“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.” John 15:18 NKJV
In the beginning, God created everything, and you and me. He visited us in the garden and had a personal relationship with us, a friendship with mankind. The curse of sin, which has a price tag of death, came upon the earth thanks to the devil’s trickery and changed everything. Although nothing can separate man from the love of God, sin does physically separate us from God. God created us to commune with Him and the enemy knew sin would destroy that bond. So, God created a hell to punish the devil and his demons. The enemy knows it is his punishment, but he plans to take as many humans with him as possible to continue to hurt God. Because God created a heaven where he can be reunited with people. Well, people needed help to overcome the enemy so God sent laws and formulas for worship and sacrifice that should point people into a position of acting in love. And the enemy attacked it over time and twisted it until it became punitive. But God so loved us that He then sent His only son, Jesus, to break the curse of sin over mankind by bringing it down into the grave, paying the required price for it, and then conquering it by rising again! Jesus ascended to heaven after 40 days. So that we know through Him we can access a relationship with The Father. God made a way to reconcile with mankind and commune and have fellowship with them again! This is GOOD NEWS.
God also created us with free will. Just as we do not want to be married or in a relationship with someone who is forced and manipulated to be in the relationship (we do not want a partner who is chained and a prisoner to us), God also wants us to freely choose Him. Or we can choose to believe the devil’s lies and go to the devil’s punishment – hell. It is our choice.
I know this sounds like a children’s story. It is simple, moral, and almost imaginative. God made it simple so that even children can believe and be saved from the wrath to come. God wishes that no one parishes. He wants us to at least give a relationship with Him an honest try – and see that He is good. He says that if you repent and seek Him, you will find Him!
Now imagine if you will what it could be like to have your best friend be the creator of the universe, all-knowing, all-powerful, having all wealth, and is super generous – not like a genie in a bottle granting wishes, but a friend with mutual respect and trust and love, who is willing to use His resources to help you. He is willing to talk to you can since he can see ahead, he can prepare you, position you, and protect you from all the craziness in this world. Oh, and all that crazy? It is the enemy knowing his time is short and working very hard to destroy people and distract them from being reunited with God.
It feels like just yesterday, I was crying laying on my floor, exhausted from trying to fix the mess I made. My sin and poor choices caused broken hearts and broken friendships and broken families and despair and death… yes, I made a huge mess of my life. As I lay there with no way I could fix anything, nor could I go on like that – God reached out to me and made me feel like He still loved me and was ready to help me through it. I had tried God before and it did not seem to work out the way I expected, how could He help me this time? As I thought I realized the last time I treated Him like a genie in a lamp and not as a loving and kind Father and Friend. So I looked up and shook my fists and said – fine! Ok! I surrender! I give up and will do things your way! Things can’t get any worse. BUT!! You MUST be a real God. You MUST be who the Bible says you are! You must be an ever-present help! You MUST be the I AM! You MUST be the God of fire shut up in my bones! I expect to see the lame walk, the blind see, the deaf hear, demons cast out, and addiction destroyed in people’s lives starting with mine!!! I expect life and relationship!
It is now years later and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, HE IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS! I have seen miracles. I have heard His voice. I have experienced Him personally. Oh, and I have to also put in the work because relationships go both ways. Not works like doing good things to earn heaven – that is NOT how this works. I have to put the work into the relationship, you know like talking to Him (because He talks back), spending time with Him (because we both enjoy being in each other’s presence), reading His word (I love learning about his stories and getting to know Him, He already knows me and this is how I can learn of Him), and worshiping Him (because He is faithful and just and worthy!) You know putting the work in as in keeping up on my side of the relationship.
In this world of lies – this simple truth is hard to understand. We can have a relationship with the Father through Jesus in the Holy Spirit.
Do you want to know the truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was a whirlwind of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. I was lost and I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choices. Then I found Jesus, and truth while lying on my floor crying that day. He challenged me to accept Him, trust Him and follow Him and I challenged Him to be who He says He is – I found peace and deliverance from sin.
If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and a relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and the Holy Spirit will reveal the truth to you. It becomes the two-way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth because he is our only way to the Father.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grows and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus, I pray ~ Amen
If you have said this life-changing prayer and really want a relationship with God, please reach out to me. You can reach me in the comment section here (comments need approvals so you can use it as an email to me and I will not publish / approve it), or you can PM me on Facebook or DM me on Instagram. I do not always have instant access to my accounts, but I will respond when I check them. I would like to follow up and let you know the next steps to forming a healthy relationship.
Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Today’s reading we will re-read the same passage in the Gospel of John, chapter 15 at verse 18 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).
The World’s Hatred
18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’
The Coming Rejection
26 “But when the [c]Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.
John 15:18-27 NKJV
MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:
“And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Luke 4:8 KJV
Today, I believe I have to ask things of you all, that I seldom ask. Please like and share to get the word out there. Please post this to your social media, to all your socials, or since I have already posted it on Facebook and Instagram, you can share it directly from my page! You see NOW is the time for telling people about Jesus! Now is the time for soul-winning! Now is the time for the harvest! There is a special anointing on those who obey and share the Lord.
Many of us do not share because we do not know what to say. So make it easy on yourself and do not come up with new words – just share this post. When I finally surrendered to God and was laying on the floor crying, I saw a Facebook post – a friend had shared her church’s post. God used that share to show me He was still knocking at my door because He still loved me! I returned to God because someone shared. Please help God reach the lost, the desperate, and the hurting – those like me.
And do not worry about them seeing this part down here, and somehow thinking your share was disingenuous because you were told to share. Most will scroll past the post, but it can plant a seed. A few might pop it open and the first thing they will get is the salvation message and most will not even read that all the way through before they leave. And that is ok. Another seed, a little water, and we let God be God and do what He does in their lives. And only maybe 1 will read this all the way down to here. And that one will see that you are a brave and obedient believer and the real deal. And if you are that one who just surrendered to God today, congratulations! Heaven and all of us are rejoicing with you!! I meant it when I asked you to please reach out!
