Skip to main content

1 John 2:16: All That is in the World

1 John 2:16
[16] For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. (ESV)

How do you define success?  A great career?  A large 401K Retirement fund?  Being publicly recognized?  Fame?  All of these things that I just mentioned are part of what the world and its values have to offer.  If we chase after all of these things in order to feel that we are a success in life the Apostle John has a word for us.  Do not chase after the desires of the flesh, eyes, and pride of life.  That is not from your Heavenly Father, but from the world.

Do you find this verse a shock to your system?  After all, doesn't God care about us being successful?  What is wrong with us being happy?  What is bad about recognition?  The point is this.  For the believer in Jesus Christ we live for God's glory. We do not live for our glory.  God may at times allow you to experience material wealth or "success," but we are not to seek those things, we are to seek Him and his righteousness. Listen to what the Apostle Paul says about possessions:

Philippians 3:8
[8] Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ (ESV)

Paul had recognition.  He was a pharisee of pharisees.  He was successful according to the world's standards.  Yet, he counted everything as rubbish compared to pursuing the knowledge of Christ Jesus.  That should be our focus as well.

Are you pursuing Jesus Christ?  Or are you pursuing things of this world?  Are you living for God's glory? Or are you living for your own glory? Ask the Lord to show you where your heart is.