Boy did I mess up! Honestly thought I posted the final part of this study and while reviewing, discovered its still in “drafts”! I DO apologize! With the holidays and review/refresh/plan in progress since that time I failed to notice until today.
Next… MERRY CHRISTMAS! It’s more wet than white here in Northern New Jersey…
The Pride of Life
First, a quick review of 1 John 2:16-17 which is the passage I’ve been focused on throughout this time in the Word.
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 forever.
Previously I talked about lust of the flesh and lust of the eyes… and now pride of life!
“and the boastful pride of life” refers to human pride apart from God (i.e. man trusting in his own resources). In The Jerome Bible Commentary, vol. II, Raymond Brown, a renowned Catholic Johannine scholar, says of the phrase,
“However, ἀλαζονεία [ alazoneia], found also in James 4:16, has a more active meaning then mere pride: It denotes arrogance, boastfulness, the conviction of self-sufficiency” (p. 408).
God’s glory is rich and full; man’s glory is vain and empty. People have always tried to outdo others in their spending and their getting. The boastful pride of life motivates much of what such people do. While Christmas time is a great way to celebrate Jesus… sadly American consumerism has overtaken so much of what this holiday is about. Why is it that so many folks buy houses, cars, appliances, or wardrobes that they really cannot afford? Why do they succumb to the “travel now, pay later” advertising and get themselves into hopeless debt taking vacations far beyond their means? Largely because they want to impress other people—because of their “pride of life.” They may want folks to notice how affluent or successful they are.
Most of us do not go that far, but it is amazing what stupid things people do just to make an impression. They even sacrifice honesty and integrity in return for notoriety and a feeling of importance. Yes, the world appeals to a Christian through the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. And once the world takes over in one of these areas, a Christian will soon realize it. He will lose his enjoyment of the Father’s love and his desire to do the Father’s will. The Bible will become boring and prayer a difficult chore. Even Christian fellowship may seem empty and disappointing. It is not that there is something wrong with others, however—what’s wrong is the Christian’s worldly heart.
A vain mind craves all the grandeur, equipage, and pomp of a vain-glorious life; this is ambition, and thirst after honor and applause. This is, in part, the disease of the ear; it must be flattered with admiration and praise. The objects of these appetites must be abandoned and renounced; as they engage and engross the affection and desire, they are not of the Father, but of the world, (1 John 2:16) . The Father disallows them, and the world should keep them to itself. The lust or appetite to these things must be mortified and subdued; and so the indulging of it is not appointed by the Father, but is insinuated by the ensnaring world.
Many people like to pride themselves on their family. They pride themselves on the fact that they come from a very old family and upon the fact that they belong to a certain race. There are a number of races which are very proud of that. That was the appeal which Hitler made to the German people, and it is an appeal to any race. That is a pride of life. It is that which makes us feel superior to someone else. It is found even in religion today.
Consider those who walk around spouting scripture, are maybe even active in church and “do all the right things”… Of course, wanting to impress others with their “holiness” may be the reason. To show how mature they are in Christ many do the right things for the wrong reasons and instead it shows how immature they may be. Satan took the Lord Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple and said, “Cast yourself down. A great many people will witness it, and You will demonstrate to them Your superiority.” It was probably at a feast time when many would have seen Him, but the Lord Jesus never performed a miracle in order to demonstrate His superiority. (Matthew 4:5-7)
These are the three appeals that the world makes to you and me today. But when we make our appetite-the “I wants”- our goal in life; when we attempt to make beauty our goal, or even when we attempt to make that which is religious our goal, it leads to the most distorted view of life that is possible. These things are of the world, and they become deadly. We are told that we are not to love these things because God does not love them—He intends to destroy this world system someday. What is our enemy? The world, the flesh, and the Devil. This is the same temptation which Satan brought to Eve and to the Lord Jesus. He has not changed his tactics. He brings this same temptation to you and to me, and we fall for it.
Now John gives us the reason we are not to love everything in this world!
Since the post right before Thanksgiving I’ve been reviewing the last year, and planning for the next. Setting goals and working on “the plan” to accomplish them and live according to God’s will isn’t the easiest thing I do, which is why it takes a month!
Here are a few of my goals for the year
- Be more consistent in blogging.
- Work to get Abiding Ways teaching ministry site functional
- Marketing both to increase interest
- More minimalist lifestyle work
While they seem simplistic, there is a bunch of projects in there so I will be busy for sure. I hope you will join the Facebook page and keep me accountable too. I’m kinda lonely right now. Over the last few days I’ve been posting devotionals for this last week of Advent….and hope to be more diligent to do that too.
Quite honestly, with the holidays and really getting down to the nitty-gritty of going minimalist AND installing a new bed it’s been pretty darn hectic. Add to that the continuing drip drip of a cold that doesn’t seem to know when to leave.
I will be back next year with more “Digging the Word” and a new series of lessons on Praising God! This will actually (and hopefully) begin the first Wednesday in January. Join the Facebook group to keep tabs and study with me! I hope to be getting an email newsletter going so even if you’re not into FB you’ll be able to get word.
See you next year!