15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

In Matthew 19, Jesus encountered a rich young ruler. The young man approached Jesus with a straightforward question: what is required to gain eternal life? Jesus responded by telling the man to keep the commandments. The man proudly informed Jesus that he had kept them all, which is debatable to say the least. Nevertheless, Jesus accepted this answer and gave the man one more piece of instruction: sell all of his belongings and give to the poor. The text says that the man went away sad because he had many possessions.

In this instance, the young man showed clear evidence of where his greatest love resided. It was not that the man was sad simply because he had many possessions. Rather, he was sad because he was unwilling to part with his many possessions. He loved the things of the world over the things of God.

The obstacle that prevented this young man from receiving eternal life is just as threatening to us today. We may not have great wealth, but we all have the capacity to be deterred from the things of God by the things of the world. Our lives will give evidence of where our true affections are found.

In 1 John 2:15, John made it clear to his readers that it is not possible to love the things of the world and the things of God equally. One will take precedence over the other. Jesus has called us to reckless love for Him and others, abandoning the things of worldly value, that we might gain true treasure in heaven.

• Does your live give more evidence that you love the things of the world or the things of God? What would others say of you?

• What things of the world might you need to abandon to pursue reckless love of Jesus?

• Pray that you would be filled with the love of the Father, and that your life would show value of the things of God over the things of the world.