We shouldn't be surprised at the level of hatred poured out on Sarah Palin, Tim Tebow and other high-profile Christians.
The world has always hated those who follow Jesus Christ and stand for righteousness. They hated Jesus first and will hate His followers. Those most proud of their tolerance are also the ones most filled with hatred toward Christ followers.
We have entered a new era. In the passing of one brief generation America has changed from being "one nation under God" to a nation of many gods where God no longer has a place in the public arena. He who rules heaven and earth cannot be shut out. "All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing. He does according to His will in the armies of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand nor say to Him "What have you done?" (Daniel 4:35).
Jesus has not left us uninformed or unequipped. He promised "if they persecuted me, they will persecute you also". He promised to send the Spirit of Truth, the Counselor, to live within us, to guide us, to bring glory to Jesus Christ, and to convict of sin, righteousness and judgment. Don't be so caught up with the fulfillment of the first promise of persecution that you neglect the second promise of companionship.
Be informed: turbulent times are ahead for Christians.
Be equipped: learn to live life in the Spirit.
Be active: pray and proclaim truth.
Be unafraid: Jesus is Lord!
Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
- Describe Jesus' relationship with the world.
- Describe His follower's relationship with the world.
- Why does Jesus warn His disciples about the world's hatred?
- What is the Counselor's role in the believer's life?
- What can the believer expect from the Spirit's presence or indwelling?
- How does Jesus describe eternal life in His prayer?
- What are some things Jesus petitions the Father for on behalf of His followers?
- What does His prayer reveal about His expectations regarding His followers?
- How do you see God answering His prayer through your life today? (Is He answering His prayer in your life today?)
- How does Jesus prepare for what He is facing?
- Why couldn't Peter win in the battle of prayer? What does this tell you about prayer?
- What does prayer prepare you for?
Jesus' life of prayer demonstrated His absolute dependence upon His Father. What will it cost you to become a person of prayer? Ask the Lord to open your eyes to all that He is for you in Christ Jesus and show you the power of prayer.