Sei sulla pagina 1di 5

Pacific at the Movies The Joneses 1 John 2:15-17 Video Trailer The Joneses isnt particularly a good movie

e but it is a remarkable movie. Its okay to watch. It doesnt particularly have moving scenes by amazing actors but it does something that is surprising in a Hollywood movie it shines a light on us and on our culture. In some respects this movie is like an expose and its message needs to be taken seriously. This is why Ive chosen this movie as the last in our summer series Pacific at the Movies. It is the other bookend, if you will to the movie we began our summer series with Wall Street. Let me encourage you to listen to the Wall Street message on the podcast if you missed it because these two movies are an important set in helping a follower of Jesus understand the culture we live in and how to live in the culture. For those of you who havent watched the Joneses, the Joneses appear to be the perfect family. They seem to have everything. And the movie is presented in such a way that you want it as does everybody else they come in contact with. You see their house, their furniture, their Audi R8, their clothes and their accessories. You are made to feel like life would be so much better if you had these things as well. What you quickly realize and what leaves you feeling a little embarrassed is that this isnt actually a family. This is a business. This is a unit, as theyre called, of a man and a woman and two teenagers who are literally employed to make people lust after what they have. It is a part of unapologetic stealth marketing and as the ripples of their marketing wash through the community it exposes a culture that is driven by a god named image that eventually leads one person to suicide when he cant maintain the image and leads a number of others to recognize this false god for what it is and to turn their backs on it. As youve probably realized this movie is a portrayal of a very familiar North American expression and value. Who of us hasnt heard the expression, keeping up with the Joneses. I value this movie because it exposes how shallow and bankrupt this pursuit is. The Bible speaks directly to this issue and challenges us about what it means to live as a follower of Jesus in this world. Id like you to turn with me to a small but powerful book in the New Testament called First John. In chapter 2 verses 15 to 17 we read, 15 Do not love the

world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessionsis not from the Father but is from the world. 17And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. As the bankruptcy of keeping up with the Joneses is exposed this passage reveals three ways to live our lives by a completely different standard. First we understand the world, second we understand our desires and third we understand life. Think with me about understanding the world. Verse 15 tells us ,Do not love this world nor the things it offers to you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. The word world is a very important one for us to understand because we live in this world. Were born into it, we grow in it, we learn in it, and we love in it. In other words were immersed in it. To complicate this even more many of you may be familiar with a promise from God that has made all the difference in our lives. John 3:16, the same John, who was led by the Holy Spirit to write the Gospel of John as well as these three epistles of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John. But John 3:16 assures us of this life changing, eternity altering truth, 16"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. What does John mean when he says, Do not love this world nor the things it offers you? Which is it? Were not supposed to love the world but God does? Well I recently heard a speaker talk about this and he used an illustration to explain. So thanks to Shane Hipps Ill ask you the question, 1. who owns an iPhone? 2. Who owns an iPhone and is married? 1. Is your love for your iPhone the same as the love you have for your wife? 2. Are you aware that God loves you? 3. Does God love you the same way that you love your iPhone? 4. Is the love that God has for you the same kind of love that you have for your wife? Similar (unconditional) What I want you to notice with me is that we use the same word love to express different kinds of love. The english word love has a tremendous range of meaning to it. We use it to describe how we feel

