“This is my command: Love each other. If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 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. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of My name, for they do not know the one who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates Me hates My Father as well. If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both Me and My Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated Me without reason.” John 15:18-25
My brother, after a career in the United States Coast Guard, is a pastor in Nevada; he writes a daily blog and today wrote, “Believers are a ‘negative’ seeking lot. We cumulatively, not specifically, look for ‘what is wrong’, ‘to be offended’, etc. They take a point, connect dots that are not even on the page and … We must know we live in a[n] evil, fallen world, but there are little flowers and a single red berry in it to give us joy and peace. But [we] need to be like the Methuselah character and never give up looking for it.” When I read his words this morning, I immediately thought about the passage I was writing about today. Wasn’t Jesus warning the apostles/disciples about the evil they would face and ENCOURAGING them to love others anyway?
I have admitted that I am wrestling with feelings of “less than love” with both “Christian family” members and current “Earth sharers” about what I perceive as evil attitudes, behaviors, “overlooks.” I am offended by the need to “censor” what my grandson watches on TV; there is not any family viewing time anymore! I am offended that Christian views are considered “radical” and are not socially or politically accepted in this world. AARRGGHH! When I read Jesus’ words today and then my brother’s; I sat up and took notice. The family of God has been told, (El translation) “This is an evil world; although it celebrates with gusto the birth of the baby in a stable of Bethlehem over 2000 years ago, it hates the man who hung on a cross 33 years later. The world KNOWS my teaching (even if only as “good behavior and moral standards”) but chooses to bend it to satisfy their sinful nature. You will be hated and persecuted, as I have been, for loving and living for me BUT keep on loving, just as I have loved you!”
So, I have been told and I’m sharing the message with you. Yep, it is an evil world and yep, we are not going to be loved very much but if we love others (regardless), love each other (a lot), and keep on keeping on in His teachings ~ WE CAN LIVE IN THE JOY OF THE LORD!!
I know His grace is all complete,
He supplies our ev’ry need;
While I seek to learn at Jesus’ feet,
I’ll be free, yes, free indeed!
[Gonna seek in His Way] the pleasure I once knew,
It is joy and peace within;
What a wondrous blessing! I am saved
From the awful guilt of sin.
[Gonna seek in His Way] hope so bright and clear,
Live in the realm of His grace;
Feel the Savior’s presence, oh so near,
and see His smiling face.
[Gonna seek in His Way] the joy no tongue can tell,
See its waves of glory roll!
Find the joy like an o’erflowing well
That springs up within my soul!
I know there’s joy unspeakable, full of glory,
Full of glory, full of glory,
I know there’s joy unspeakable and full of glory,
Oh, the half has never yet been told.
Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society
Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone
Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org