And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? -1 Peter 4:18
Why separate “ungodly” and “sinner?”
Discuss in the comment section or find me on Twitter: @GilesMcK. Check back soon for the rest of the study!
Micah 7:8 Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.
I could go no deeper into this and that alone would make for an awesome word for many of us. Sometimes, we just need to know that we can rise back up from where we are. We need to know there is hope, and that hope is always available to us. After all, doesn’t this whole life of believing in and having faith on Jesus Christ all boil down to that one thing: hope? Without the hope of what we believe, we would have no reason to live the way we live! Oh, how great is that hope!
Nevertheless, I did dig a little deeper into this verse. And what I found, to me, amplifies the power of this verse beyond anything I’ve ever personally received from this Word.
Many times, I’ve read this verse and, when it was supposed to give me hope, it only made me feel worse. Why? Because if I am supposed to “arise” when I am down because I am in the light of the Lord, what does it mean when I haven’t yet arisen? That I’m not in the Lord? How long does it take to “arise?” How come I haven’t yet arisen? Surely, this situation was of my own doing; would that be considered a “fall” or a jump? If a jump, is that covered under this verse or are only falls covered? As you can see, I tend to over-analyze things sometimes. It’s a flaw. Don’t judge me. I can’t be perfect in every way!
I am not quite certain what made me think to tear this verse apart as I have. I don’t mean that in a bad way. I mean that I stripped down each word as best as I could to better understand it. I am not sure why I felt like I needed to do this today; yesterday, I had no intention of blogging about this, but today… I just have to. It has greatly helped me understand many things about God. I pray that it helps someone else, too. But, back to the verse.
I think that the first part “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy” is pretty straightforward, so let’s begin with the word “fall.”
In Hebrew, it is “naphal.” It means many things, but I want to focus on just a few: cast down, fall away, inferior, judged by mistake, overthrown, overwhelmed, fugitive, and thrown down. Take a moment and read them over a few times. I’ve put them in bold or italics to make it easier for you. Read them again. And then one more time. What does this tell you? I’ll tell you what it told me: it doesn’t matter how you fell. It doesn’t matter if you were cast down, or if you just fell away. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fugitive because you’re running from God. It doesn’t matter if you jumped. It doesn’t matter if you were born inferior to your situation. It doesn’t matter if you were overwhelmed and overthrown. None of that matters: this verse applies to you. This verse applies to me. There is power and peace in knowing that you are covered under God’s holy Word. “When I fall,” it says. It’s worth bringing up the cliche: it says “when” you fall. You will fall. Or jump. Or be overthrown. but when you do, know that the rest of this verse is for you.
“I shall arise.”
“Arise” means ‘qum’ (said “koom,” if I read the pronunciation correctly). As with “fall,” this has many meanings, but I will, again, focus on a few: endure, continue, rise up against, rouse up, make to stand, stir up, strengthen, succeed, remain, and enjoin. Now read them. This is not talking about you getting back up, but get ready to be knocked down again by the same thing that knocked you down this time so you can get up again and continue the cycle. “I shall [strengthen.]” You will gain strength. You will endure. You will rise up, rouse up. Rouse means to wake from a sleep or unconsciousness. Maybe life hit you so hard that you just put everything on hold — this is for you. You will be made to stand up, but also to stand against. You will succeed. You will remain. And, here’s the kicker: you will enjoin.
We don’t use that word often (well, I don’t; I had to look it up), but here’s what it means according to dictionary.com: (1) to prescribe (a course of action) with authority. (2) to direct or order to do something.
If you just skim that, you won’t catch it. To PREscribe. With authority. To direct or ORDER to do something. When you fall, your enemy should be afraid, not rejoicing, because when you arise, or stand, or succeed, and remain and endure, you will be giving orders that have been prescribed by an authority: God. I’m not so good with words, so I hope it means as much to you as it does to me. When you’re going through something, remember this: it might knock you down, but if it does, the Lord has prescribed an order for your enemy that MUST be followed. All you need to do is “arise!” If that doesn’t want to make you arise out of or endure through that circumstance, I don’t know what will.
