My Journal for Today: Jesus, in today’s passage, pretty well lays out for His disciples what can be expected when they (we) follow Him, which, of course is mandated of His followers (see Luke 9: 23). Follow Jesus and you can expect apathy and/or superstition (see Paul's witness in Acts 17: 22 - 23), moral deviation (see Romans 1: 18 – 22), or out-right persecution (as from today’s verse in John 15: 20). I’ve heard it said before … that if, as a Christian, you are not experiencing one or more of these issues in the world, you are like a fish, floating or swimming down stream with the cultural waters of the times, rather than one who is fighting upstream to get to the headwaters (which, of course, in this context is Christlikeness).
John MacArthur, in his devotional for today from Strength for Today, reminds his readers of what Paul taught in Phil. 3: 10 … that we, as Christ’s disciples, are living in the “… fellowship of His suffering.” So, if we are experiencing some, or all, of what Jesus was warning His disciples about in today’s passage, we can be assured, using my word picture above, that we have jumped into the raging stream and are swimming upstream as hard as we can.
And that, of course, means living for Christ and/or witnessing our faith in a hostile world; and repeating for emphasis, this could mean apathy at best and painful persecution at worst. But just think about the promises and power from God as you are Christ’s disciple and a witness, in faith, to His truth …
SCRIPTURE: Acts 1: 8 … [Jesus] “… you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
SCRIPTURE: Rom. 8: 31 … If God is for us, who can be against us.
SCRIPTURE: Rom. 1: 16 … I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes …
So, we have a decision to make … are we going to be dying or dead fish, floating downstream; or will be alive in Christ, battling upstream against the worldly currents and doing all we can, with God’s promised power, to swim to the headwaters of transformation in Christ, honoring and glorifying our Lord in the process?
Our choice, isn’t it?
My Prayer Today: I stand for you, Lord! Help me to swim upstream. Amen