Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well, and that this devotion finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy!
Readings for May 16, 2021: Seventh Sunday of Easter
Acts 1:12-26; Psalm 1; 1 John 5:9-15; John 17:11b-19
Jesus said, “I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:14-17
Last week our reading focussed on how by loving others, we are showing that we love God. Yet, this week we read that believers in Jesus, despite loving others, will be hated. How can that be: if we are loving others, how can they hate us? Well, let’s look at Jesus.
Jesus loved everyone and he had compassion on all who came to him. He taught and he held fast to his ministry of sharing God’s love and plan of salvation to all people. Despite how people reacted to the hearing of God’s love for them and his plan for salvation, Jesus kept loving and proclaiming. He didn’t make excuses or sugar coat his words because he was afraid someone wouldn’t like what he had to say. He didn’t judge people but he didn’t excuse them either. He matter-of-factly stated God’s desire for them and their life, while still showing care and compassion. Although many loved him and believed he was/is the Saviour of the world, there were many who did not come to faith and others who hated him enough to kill him.
In this light, as people who believe in Jesus as the Saviour of the world, may our love for others be based on the need to share the love and salvation of Jesus to all, while still holding fast to God’s ways and never denying him in our own life. For the love we share is not a whimsical blind love that does everything that someone else wants us to. It is a gentle, caring love based on God’s love for them and his desire to bring them back to himself as his cleansed, renewed and redeemed child. It is a love we share because we have received and experienced firsthand his grace and mercy, his love and salvation. Therefore, as you are asked to share the love of Jesus, may you hold fast to God’s ways for your own life. And do not be afraid if some people hate you for it, but pray for them that the Holy Spirit will continue to draw them to the saving grace of Jesus.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to hold fast to your ways and your truth as I share your love with others, even when I’m afraid. Be with those who may hate me for loving you or ridicule me for proclaiming my love for and faith in Jesus, my Saviour; a faith that may seem foolish to them at this point in time. For you desire all people to come to the knowledge of your truth. So please open their hearts to let go of any fear or doubt, and to receive you, your peace and salvation. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!