"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." I John 2:15-17
Everything we have in this world, everything we own or possess, every talent, gift or ability we have, even our time and energy, is a gift from God. He gives us these things to bless us, that we in turn might bless others, thus sharing the love of God with them. They are given to us to use to glorify Him.
If we love this world, and the things of the world, we are sinning against God. First, we sin against Him by wanting the things of the devil,
because the devil is the god of this world and itís worldly desires. (see II Cor. 4:4; John 12:31;Eph. 2:2; and Eph. 6:12). Jesus rebuked the people before His death by telling them they were of their father, the devil, for if God had been their Father, they would have loved Him. (John 8:44)
No child has two fathers. We are either a child of God or a child of the devil. We cannot serve God and the devil; it is one or the other. Matt.†6:24 tells us:
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
The Bible tell us quite plainly that if we love the world, love of the Father is not in us. Love for the things of this world, whether money, material possessions, talents, or abilities, leads us to sin; the sins of ambition, selfishness and self-centeredness, greed, lusts of the flesh, envy, covetousness, pride, and idolatry. These things are all in opposition to the love of God.
Second, we are sinning against God because fail to acknowledge His provisions for us. We somehow think we have gotten or achieved or gained these things for ourselves, forgetting that:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.(James†1:17)
In Luke†12:15, Jesus told the great multitude of people who were following Him:
"Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth."
To illustrate His point, He told them this parable about a man whom God had blessed abundantly, but who loved his riches more than God:
The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
Instead of loving this world, the Bible instructs us to work toward heavenly treasures, rather than earthly ones.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.(Matt. 6:19-21)
Where our treasure is, our hearts will be also. Therefore, as we just read, if we love the world, the love of the Father is not in us. However, if we do seek the real treasure, the everlasting kind, then Godís Holy Word promises us:
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.(Matt.†6:33)
God's Word also promises us:
Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.(Psalm†37:4)
The Bible makes it quite plain that this world and itís desires will all pass away, but the one who does the will of God will live forever. It would be wise for us, when thinking of worldly riches and treasures, to remember what else the Bible tells us:
For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. (I Timothy 6:7)
And if, despite all of this, we think we still desire the things of this world, we need to take to heart this final verse of Scripture:
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matt.†16:26)