Did you think when you came into this relationship with Jesus Christ that you would be able to keep the status quo and just add Jesus to the mix?
Did you think it would be business as usual and Jesus was going to be along for the ride? That perhaps He was basically just fire insurance?
Or did you weigh the full consequences of following not only the most beloved character to ever grace the world stage, but also the most hated?
Did you consider that you would become just as hated as Jesus, perhaps even more, just for being associated with Him?
It's all there in the Word. You have to love Jesus for His honesty and straightforwardness if not for anything else. He laid it all out there plain as day. He didn't flower it up. He didn't mince words.
Jesus has let us know exactly what we are in for as the price for following Him.
John 15:18-21 - "If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you. (19) If you belonged to the world, the world would treat you with affection and would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world [no longer one with it], but I have chosen (selected) you out of the world, the world hates (detests) you. (20) Remember that I told you, A servant is not greater than his master [is not superior to him]. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word and obeyed My teachings, they will also keep and obey yours. (21) But they will do all this to you [inflict all this suffering on you] because of [your bearing] My name and on My account, for they do not know or understand the One Who sent Me."
Detested. Persecuted. Hated. Afflicted.
Did you really expect that when you signed on with Jesus?
Are you going to hold or fold?
It's not going to get better. It never has. Not from the very beginning to the present. It won't in the future.
Not until Jesus returns.
My question today is, can you hang in there?
Things can be expected to even ratchet up a bit. It might even get worse.
Some people in the world are being killed just for being a Christian.
Or perhaps you are scratching your head at all of this and thinking "I'm not experiencing anything like that. Life is great! I go to church and live my life. Everything is fine. I don't know what you are talking about."
If that is the case then I advise you reevaluate and check the solidity of your relationship with Christ.
You may find that you are more of a friend of the world then a friend of Jesus.
Verse 19: "If you belonged to the world, the world would treat you with affection and would love you as its own."
So there it is. Perhaps as cold water in face.
Who loves ya baby?
Who do you love?
If the world is treating you well there should be way more concern than if you are suffering some persecution for your faith.
As for me, I'm stickin'. I'll take whatever the world dishes out in hatred and persecution and do so with a smile. I'll do it because I know that Jesus took worse for me.
I'm in with Jesus. I'm all the way in. I'm all the way in until the end.
Be blessed today and know that I am praying for you.
Keepin' it Real,
Pastor Kevin <><