about sushi to our iPhone to competing in triathlons to our friends, spouse, children and even God. One of the words that the Bible uses for love, agape is very similar with a wide range of meaning. God can agape (love) the kosmos (world) while at the same time tell us not to agape the world because, and we need to get this, its not about the world so much as it is about how we love. Why do I say that? Because 1 John 2 tells us 15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessionsis not from the Father but is from the world. So secondly to break free from the bankruptcy of keeping up with Jonses we need to UNDERSTAND OUR DESIRES. Gods agape, Gods love enters into the world redemptively. When you and I agape the world the dangers are around three things, what John calls, the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes and thirdly pride in our possessions. Let me ask, are our desires always a bad thing? An evil thing? Not necessarily. This word is neutral. I want to remind you that the passage of Scripture that was our guide through the movie Wall Street was 1 Timothy 6 and verse 17 tells us, 17As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. Again here is this contrast of these extremes. Dont do this but do this. Realize where your desires and cravings can take you while recognizing and even enjoying and thanking God that He is the One who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. So what does that tell us? John says there is the desire of the flesh that while it can be good, in other words its okay to savor a fine meal, a nice malbec, the physical intimacy you share with your spouse there is the danger of the desire of the flesh to become consuming. Desire can turn into lust. This is also true of the desire of the eyes. We can see something beautiful but when we think that we have to have it at all cost, when we begin to orient our lives around it, that very thing can consume our lives. It can suck the life out of life. And thirdly there is literally keeping up with the Joneses, the pride of our possessions. Again the idea is an inordinate pride. What is given us as a thing to be used becomes an idol that we worship that we begin to orient our lives around.

Let me say this very carefully. Each of the desires that John points out is not bad or negative in itself. But each of these has the potential of becoming the consuming, driving motivation in our lives. We talked a little bit about this in our Pacific Lead Team meeting last week. I said to the guys that the gift of leadership becomes obvious when a person talks about something and a light comes on in their eyes. Mike talks about serving the poor and feeding the hungry and the light comes on. Russell talks about worshiping through music and song and a light comes on. John talks about sharing his faith with co-workers, Alan about Life Groups and there is this light. These are all evidence of loving the world like God loves. But when the light comes on when you talk about your next purchase, your possessions, your next shopping trip then you have to start evaluating what your desires really are. This leads us to the THIRD UNDERSTANDING AND THAT IS ABOUT LIFE. Verse 17And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. Why is God so concerned that were aware of our desires? Because there is this radical contrast to our experience of life. Weve already recognized that God has given us all things to richly enjoy but God wants us to know that when our desires turn into lusts were investing our lives and were orienting our lives in something that isnt going to last. And whats so powerful in this passage is that there is this contrast between human desires that can go out of control and can consume us and even cause us to invest in something that is utterly and eternally bankrupt and then there is Gods desire that is revealed in the words, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. The word, will carries the sense of desire. And its like God is saying you can desire all these things to the point that it consumes you but I want you to know what my desire for you is; the very thing that I have created you for. What is that? Abiding forever. Abiding always. God wants you to abide, which Johns Gospel especially Chapter 15 talks about over and over again. Abiding carries the sense of resting and relaxing in God no matter whats going on around you. What does it mean to abide. Let me picture it like this. A young boy lived in a part of the world that was in danger of tornados. Paul, even though he was only 3 or 4 remembers vividly the day the tornado devastated their small town. His father hurried all the children inside and had them lie down on the floor while he laid a mattress over them. But he didnt climb under the protection. Paul remembers peeking out

from under the mattress and seeing his dad standing by an open window, watching the funnel cloud twist and church through their town. When Paul saw his father, he knew where he wanted to be. He stuggled out of his mothers arms, crawled out from under the mattress, and ran to warp his arms around his dads leg. Something told me, Paul said, that the safest place to stand in a storm was next to my father. To paraphrase the young boys words, abiding is understanding that the safest place to stand in the world is next to our Father. Abiding is like going through life being lovingly held in the embrace of God the Father. And as youre held close theres the rhythmic beating of His heart that reminds you of who you are and what lifes about and what it really means to have your heart satisfied, your desires fulfilled by the life He invites you into. In this sense eternity isnt about tomorrow, its about the intimacy that God wants you to experience today. And so as we think about this passage and the folly of keeping up with the Joneses the question were challenged to answer is, dont you want that? Would you rather invest your life in things that are actually passing away, wearing out and only here for the moment? Or would you rather abide in true life where you experience the heart beat of the Father and security of His love? What you do with your desires will reveal the choice that you make.