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 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.
The Father's thoughts and ways are much higher than mankind's ways, and so is His speech. Jesus said that He spoke in parables so that only those who truly loved Him and followed Him would be able to understand what He was saying. Also, Psalm 78, verse 2 says: I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:
Reading Romans 9:13 one day, I was stopped in my tracks:
As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
What? Why would God ever say that He hated anyone or anything? My mind could not grasp this, and I was puzzled and confused.
Thank God that in studying the Word, I recently learned that this was not a real, true "hatred" of Esau but a type of comparative speech that when you look at the blessing that God bestowed on Jacob in comparison to that of Esau it was like saying that God loved Jacob and hated Esau.
Sometimes our minds work like that; thinking just because someone has been blessed by the Creator with brains, money, possessions and what appears to the world as "anything and everything" they could ever want, that God must have loved that person more than He loved the one who was not so smart, poor and had very little in the way of worldly possessions. I remember being asked once why I thought God had blessed us in such as a way as allowing us to be born in America when so many others in the world were hurting or in need. I don't remember my exact response but I remember it being something totally stupid and incorrect and lame.
I say that it was totally stupid and incorrect now because I know what the Word says: 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.
Have the people of the United States really been blessed by God? Of course we have, in many ways, but in others maybe not so much. I read these days how thousands (and I mean like 30,000 a day) of people are coming to know the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ in countries where you wouldn't think it would be happening, like the communist countries and the muslim countries (and I mean real, true, die-for-your-beliefs saving knowledge). And, here we are in the U.S. where everyday you read about someone saying or doing something to undermine being a believer and follower of Christ and people are trying to have the name of Jesus and anything to do with Him erased from American laws and culture.
There are a lot of things that I love in this world; my husband, my children, my home, my pets, my friends, my extended family. I can think of materials things that I love, but, with all thanks to God, I know in my heart I could give those things up without a huge fight if need be. My God is a jealous God, and he wants to be first in my life. He wants to be the main love of my life and if my heart is in the right place there, then He's okay with me loving my family. He just wants the love I feel for them and everything else to be like hatred in comparison to how much I love Him.
The wonderful thing is that the more time I spend with God, the more I love Him. The better I know Him; the more I love Him and want to be with Him. There's only one way to get to know God...read His word and talk to Him about it and all the things happening in your life. I can't begin to tell you the difference it has made in my life, but I wholly encourage you to try it. The change it makes in your life may be the difference between love and hate or life and death.