There’s more. With God, and His Word, there always is.
“…when I sit in darkness.”
“Darkness” is talking about “the dark; hence (literally) darkness; figuratively misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness: – dark (-ness), night, obscurity.” Any of those things, all of those things. I think we all understand the implication behind “darkness,” which is why I wish to move on to the word “sit.”
“Sit” is the Hebrew word ‘yashab,’ meaning “sit down (in ambush); remain; settle; marry; continue; ease self; establish; return; tarry.”
Darkness is all around you. Darkness in any form or sense of the word: spiritual darkness, emotional darkness. You sit in it. You were ambushed by it, or you settled in it on purpose. Maybe you even married into the darkness. Maybe you’ve always been in it and you continue to be in it. Maybe you eased yourself into it. Perhaps you returned to it for some reason, but now you sit in it and are surrounded by it. Again, it doesn’t matter how you got into the darkness.
We’ve read about falling, sitting in darkness, and then rising out of it. How? Well, by letting the Lord be a light unto you. You sit in darkness, but the LORD is the light.
“Light.” Hebrew word is ‘ôr’ and it means “illumination or (concretely) luminary (in every sense, including lightning, happiness, etc.).” The Lord can be your light to lift you out of the darkness, or whatever you’ve fallen into, but you must allow Him to be your Lord in every sense. His light will be a light in every sense, but the Lord must be a light unto you, not your situation. He is already Lord of all and that includes your situation. You must let him be Lord of your life in every sense, every aspect. He will not always simply shine a light into every darkness just because the darkness is there. You must allow Him to be. The verse says “a light unto me,” not “unto the darkness” or “unto my situation.” He must be a light unto you in every sense He can be.
I’m not very good at ending things in a very dramatic way. All I know is that it doesn’t matter who you’ve been until now; it doesn’t matter how you got where you are; the Lord has prescribed an order to your enemy that it must obey, and He is waiting on you to let Him be Lord of your life so He can shine His light into the darkness around you – but you must let Him be Lord in every sense. There is hope in the Lord. There is strength. There is an anchor to hold onto when darkness falls and the storm comes thundering in. The Lord is your refuge, and Christ is that Lord. We must let Him be Lord of our lives. We must run to Christ in every aspect of our lives. Run to Christ!
For a Christian, this word might make you cringe. Many of us, I include myself, have found ourselves trapped in this circle: tempted, try to fight it, defeat, guilt, repeat. If not exactly this, something like it. If you’re anything like me, you cry out to God to help you — but every time it creeps back up on you, you fall. Why?
Let’s get one thing straight: you cannot resist sin. You can’t. You are a sinner, therefore you sin. It is what you do. You are not a sinner because you sin; you sin because you are a sinner. You know you sin and I know that I sin. Trying to resist yourself is futile. Even if you can do it once through sheer willpower, that won’t mean you can resist the next time. Even if you can resist once, it wasn’t really you (do not think so highly of yourself), it was God’s sustaining grace that kept you. We must understand who we are. We must always keep our condition (so to speak) before us: we are sinners. Just like knitters knit, talkers talk, and runners run, a sinner sins.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
What do you think when you read this? What emotions do you feel? Take a moment, read it through a few times. I can wait.
If you’re me, you immediately start singing it as if you’re The City Harmonic playing “Manifesto.” If you’re normal (like I used to be), you probably read this and think “Yeah! Lead me not into temptation!” Probably with gusto and confidence. We err, I think. This is not a declaration of some inner strength or power we contain that will allow us to escape temptation. I think many of us gloss over it and think it means “I don’t want to do evil or fall into temptation.” Yes, that’s part of it, but we miss the big principle here.
This is a declaration of weakness.
“Lead us not” tells us that we are a people that need to be led. Who is leading you? Are you trying to lead yourself? When I am leading myself, I fall into temptation because I am weak. See? This is a declaration of weakness. I need God in order to avoid temptation because I cannot do it on my own. I need to follow Him. He needs to be my lead.
