“if the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. if you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but i chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. remember the word that i said to you: ‘a servant is not greater than his master.’ if they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. if they kept my word, they will also keep yours.”  [john 15:18-20]
whose love do you long for?
one of the changes that i’ve noticed in myself from when i was single to now that i’m married is a confidence that comes from knowing my wife loves me. no matter how much i strain my relationships with others with my sin, no matter how many of my friends leave, i know i have her. i’m more willing to take risks telling the truth, confronting sin in believers, and repenting boldly in part because i know i always have her in my corner.
what if our relationship with the Lord was so satisfying and assured in our hearts that instead of relying on our spouses’ love, or our close friends’ love, we stepped out boldly risking everything for the sake of the gospel—because Jesus’ love was the only one we longed for? following him and loving him means we will face persecution for it—Lord, magnify our desire for you so that we can count everything else as loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing you!
~ stephen hall