“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, but all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.” [john 15:18-21]
Jesus makes a promise to everyone who claims him as their Master, their LORD: they persecuted me, they will persecute you.
couple of questions to ponder, to sit in and wait on the LORD, as you engage his presence through the word and prayer today.
1. is Jesus your Master, your Lord, because you have trusted your soul to him alone to make you right with God so you can be with God? if he is, the world will be against you at some time(s) and some way(s). if he is not, the world will not be against you.
2. does the promise of persecution seem far away? does it feel like a warning for others who live in another part of the world or for others who live radical lives of commitment to the LORD? persecution is always close at hand if we live under his name. your life may not be threatened at this moment, but your name will be reviled (to your face or behind your back) if you live under Jesus’ name.
3. do you believe that God allows persecution in your life, so his name can be made great in you and through you? persecution is not random or just because you are living under Jesus’ name. persecution always serves to advance the name of Jesus in you and through you to others.
pray for the word of God to read you this morning, as opposed to you just reading the word.
pray for the resurrection power of Christ to embolden you to live submitted to the Spirit, so you can live under the name of Jesus.
pray for more belief, that being persecuted for the name of Jesus will actually advance his name in you and through you to others.
o LORD, may i live under the name of Jesus more fully. may i so identify with the name of Jesus that my affection for him and my obedience to him grows. help me more fully believe, this means my name will get maligned. but, this also means the name of Jesus will be advanced. in the beautiful and powerful name of Jesus – amen!
~ john ryan