What We Love

1 John 2:15-17 (NRSV)

Do not love the world or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world; for all that is in the world—the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches—comes not from the Father but from the world. And the world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever.


By Chuck Griffin

The problem with the world is that it is so present, so right in front of us. Otherwise, the recommendation given to us in today’s text would be easy to follow.

Those objects and people we want to possess, along with those growing (we hope!) numbers in our investment accounts win most of our attention. Matters related to God are lucky to be relegated to a sleepy late evening or weekend. It’s a common pattern, one as much of a problem in the early days of the church as it is today.

If only we could see God in a sustained way. The world would dissolve like mist, and we would quickly forget its passing fancies.

That actually will happen, by the way. As Christians, we believe this world is temporary. And certainly, our lives in it are “like the morning fog,” to borrow from the fourth chapter of James.

So, how do we manage the immediacy of the world and the very detrimental effect it can have on us?

Remember that God is present in it, accessible to us any time we are in need. We live in the era where we engage with God as the Holy Spirit, who works within us and among us in the church to sustain us and empower us until we see our risen savior in full.

I’ve mentioned the means of grace before and I’ll mention them again. Pray, and God will meet you there. Delve into God’s Holy Scripture, and the Holy Spirit will speak to you in clear and undeniable ways. Live in true fellowship with other Christians, and despite their imperfections you’ll get at least an occasional glimpse of eternal life.

In all of this you will better understand God’s will for your life, and you will pursue doing his will. If you’re truly blessed, by the time you leave this world behind, you won’t be looking back.

Lord, help us to cut through the confusion of this world and see you standing nearby. Amen.

On Brevity and Eternity

By Chuck Griffin
LifeTalk Editor

Psalm 90:12: “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.”


The psalter reading for today is actually much longer, but sometimes one verse really leaps out.

This one little verse also brings to mind other Bible verses about how short life can seem. For example, James 4:14: “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.”

Or 1 Peter 1:24: “As the Scriptures say, ‘People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades.'”

Having passed the age of 50 a few years ago, I’ve noticed how these verses become more poignant and pointed. Not that there are guarantees at any age—as a young reporter covering crime and disasters, I learned that life can be surprisingly fragile. We are blessed with each new day we receive.

It’s just that for me, anyway, crossing 50 made me more mindful of how quickly life goes by. Awareness of life’s brevity does bring a certain focus to the mind, and with focus there is the possibility of new wisdom.

Regarding that 1 Peter quote above: Pulled out like that, it lacks context. Peter is being much more hopeful than we might initially think.

Yes, earthly life seems to fly by, but Peter talks about the shortness of life in the context of being “born again.” He notes that the Christian life is rooted in the word of God—the divinely given message that declares Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior—and in doing so, he also uses the word “eternal.”

Through simple belief in the work of Christ on the cross, we who are fleeting fog or wilting flowers become something that can last forever.

Lord, thank you for the miracle of life, and for the great miracle of life extended into eternity. Amen.