Then after you share I ask that you pray to the Lord of the Harvest for souls! Pray that this does not return void. Pray for everyone who opens this page and reads, even if they only read one word! Our prayers can change their hearts and prepare the way for the Lord in their lives! Prayer works!
We have had that season of God building and establishing – but the seasons are changing to evangelism and outreach for this ministry. (For us as individuals it is always time to share Jesus!) Now, I could feel this shift in the atmosphere and schedule a rebranding and launch of the outreach branch. But I want to be obedient and shift with the spirit, now as the spirit shifts, and without the full bigger picture of what it will be. So, please grow with me and help be part of it by sharing and promoting Jesus!
What if I lose friends? What if people reject me?
“18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.”
Because Jesus loves you Jesus is warning you – some will be lost and reject you. Because I also love you let me tell you sharing my blog may cause some to hate you. This blog contains the Word of God and it never goes out without opposition. This friction will cause hate in some, unfortunately.
“19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
If someone did not hate you, then you would know you are doing it all wrong – questions everything even your salvation! Seriously it would not hurt to start fresh and rededicate yourself to Christ and this time make sure you are in the relationship!
“20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.”
I have many friends who are pastors, and one of them was sharing with me about their early years in ministry in relation to this passage. You see he had studied this passage in Bible School and thought he understood it. He graduates and lands a job as a youth pastor of a very established church with generations of families attending, lots of love. The youth group felt like family and quite frankly they were all siblings, cousins, relatives, and neighbors. They all professed Christ and had memorized scriptures and strived to be good people. He thought it would be easy! Well, they all hated him. It escalated to a huge church special meeting and the parents hated him too and the only one who seemed supportive was the senior pastor. You see, my friend had an evangelistic heart and told the teens they would be doing outreaches and learning about soul-winning and they did not want “those people” in their social club. It turned out the parents felt the same. You see the church was close to capacity so the leadership stopped doing outreaches because there was no place to put more people. And this church lulled itself into a sleepy social club.
My friend and his senior pastor did the only thing they knew to do – they started a door-to-door witnessing campaign, just the two of them. Some members left and hated them speaking evil of them and persecuting them, hoping to drive them out of town. Some hated the change but stayed and made life miserable. Very few kept the word of God and began doing outreach – however 100% of the new converts and needy people from the community came in, did evangelism, regrew the church, and raised enough money to buy land and build a bigger church. That original family bought the old building and tirelessly work to preserve it as a historical site. My friend being a young pastor and having everyone against him, could have ended his career. God obviously had a plan.
Some hate the full gospel, the whole Bible, the servant to the poor parts, the love your enemies parts, and the things that challenge their complacency. While others will keep the whole Bible, full gospel, serving the poor and needy, loving everyone, and growing when challenged.
“21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.”
You see – this is the core of it all! We cannot choose to repent if we do not think we have done anything wrong. It is harder to convince a good person or a religious person of their sins than it is to convince a drunkard that he is a drunk. But here is the beauty of it. WE DO NOT NEED TO CONVINCE THEM! We must bring them the good news that God made a way to restore His relationship with mankind! Then, the Holy Spirit brings revelation while Jesus shines His light into the darkness. You are out of the equation, except you are still standing in front of them and they are now mad at you because they cannot see Jesus or the Holy Spirit. They now know they are a sinner and they do not want to give up their comfortable life. They can never go back into ignorance and now they have to choose God or sin, knowing their own sin convicts them and condemns them to eternal punishment. The thing they love is destroying them. They are now responsible and want to shift the blame to you.
“23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’”
Yeah – God always knew this would happen. It is like when we are in a dimly lit room and someone turns on all the lights at once! We all gasp and cover our eyes – it hurts our eyes!! Well, imagine that you were doing secretive things in that dark, and now your eyes hurt and everyone can see you were lying or stealing or cheating!!! It was the light that exposed us – but we are mad at the person standing next to the light switch because we cannot see or be mad at the power that is great enough to kill us, loves us enough to expose us to get us out of it, and shines the light so we can see!
“26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.”
In the dark times of the first century, when the harvest was ripe and many longed for the light, and in the darkness was persecution and death, believers would need someone to bear witness of Christ in each other to keep us safe and show us who was who. That is the job of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will testify of Jesus in the hearts of others. The Holy Spirit will testify of Jesus in you. And the Holy Spirit will confirm your testimony of Christ to unbelievers and give them the opportunity to accept Jesus.
So yeah, sharing Jesus could mean the church rejects you and you may need to go out to the streets to share Jesus, like my friend. Or it could mean the people on the street will hate you and chase you back to your car, egg your house, or otherwise persecute you. It could even come to the point, like in the first century, that you could die for believing. And even with this information, I ask you to share the word of God that is presented here daily. Do not try to save them or convince them. Just offer it to them.
Please join us tomorrow as we continue to discuss the Book of John.
I also wanted to remind and inform all of you, that instead of writing a book on fasting (since it is the topic I get asked the most about) I have created a Facebook group that is designed to be interactive and give you all the Bible verses on fasting, all the types of fast, and how to fast. In the group are specialists to help us along the way, like the creator of The Fasting Protocol (fasting for health and weight loss; which is part of fasting and important to know about – He can also speak to fasting in a healthy manner). The group is new and other experts are invited, I am hopeful they will join. So let’s join the group and see what we will learn about prayer and fasting. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/509149707741862
Thank you for reading in 2023 – a Year of Grace and Provision
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace. Walk in wisdom.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!
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