I’ve heard around that goes something like this: “Don’t be so heavenly minded you’re no earthly good.”  Don’t buy into this kind of lie; it comes straight from the Devil himself.  If you’re not heavenly minded, you will be no earthly good because the things of this world are passing away.

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2:15-17)

6.  Idols

There’s often this notion that idolatry means either making a graven image or calling it a god or setting something in your life up as a priority over God like football or shopping.  The truth is anything you love other than God is an idol, even if it’s just .05% of your love, and God has the other99.95%.  God wants all your love.

I wrote an in depth study on this issue inane article called Flee From Idolatry in the past, but let me just reiterate that the command says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5)  There’s no room for anything else if you love Godwit aloof those things.

7.  Evil

Have you ever noticed what’s gotten popular in our literature and cinema these days? Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and sorcerers are everywhere what with Twilight, Harry Potter, Underworld, and fill-in-the-blank scary movie of the week.  And while these kinds of stories have been circulating for a while, these characters used to be the villains; now, they’re the heroes.  How did that happen?

It’s because we’re living in a generation that doesn’t just have evil tendencies; they love evil. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. (Romans 12:9)

8.  Lies

Finally, do not love the lies of the enemy, and there are a lot of them floating around.  This video from Project brings to light a few of them:

There is only one place to findtruth: “The Spirit of truth will guide you into all truth. He will not speak onhis own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet tocome.” (John16:13)
P.S. I highly recommend the Truth Project; if you have theopportunity to go through the curriculum, you should.

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