Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 31, 2014
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. John 15:18-19
Sometimes I weary of the unrelenting cynicism of the world toward Christians. I start to question what I believe. Can I really trust that what has been true since the beginning of civilization is still true? It feels like what I cherish as good is recast as bad. Marriage is somehow redefined as a secular same sex transaction instead of a divine covenant established by God between Christ loving men and women. I fear antagonists of the faith seem to be gaining favor.
Jesus addressed this tension two thousand years ago. What Christians stood for was deemed foolish by the Roman authorities. Their vehement hatred crucified Christians. The followers of The Way were demonized as immoral for their love feasts, and labeled cannibals as they ate the body and drank the blood of Christ in communion. Hostility toward Christ’s followers cost them their lives. Antagonists of the faith are ancient and still attack us today.
“Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you” (1 John 3:13).
Secular governments push for secular standards. Godless governments produce godless outcomes. Laws based on man’s wisdom do not reflect the wisdom of God. Intellectual pride is condescending toward those who hold to the humble tenets of the Christian faith. Modern thinkers portray faith in Christ’s resurrection as outdated, even absurd. Believers in God are branded as narrow minded and naive. Antagonists of the faith are threatened by trust in Jesus.
Therefore, how do we respond to aggressive attacks on what we hold dear? Fortunately, the Lord God Almighty does not need our defense, but we need His. Our weapons are not of this world. What gets the world’s attention is our love in response to hatred. Our acceptance in the face of rejection. Our gift of grace when treated harshly. Grace is the opposite of karma. God’s age old amazing grace is distinct from the world’s new age system of meritocracy. The culture’s hatred can clarify the Christian brand, so by prayer persecution makes our faith more appealing.
“He (Moses) chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward” (Hebrews 11:25-26).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I trust You to defend Your name and give me the grace to respond in love to criticism of Christ.
Related Readings: Isaiah 66:5; Psalm 38:20; Matthew 5:10-11; 1 Peter 4:14; Revelation 2:3
Post/Tweet today: The Lord God Almighty does not need our defense, but we need His. #wisdomhunters
Additional Resource: Tony Evans- 2 minute podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/taking-christianity-to-secular/id497631220?i=320115115&mt=2
Order our new book, The Way of Wisdom: A Journey Towards Spiritual Growth, just out October 1st! Boyd’s one minute book video- http://bit.ly/1nhZ2bt
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