Focal Passage: 1 John 2:15–27
Christians are a different breed, because God made us new creatures when we were born again. We have new desires, yet we are still vulnerable to the same temptations that gripped Adam and Eve. In this passage, John alerts the church to traps set by Satan to entangle us.
A Scottish preacher once told a story about a farmer who captured a young eagle. He put a restraint on it so it couldn’t fly, and then let it roam in the barnyard. Before long the eagle began to act like the chickens, scratching and pecking at the ground. This bird that once soared high seemed satisfied to live the barnyard life of a lowly hen.
After many months a shepherd from the mountains visited. Seeing the eagle, he said to the farmer, “What a shame to keep that bird hobbled here in your barnyard! Why don’t you let it go?” The farmer became convinced to cut off the restraint, but strangely the eagle continued to wander around, scratching and pecking. Eventually, the shepherd picked it up and set it on a high wall. For the first time in months, the eagle saw the grand expanse of blue sky and the glowing sun. Then it spread its wings and with a leap soared off, going higher and higher. At last it was acting like an eagle again.
How many Christians fall into the trap of finding their contentment in the temporal and material things of this world? They are scratching and pecking instead of enjoying the benefits of the gospel. John shows us that love for the things of the world chokes out our ability to love God and enjoy His love (2:15). Beware the traps of materialism and cultural approval. Stuff and status will not truly satisfy. Beware the erroneous teaching of those who make less of Christ and more of you. It may sound uplifting, but you will only be satisfied when Jesus is supreme in your life. These things are not from God. Seek satisfaction instead with what God has provided – His Word and His indwelling Spirit.