‘If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.’ (v19)
John 15:18–25

I accepted Christ at the university. From a family which did not know Christ, I encountered Christ and began to learn to walk God’s way; a challenge for any teenager. Every Thursday afternoon, I was led in a new believer’s Bible study.

On one occasion, there was a knock at my door. It opened and an old school friend looked in. His cheerful smile turned to a quizzical look as he asked, ‘What are you doing?’

‘I’ve accepted Christ and I’m having a Bible study’. Instantly, he turned on his heel declaring me to be a loser. I have never seen him again to this day.

Changing location changes perception: my own and those of others towards me. For five years my dad and I hardly spoke because he was so disappointed that I ‘threw’ my work opportunities away to serve Jesus. As a youth worker, I also met with many parents who warned me off motivating their children to serve in mission.

Today, Christians are often intensely disliked. Their faith scorned and their contribution to public debate derided and mocked. Yet, no surprise. Jesus said it would be like this. Our challenge is to keep living as citizens of heaven rather than being intimidated and conforming to this world.

RELATED SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Lev. 26: 14–46; Psa. 119:105–112; John 17:6–23; 1 John 4:1–6.

AN ACTION TO TAKE: Scripture ensures we know how we are to live as citizens of heaven.

A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, help me always to refuse to be conformed to this world, rather seeking to be transformed through the renewing of my mind, by Your Word. Amen.’

Photo by Abishek on Unsplash

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.