Passage of the Day: John 15: 18 – 19 … 18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first. 19 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.”
My Journal for Today: I don’t think it could be denied today that there is great enmity between the Christian world view and that of so many other sociopolitical forces, organizations, and religions in this world. However, in reality, we Christians should not be surprised that our Christ-centered world view is so despised, even to the point of outright persecution by various geo-political-religious factions.
As today’s passage indicates, from Jesus’ own words, once we are chosen by God and we choose to receive Christ as our Lord in faith, our new operating system (i.e., a heart as defined in 2nd Cor. 5: 17 or Gal. 2: 20) works in direct antipathy to the “kosmos,” i.e., the world, as devised and operated by Satan through sinful man. No … there should be no surprise that we, who hold a Christ-centered world view, will be hated in and by this world.
Christians simply do (or at least, should) see things differently from non-believers; and we are compelled to act differently as well. And that’s why the Apostle Paul exhorted Christians “…that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.” (see Phil. 2: 15)
So, I guess that begs the question for me [or us]: “Do I [we] shine like a Christ-like star in the midst of a dark and perverse generation?” Not brightly enough – at least for me, I’m afraid. Certainly and collectively the church does not shine a bright enough star with a divorce rate which some report to be even higher than that of the so-called secular world. What kind of a star is shining from the data reporting that over 50% [some surveys report over 70%] of Christian men are deeply into habitual sexual sin? How can we do what Jesus charged in Matt. 5: 16, … to shine our lights so that God, the Father, will be glorified, … if we are no different from or even worse than the world? How can we profess a love for God, if we love the world and create idols of from that world in our lives (see 1st John 2: 15-16)?
Yes, we are IN the world; but we cannot be OF the world and be Christians. It’s only when we take God’s word seriously, prayerfully devoting our lives as “living sacrifices” (see Rom. 12: 1, 2) to the truth of the Bible that we’re going to be able to shine Christ’s light into this darkened world.
My Prayer Today: Shine Your light in me, Lord! Amen