Here is a note I made to myself last night: I put my head down and close my eyes and just push ahead (not looking to You, not crying out to You, not letting You order my steps) and then I get mad when you don’t keep me from walking off the cliff or into the storm or onto a mountain — but I followed my OWN way!
It’s almost like we expect God to save us when we mess up and that’s all He is there for. We mess up and cry out to God, then go back to living our own way: doing everything we do for our own pleasure, desires, wants and feelings. Consider, friends, when was the last time you went to Scripture about the clothes you wear? I’m not here to tell you how to dress, but however you do dress: when was the last time you took a serious look into His Scripture about whether or not He says it’s acceptable, or into what type of clothing He does say is acceptable? This applies to anything: movies, music, books, speech, attitude, boyfriends/girlfriends, husband/wife, how to be a man/woman…the list could go on and on and on. When was the last time we really went to the Word of God for these things? Or do we, instead, go: “Oh, she’s cute. She goes to church. She’s nice. I’ve known her for a long time. I think I’ll ask her out.”
Wait, what? Who is leading you there? You? Did you check Scripture at all? Did you pray about it, and for how long? Did your prayer prove fruitful in His Word? Did you consult an elder, or someone with whom you can show the Scripture you found that makes you think you should ask this girl out and ask for prayer-fueled feedback? Did you really go to God and ask Him? I’d venture to say no, because I never have before. It’s just not how we do things anymore, right? I mean, who consults God about “just a girlfriend,” right? But isn’t that precisely the point of following God? To let Him lead us and NOT to go our own way? So that we do things as God would have us do them, not how we would do them?
That’s just one example of many examples that I could talk about, even in my own life. Never forget, this blog is my blog to me and about me and my thoughts – I am reading this myself, too! We are all weak, here. We must all look to Scripture and pray, for that is how we allow God to lead us.
Luke 22:40 And when he was at the place, [Jesus] said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.
Matthew 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
In everything we do, and everything we are, we must ask ourselves: are we imitating Christ? And then conform to His image.
This past Wednesday night we talked about several things but I wanted to put up some of my notes and thoughts from the lesson on here for everyone. So here it goes.
We all go through times of trouble and distress. We feel stressed and that no one can even begin to understand what we are going through. A large part of my problem when I start to feeling stressed out is the fact that I think I can handle all of this on my own.
Over the last month or so, I’ve been reading the book of Psalms in short bursts. I’ve found it very soothing. There are a few verses I would like to share.
Psalms 37: 1-7
1) Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. (2) For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. (3) Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. (4) Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. (5) Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. (6)And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. (7) Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
Take a look at what He is telling us: “Fret not,” “Trust,” “Delight thyself in the LORD,” “Commit thy way unto the Lord,” “trust,” “Rest,” “wait,” and, again, “fret not.”
I encourage you to just rest in the Lord. Delight in Him, His Word, and in following His ways, and He will give you your heart’s desires. Not just one desire, either. Notice that it is plural: “desires.”
Here is another verse to consider:
1 Peter 5:7
7) Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
The American standard Version translates it into “casting all your anxieties upon Him.” The Amplified Bible says it this way: “Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him.”
We have the God of all Creation within us. Think about that. God is our God. He is not just a God, and not just the God — He is our God (Psalms 95:7). Why do we worry? Who do we give stress such a hold on us? If there is nothing impossible for our God… why do we box Him up by not entrusting our cares to him?
To us, things are impossible. It is hard for us to think in terms that anything is possible because, well, some things are just impossible. We’re bound by physics. We’re bound by our genetics and anatomy and health. Rational thought must always be followed because to reject rationality would be quite an insane thing to do. Our thoughts are bound by rationale. Are God’s?
9) For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
No, His thoughts are higher than ours. He doesn’t think of anything as impossible. Neither does He care if it is impossible to you, for His ways are higher than ours, also. His ways are not subject to the same physical laws that our ways are subject to.
