Monday – John 15.18-16.4a
Meditation: Much of our daily Bible reading this week will be similar to last weeks, because my “grave sickness” forced me to only preach half of my sermon. This week we focused on the text’s message of our relationship with the world. What will the world think of the Christian? The Bible’s answer: the world will hate the Christian. Are you ready for the world to hate you? What if that hatred carried with it greater blessing than this world could ever promise?
Tuesday – John 15.18-16.4a; John 3.19-20; Gal. 6.14; Romans 6.5-11
Meditation: The world is going to hate us. At least it should. Christ warns us that if we abide in the vine like he calls us to, we should not expect the world to roll out the red carpet and slather us with encouragement. The world will instead despise us. Why? Because our lives will shine into their sin and expose them. The result: they will hate, reject, despise, and want to kill us. Are you ready for that response? Do you love Christ enough to stand with him even if that means the rejection of some of the people you might genuinely love? The odd reality is that if we really love the lost in the world, standing apart from them is exactly what they need. Don’t blunt the edge of the gospel sword. Kill your friends, your family members with the gospel. Because trust me, Jesus says, they are trying to kill you.
Wednesday – John 15.18-16.4a; Acts 5.41-42; Rom. 5.1-5; 1 Pet. 4.12-14
Meditation: “You are surrounded by billions of people who hate you and will want to kill you. Hope things go okay. I’ll see you in heaven. Later, Jesus.” Jesus farewell message to his disciples sounds like anything but a pep rally. Yet encouraging them is exactly what he says he is trying to do. How? Is he wanting us to just accept that suffering is somehow good? Yes. Again, how? Jesus and the rest of the NT encourages us that our persecution will be used by God to bless us – it will show us that Jesus knew what was coming, it will encourage us that we are a part of his people, and God will use the world’s hatred to draw us closer to himself and further from the world enticements. If you are anything like me, these don’t sound like random blessings, these sound like some of the most heartfelt desires I have for my life. Suffering is not purposeless or outside of God’s control, he is using it for our good. We can rest in that.
Thursday – John 16.1-4a; 1 John 2.17
Meditation: Are we losing this war? Will Christianity fall by the wayside as morality seems to continually plummet? Is our hope in the power of the gospel lost? The answer, Jesus tells us, is no. The world might seem at times to be winning the battle, but Jesus is clear: this is only their “hour”. Christ is not seeking fifteen minutes of fame, he knows that eternity is his. Even if the world does go to hell in a hand basket, Jesus knows that even hell itself cannot prevail against his kingdom. Do you believe that? Is your life one of fighting against moral degradation because you know the gospel wins? We must fight. Christ has/does win.
Friday and Saturday– John 15.1-16.4
Meditation: What does your life look like? What does the world see when they look at you? Do they see Christ or do they see just a version of themselves? This whole chapter Jesus has taught us that must abide in the vine and if we do, the world will notice. Are you abiding?