take away from me scorn and contempt, for i have kept your testimonies.  even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes. [psalm 119:22-23]
we are sojourners in a foreign land. this world is not our home. our citizenship is in heaven. these are all sentences we’re familiar with, but what does it actually look like to live in a world who does not know God?
see what kind of love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God? and so we are. the reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. [1 john 3:1]
are you known and understood by the world? why do you think that is? when we keep the testimonies of the Lord, princes will plot against us. they will hate us. in the same way cain hated abel because he was jealous of abel’s accepted sacrifice since his own deeds were evil [1 john 3:12], the world will hate the righteousness of God’s children.
unless, the righteousness of God’s children doesn’t look much different from the world. but, we are called to a different kind of life. one that meditates on the statutes of Christ. one that keeps his testimonies. we may bear for a while the scorn and contempt of the world, but all the while, our Father in heaven will be singing over us with shouts of joy! [zeph 3:17]
on wednesday, marc set a very clear distinction between the servant of God and the servant of the enemy. no one can serve both, and no one is on neutral ground. God’s word also makes this distinction very clear. john writes:
…God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. if we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. [1 john 1:5-6]
and by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. whoever says “i know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. [1 john 3-4]
whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. [1 john 2:6]
whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. [1 john 2:9]
if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. for all that is in the world– the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life– is not from the Father but is from the world. [1 john 15-16]
they went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. but they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. [1 john 2:19]
no one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. [1 john 3:6]
if anyone says, “i love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. [1 john 4:20]
these verses are not meant to frighten or discourage us, but to call us to a life set apart from sin and the world and designated for the service of our Savior, who gives us eternal life!
i write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. [1 john 5:13]
so what do we do in a world who hates us because of our love for Christ? we meditate on Christ! we put on the full armor of God, and we fight the good fight of the faith, knowing that in Christ, we already have his victory.
everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. by this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. for this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. and his commandments are not burdensome. for everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. and this is the victory that has overcome the world– our faith. who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? [1 john 5:1-5]
today, in the presence of the Holy One, with your Great High Priest at his side, praise him for the victory he has won and has given to you. ask for him to open your eyes to his word, so that you can meditate on it and keep it. ask him to reveal what hinders you from looking more like him and causes you to look like the world. confess it to him, confess it to someone else. and as we walk in the light as he is in the light, we will have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin! [1 john 1:7]
~ arwen eastman