I like today’s passage because it seems to be speaking specifically to me. John points out to those who are young in their faith particularly, that they are strong and have already won their battle with the evil one. This means that although one will continue to develop a stronger faith as one’s faith matures, even a person who has only just got to their feet, having confessed their sins to Jesus for the very first time, has won the battle with the evil one. It is the very act of repentance that defeats Satan, when you turn away from him and surrender to Jesus, you find an unbeatable source of strength.
1 John 2:12-17 NLT
I am writing to you who are God’s children because your sins have been forgiven through Jesus. I am writing to you who are mature in the faith because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning. I am writing to you who are young in the faith because you have won your battle with the evil one. I have written to you who are God’s children because you know the Father. I have written to you who are mature in the faith because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning. I have written to you who are young in the faith because you are strong. God’s word lives in your hearts, and you have won your battle with the evil one. Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
It has to be said that it is terribly difficult not be tempted by all the wonderful things available for us to enjoy in this world. But I don’t think that John is saying we shouldn’t enjoy this life at all. It is simply a question of where our priorities are I think. If we allow ourselves to be caught up in the quest for wealth, possessions and status, which are all things by which the world judges us, then we run the risk of forgetting where all that we have comes from in the first place. My goal today will be to remember the great source of strength that has been made available by my faith. God has promised that he will provide all the things we need and he promises joy, peace and rest to those who love him. Much as I am tempted, I will remember that loving the world can never possibly bring the rewards that God has to give.
Daniel 8:1-27, 1 John 2:1-17, Psalms 120:1-7, Proverbs 28:25-26