July 30, 2010
(Jesus said) "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first." John 15:18
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
Knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior brings immeasurable joy into one's life. It can also bring trials and even persecution. As a child of God, the Holy Spirit gives us strength to live a godly life and turn away from doing wrong. In this world, however, resisting behaviors that are displeasing to God may cause those who oppose our faith to disapprove of us, perhaps even hate us.
Jesus Christ anticipated this. Even as He came into the world to die for our sins, even as His life was being poured out upon the cross for the salvation of the world, the world hated Him and all He stood for. And so it may be for us.
However, as we live godly lives and serve Jesus Christ, we are blessed -- even when it might appear otherwise. In fact, Jesus said, "Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil because of the Son of Man" (Luke 6:22). How telling these words are! We are blessed by God when we are hated, excluded, insulted, and rejected -- because of the Son of Man.
Therefore, if the world hates you, don't shrink back. Don't lose your faith. Consider the life of Christ and the example He set by keeping His gaze heavenward to the Father. Jesus said, "All men will hate you because of Me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved" (Mark 13:13).
Believe in God's free gift of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ's atonement for your sins on the cross. Stand firm in this truth and you will be saved.
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for strength to hold steadfast in the face of persecution from the world. Thank You for the blessings You shower on us even when we are despised by men. Through Your Holy Spirit, increase our faith and invigorate our witness. We pray this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Biography of Author: This devotion was based on a text submitted by a volunteer working with Lutheran Hour Ministries-Vietnam -- known locally as The Voice of Hope. Using Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), puppet shows, videos, music concerts, and Equipping the Saints (ETS), LHM-Vietnam spreads the message of God's love in Christ Jesus in this country of nearly 90 million people.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.