“We know all of this,” you say. Yes, we’ve heard it all before, but maybe hearing it again will make us believe it. This God is inside of us. This God, for whom nothing is impossible, is inside of us. If we have accepted Him and welcomed Him into our lives, He lives within us. If He is not subject to the same things we are (in thought or in deed) and lives inside of us… why do we let things worry us? The only being capable of doing the impossible resides inside of you. If you allow Him to live through you, as we all should, why do we let these things worry us?
There is no reason to worry. There is every reason to encourage yourself in the Lord. Look up, look up, my friends. Where does your help come from? Psalms 121:1-12. Where does your comfort come from? John 14:26.
Remember who you are. Remember who you live for. Remember who lives inside of you. Remember who our God is and that, because of Him, nothing is impossible for us.
The next time you face something so great that seems so impossible, remember who lives inside of you. Impossible? He laughs in the face of “impossible.”
If you recall my last post (or, if you don’t, you can read it here), dunamis is a Greek word that means “miraculous power.” I left off saying I had a bible study coming up about it — and I do. It’s just not ready yet. However, when I came to write this blog today, I had no idea what to write about so I went to http://www.youversion.com, signed in, and looked at one of my reading plans I had previously set up. One of the verses for today is Romans 15:18-19. It reads:
- Romans 15:18-19 — (18) For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, (19) Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
Verse 18 basically says that he will only talk about things that God has done through him. It’s verse 19 that caught my eye. That word “power” that I put in bold is dunamis, or “miraculous power.” (This is self-evident by the phrase “Through mighty signs and wonders.” ) Verse 19 perfectly describes where my study on the word dunamis has taken me: “Through mighty signs and wonders….I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.”
That word “fully” goes with “preaching,” and both together mean “ to make replete, that is, (literally) to cram (a net).” Replete means “abundantly supplied or prodvided,” or “stuffed or gorged with food or drink.” Because of miracles, the gospel of Christ has become like a net crammed full of food. What food was caught by nets back then? Fish. Didn’t Jesus say, “fishers of men?” Okay, let’s simplify.
I can read this two ways, and I believe both ways are right.
1) “Through miracles, many people have heard and believed the gospel of Christ.” 2) “Through miracles, the gospel of Christ is fulfilled.”
I think we do God a huge disservice when we think we can merely talk and call it preaching. If he fully preaches when there are miracles, doesn’t it make sense that preaching without miracles is not fully preaching, which means something is lacking? What’s lacking: miracles.
We ask ourselves, especially in America, “How come people are insensitive to the gospel of Christ?” It’s because we’re trying to reach people through our voices alone and not with dunamis, God’s miraculous power. Too many of us believe that miracles are not for our day. Too many of us lack the faith to allow God to work miracles.
I daresay that without miracles, people cannot be won like they were when the disciples turned the world upside down introducing the gospel of
Christ to the world. Without miracles, the nets of the gospel of Christ would not have been crammed full of people that hunger after Him. since God doesn’t change, I doubt that has changed. We need to enter into a place of faith that brings the miraculous if we wish to save this country. That is the only way.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Jesus says “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
That word “strength” is ‘dunamis.’ Dunamis means ‘miraculous power.’ That same word is used in:
“…tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”
“And ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you…”
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation…”
1 Corinthians 2:5
“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
This is the kind of strength He wants to give us, to make perfect in us. But God’s miraculous power is “made perfect” in weakness. See, here we are trying to be strong, but it’s our weakness that causes miracles.
So, we should, as the rest of the verse goes, “glory in [our] infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon” us. There’s that power again.
See, I’ve been thinking a lot, recently, that miracles are necessary in conjunction w/ the bible (to grow God’s Kingdom, convert more people). And I’ve been waiting for someone strong enough in faith to start performing them…but, perhaps, our weakness is the key, not our strength. Or, more accurately, handing our weaknesses over to Christ and letting Him complete His strength in us.
