Our verse for today comes from John 15:18, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.”
My younger brother and I used to fuss and fight and pick on each other for the better part of our childhood. Truth be told, I was the one doing most of the picking and causing most of the problems. And I can still hear my mom telling us to knock it off, pleading with us to end the aggravation lest she have to take more drastic measures. But more often than not, rather than ending it right then and there, one of us would respond with something like, “Well he started it,” as if that was the critical piece of information that my mom needed to take the appropriate action. I don’t think I’m overstating it by saying that my mom never cared who started it, or who claimed who else started it. Now, fast forward with me to our teen years or early twenties. Chances are you and those you hung out with had boyfriends and girlfriends that came and went. And in the process of breaking off one of those relationships, one of you may have uttered the words, “It’s not you, it’s me.” For some reason, we thought that taking the responsibility for breaking up would somehow make it easier on the one whose heart was being broken. But it didn’t.
Jesus isn’t fussing with us or ending our relationship, but He is taking full responsibility for how we will be treated by the world and its systems. And it is supposed to help. That is why He just showered the disciples, and us, with such expressions of love. These interconnected relationships between Father, Son, believer, and one another, must be so authentic, so dynamic, that when they see and treat us, they are seeing and treating Jesus. And where we are hated, i.e., excluded, shunned, belittled, ridiculed, patronized and the like, it should be because we are imitating the One who was rejected and not because of anything of our own. And that love that is woven through us should carry us through, just as it carried Jesus to the cross. Yes, He started it, and it is Him, and not me. Let us strive to always make it about the Savior.
As we seek Him today, offer the love of Christ wherever you go, giving others the chance to respond to Jesus living in you.
Author – Rich Holt | BCWorldview.org
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