Matthew 10:21 You Will Be Hated, But Stand Firm

You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. Matthew 10:21

Nobody likes to be hated by anyone. Most people will do whatever they can to prevent others from hating them. Being completely different and going against the flow often causes others to hate.

People like things to be easy and to go with the common flow, rather than being different. When someone is different, it often gives the feeling that one is inferior or a failure. It becomes very difficult to go against the common flow.

Jesus warns the disciples that they will be hated because of Him. Yet He tells them to stand firm and be saved in the end.

Following Jesus is not popular with the majority of people throughout the world. In following Jesus, one must be willing to change his ways of thinking and acting. He has to choose to leave all sin behind and walk a different path that has eternity, not the temporary, in mind.

When a person is truly following Jesus with all of his abilities, many in the world, including the church, will hate him. The follower of Jesus is set apart as different because he is not just focused on today, but upon eternity. He is willing to reject sin and take a stand against it.

Following Jesus brings light to the world and exposes sin and darkness that most do not want to acknowledge. People will hate anyone who exposes this darkness in their life. They want to live in the moment and will hate the believer.

Although standing against the flow of this fallen world will bring hatred, it will result in salvation for all eternity, not just a temporary pleasure. It takes a strong stand to stand against the sin of this world.

As a believer, people will hate you. It is not you they are hating so much, as it is they are hating Jesus and what He stands for.

If people are not hating you for following Jesus, you may want to ask yourself if you are truly following Jesus with all of your abilities. Jesus was hated by many while He walked on the earth and you are to be no different.

Even though people may hate you, do not give up. Stand strong in your following Jesus so that in the end you will receive eternal life.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will stand as a light of Jesus in this world; that you will not fear the hatred of people; that you will know the salvation Jesus provides; and that you will stand strong and true for God until the end.

Hebrews 1:9 Gaining Great Joy

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. Hebrews 1:9

Attempting to find joy is something that people all over the world are striving for. The harder they strive to find joy, the less that they seem to find it.

With all of the crime, hatred, violence and destruction occurring, people fall into depression. Many go to doctors or take certain drugs to find the peace and joy that they are seeking, but unable to find.

The author of Hebrews, quotes from Psalm 45:6, 7, a prophecy about Jesus. It points out that Jesus loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Because of this love and hatred, God has anointed Him with the oil of joy.

In the same way that the world is seeking joy, many believers are also seeking it and are also unable to find it. They know the verses and can talk about God, but they refuse to follow God’s commands.

Many have one foot set in the church, while the other is still in the world. While they claim to follow Jesus, they also choose to love the wicked things of this world, and refuse to give up sins in their lives.

As long as a believer harbors sin and enjoys sin, he will lose out on gaining joy. Jesus had joy, despite horrible circumstances, because He knew that He was doing what the Father wanted Him to do. Jesus was loving righteousness and hating wickedness. He would not fall to the temptations to sin.

Every believer needs to make a concerted effort to flee all sin and hate all wickedness. In place of not seeking evil, he must seek God’s holiness and righteousness that Jesus provides in abundance.

As this is done, just as God filled Jesus with joy, He will fill the believer with abundant joy despite any circumstance in life.

While you are seeking joy, you must examine your life. Find out what you really love and see if what you love honors God. Be willing to turn away from all wickedness and sin, and turn your focus upon God, His Holiness and His righteousness.

Do not allow yourself to be caught up in the evil, wicked sins of this world, but in God’s holiness and righteousness. Put on the righteousness of Jesus and receive the joy that God will fill you with as you serve Him.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will strengthen you to turn from all sin; that you will know the righteousness of Jesus; that you will know the joy God has for you; and that God will set you apart from the wickedness of this world.

Romans 5:8 Jesus Died For You

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

It is very common, when thinking about someone who died for someone else, to think about those who had been in the military or those in emergency services. There have been many in those fields who have died in their attempts to save someone else from trouble.

Most people, however, do not have the experience of someone dying in the process of saving their life. The people who did the saving, usually lived with no problems or complications.

After pointing out that everyone had sinned, Paul points out how great God’s love is. It was while people were sinners and hated Him, that Jesus died for them.

The thought of someone dying for one’s self is an abstract concept for most people. They do not have the physical experience of experiencing someone dying for them before their very eyes.

Even though it was nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus did die for every person. God’s love was so great for every person, that He had to make a way for people to be able to fellowship with Him. God could not allow sin around Him, so He provided Jesus to die for every person to allow each one into heaven.

Often many people think about Jesus dying for someone else and not themselves. They feel that they are too bad of a person for Jesus to do what He did for them. This is a false lie of the enemy. God’s love was focused on all the individuals, not just the majority or the whole.

God, in His perfect love, loves each person as if he were the only person who existed. If only one person had sinned, Jesus would still have died for that person.

There may be times when you feel unworthy and unloved. While the world may ignore you, God doesn’t ignore you. He loves you with an eternal perfect love. Jesus died for you, as though you were the only one in this world who had sinned. And He did this while you were a sinner and hated Him.

Jesus provides the forgiveness you need. Believe in what He did for you and live as God desires of you. Do not believe the lies of the world that Jesus did not die for you or that God does not love you.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know God’s love for you; that you will know God’s forgiveness given to you; that you will know Jesus died for you; and that you will tell others of God’s love for them.

Proverbs 9:8 Wise And Foolish Rebukes

Sign on road

Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you. Proverbs 9:8 

Rebuke is standing on a position and pointing out that someone else is doing something wrong. It is pointing out a fault in another person with the goal to help them become better.

Bosses will rebuke an employee in the workplace in order to get him to perform better or to make needed changes in his work habits. It is common to hear of a child being rebuked for doing something wrong or making a bad choice.

The challenge for most people is how they see a rebuke. Most people see it is as someone putting them down and telling them that they are wrong. They do not see it as a path to growth or change for the better.

Solomon gives warning to not rebuke those who are mockers, because they will not take it well. Those who are wise will accept it and grow from it.

Mockers are those who will scoff at the idea of living a righteous and holy life. They do not want to be told what to do or how to do it. When someone points out some needed change, they will fight it.

The wise person will hear a rebuke out and grow from it. He will take time to find out what is right and strive to do what is right. The wise want to grow, rather than keep making the wrong choices.

There are some in the church who get very angry when they are rebuked for a sin in their life. They are quick to point out about love and grace, refusing to accept that they must change.

Others will embrace the rebuke and see it as a challenge to become more like Jesus, rather than take offense to it.

Throughout your life there will be times when someone may rebuke you. Before you take offense to it, stop and think about what was said. Is it true? Then embrace it and change. If it is false, ignore it and move on.

Do not be angry at a rebuke, but see it as a chance for growth. God loves you, but will rebuke when you are making poor choices or stray from the path. God can and will use people to rebuke you and bring you on to His path for your life.

Be wise and grow, instead of offended and die.

I pray today that God will open your eyes to wise rebukes; that you will strive to live for God at all times; that God will give you strength to continue to grow in Jesus; and that God will give you wisdom in rebuking others.