***I am putting together a whole study on ‘dunamis’ and all the places and ways it’s used in the Bible. But this just happened to come up today.***
- Jeremiah 29:11– For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
One of the translations of “thoughts” is “plans.” Another is “purpose.”
A translation of “think” is “devise.”
“Peace” means “completeness, health, prosperity, and tranquility.”
“Expected” is more often translated into “hope.” One of the translations is “things hoped for, outcome.”
So, it could be read: “For I know the [plans] that I have [devised for] you, saith the LORD, [plans] of [completeness, health, prosperity, and tranquility], and not of evil, to give you an [hopeful outcome].”
- Jeremiah 29:12 — Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
“Call” means “cry out, summon, or invite.”
“Go” also means “walk, come.”
“Hearken” means “to hear, listen to, obey.”
Which means, it basically says what it says. No need for word for word translation, really.
- Jeremiah 29:13 — And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
“Seek” is translated into “require, desire,” also.
“Find” translates into “attain, secure.”
“Search” means “frequent” (as in “I frequent this place”). It also means “to seek [God] in prayer and worship.” Also, “to practice, study, follow, seek with application.”
“Heart” means “inner man, mind, will, heart, soul, understanding.” Also, “conscience, of moral character.”
So, could be read: “And ye shall [desire] me and ye shall [attain] me, when ye shall [frequently seek me in prayer and worship] with all your [mind, will, heart, soul, understanding, conscience and moral character.]“
After translation, Jeremiah 29:11-13 reads:
For I know the [plans] that I have [devised for] you, saith the LORD, [plans] of [completeness, health, prosperity, and tranquility], and not of evil, to give you an [hopeful outcome]. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall [desire] me and ye shall [attain] me, when ye shall [frequently seek me in prayer and worship] with all your [mind, will, heart, soul, understanding, conscience and moral character.]
He tells us that His plan for us (specifically, each one of us) will make us complete and peaceful, giving us hope. But to attain it, we must seek Him with everything we have — not just kinda seek Him, not just kinda think about Him…but frequently seek Him with ALL our mind, will, conscience and moral character through frequent prayer and worship.
It’s a commitment. He committed His life for us, and nothing less from us will count as a commitment to Him.
I use YouVersion to give me bible reading plans because, well, I’m not very good at deciding which verses to read on any given day. I get the verse, read it, pull up my handy-dandy e-sword program (that I love) and start reading the Strong’s words and references to other verses. Usually, one of the verses sticks once I pray about what I read. Here’s a couple from today.
Psalms 121:3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
This brings to mind the saying “dig your heels in.” It’s particularly personal to me because of some things I’m really having to dig my heels in about. I know we think that “I have to make sure I don’t do [X thing you do] because it’s a sin and I shouldn’t be doing it.” One of two things happens: 1) we get overwhelmed and give in or 2) we spend all of our time and effort fighting this battle just to not give in to this one thing – how are we growing in God?
He says he won’t suffer our foot to be moved. In order for it to not be moved, it must first be put down. In other words, you must make a stand.
I read this very simply: God will dig your heels in, all you have to do is make the stand.
This isn’t a new theme. We’ve read this before. I’ve read it before..it’s just hard to accept. For me, I feel like I get myself into this mess so it should be my responsibility to get me out of it. Except, I seem to forget that once I repent, I’m out of it. There seems to be a lingering desire to DO something to make up for it…but what, really, can one do to make up for turning your back on God?
It’s just humbling to know that all I have to do is make the stand, draw the line…and God will keep me. Good news: line’s already been drawn and the battle’s already been won. Now, just make the stand.
To end, I’d like to leave this:
Psalms 121:7 The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
1 John 2:15-17 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.
Love– agapao: Perhaps from ἄγαν agan (much; or compare [H5689]); to love (in a social or moral sense): – (be-) love (-ed). Compare G5368.
—H5689: ‛âgab: A primitive root; to breathe after, that is, to love (sensually): – dote, lover.
Definition of “dote:” to be extremely, uncritically fond of.
