A New Devotion on Cove’s Prayer Line - Not for Wimps
Below is the podcast of a new devotion I just left on the Cove Presbyterian Church prayer line. You can find a recording of this devotion on the prayer line (1-304-748-7900). You can also find other devotions, sermons, essays, articles, and announcements on The Cove Community blog. You might also want to visit the congregational website (covepresbyterian.org) for more church information. If you find this meaningful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal.
“If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me before it hated you. If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world — therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘Servants are not greater than their master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. But they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not have sin. But now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. It was to fulfill the word that is written in their law, ‘They hated me without a cause.’”
Not for Wimps
If you listen to what they say, a lot of Christians seem to think it’s pretty easy to follow Jesus. I mean, it really doesn’t involve much more than saying some spiritual-sounding words and making a few promises that, even it you understand what they mean, won’t involve actually giving anything. For them, the faith is almost entirely internal and emotional and of course, personal. It’s about what an individual thinks and feels. And once they’ve said, promised and felt enough, then the blessings are suppose to start pouring it. As a matter of fact, once a guy has his nose above the minimum standard, there’s really nothing else to do, at least not from his side. Commitment to one another is strictly optional, and a Christian’s word is valid only if it doesn’t interfere with the comfort God is suppose to be giving.
But of course, that’s not how Jesus described the faith to his disciples. In fact, he prepared them to be hated on account of him. You see, for Christ, following isn’t about what a person promises to God; it’s about the life he or she chooses to live. And this life isn’t going to be easy nor is it the way to win friends and influence people. Rather, it results in others feeling resentment and frustration and hatred toward the Christian life-style, because it runs against the crowd-pleasing values of culture. And it’s interesting; if one’s Christian walk doesn’t lead to the same rejection and animosity that our Lord faced, maybe it’s not the Lord who’s being followed. In other words, living according to the world is the path to comfort and ease, because being a Christian just isn’t for wimps.