COMPARE TO (I think it means it’s distinguishing between a “love” love and a friendship love like this:)
—G5368: phileō: From G5384; to be a friend to (fond of [an individual or an object]), that is, have affection for (denoting personal attachment, as a matter of sentiment or feeling; while G25 is wider, embracing especially the judgment and the deliberate assent of the will as a matter of principle, duty and propriety: the two thus stand related very much. the former being chiefly of the heart and the latter of the head); specifically to kiss (as a mark of tenderness): – kiss, love.
World– kosmos: Probably from the base of G2865; orderly arrangement, that is, decoration; by implication the world (in a wide or narrow sense, including its inhabitants, literally or figuratively [morally]): – adorning, world.
–G2865: komízō: From a primary word kolumbos (to tend, that is, take care of); properly to provide for, that is, (by implication) to carry off (as if from harm; generally obtain): – bring, receive.
When looking up “things,” this came up: the, this, that, one, he, she, it, etc.
The “love” of the Father is “agape,” (G26) which is a different love than in “Love not the world.” The “love of the Father” is a dearer love:
From G25; love, that is, affection or benevolence; specifically (plural) a love feast: – (feast of) charity ([-ably]), dear, love.
So far, what I read in summary: Don’t love or be extremely and uncritically fond of the world. If you are, you don’t really love the Father. This is ‘love the world or love the Father.’ I find it fitting that “world” would also include “decoration, adorning” and “obtain, bring, receive.” It’s like it’s saying, if you dress (decorate) or adorn yourself like the world does, and if your wish is to obtain/receive the things of the world, then you don’t love the Father. I think it’s also interesting that “things” translates into “this that, one, he, she, it” — that pretty much covers everything, including people. In comparison, be friendly with the world, just dont love the world.
Now, verse 16.
(16) 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.
Lust– epithumia: From G1937; a longing (especially for what is forbidden): – concupiscence, desire, lust (after).
–G1937: epithumeō: to set the heart upon, that is, long for (rightfully or otherwise)
Flesh– sarx: Probably from the base of G4563; flesh (as stripped of the skin), that is, (strictly) the meat of an animal (as food), or (by extension) the body (as opposed to the soul (or spirit), or as the symbol of what is external, or as the means of kindred, or (by implication) human nature (with its frailties (physically or morally) and passions), or (specifically) a human being (as such): - carnal (-ly, + -ly minded), flesh ([-ly]).
–G4563: saroo: From a derivative of sairō (to brush off; akin to G4951) meaning a broom; to sweep: – sweep.
Eyes– ophthalmos: From G3700; the eye (literally or figuratively); by implication vision; figuratively envy (from the jealous side glance): – eye, sight.
–G3700: optanomai/optomai: The first a (middle voice) prolonged form of the second (primary) which is used for it in certain tenses; to gaze (that is, with wide open eyes, as at something remarkable).
Pride– alazoneia: From G213; braggadocio, that is, (by implication) self confidence: – boasting, pride.
–G213: alaon: braggart, boaster
Life– bios: A primary word; life, that is, (literally) the present state of existence; by implication the means of livelihood: – good, life, living.
So far, what I read in summary: This is what is “in the world:” desiring after human frailties, immoralities and passions (that should be swept away), desiring after what is good to look at (be it women, or clothes, or maybe even tattoos, etc), and to brag about where you are in life and boast about your “means of livelihood” (job?). Those are not of the Father, but are of the world.
And verse 17.
(17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
This one is pretty straightforward.
Summary of the whole: Don’t love (or dote on) the world. Don’t desire the immorality or passions of the world. Don’t desire what looks good (visually) to the world, and don’t be a braggart about what you’ve done with your life. Rather, do the will of God, because if you do any of those other things, you don’t really love the Father.
I’d like to point out two things: 1) “don’t desire the passions of the world.” In the world, there are passions. Music is one. Movies are another. I’m real big into politics – is politics another? And 2) Love not the…. [this, that, one, he, she, its] of the world. Your first question in regards to relationships should be: are they of the world? If they are, don’t get into the relationship.