WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
APRIL 19, 2021
TOPIC: BELIEVERS IN CHRIST DON’T BELONG TO THE WORLD
BY T. O. BANSO
“When the world hates you, remember it hated me before it hated you. The world would love you if you belonged to it, but you don’t. I chose you to come out of the world, and so it hates you” (John 15:18-19 New Living Translation).
The Bible tells us that there are two kinds of people on earth: the children of this world and the children of God. Luke 16:8 talks about these two classes when it says the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light. The children of this world are the same as the sons of this world while the children of God are the same as the sons of light.
1 John 3:10 also talks about this classification: the children of God and the children of the devil. “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:10 New King James Version).
The Bible does not leave us in doubt that the children of God will not always receive fair treatment in this world from the children of the devil because they don’t belong to the same kingdom. The children of God should not be surprised if the children of the devil hate them, attack them, persecute them, or try to frustrate them. Any child of God who expects to be always loved by sinners may not have read his Bible well. “Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you” (1 John 3:13 New King James Version).
Jesus said to His disciples and, by extension, His followers today, “When the world hates you, remember it hated me before it hated you. The world would love you if you belonged to it, but you don’t. I chose you to come out of the world, and so it hates you” (John 15:18-19 New Living Translation). The Greek word translated world is kosmos and it has different meanings, including the universe, the earth, the world system, and human beings excluding the believers.
One of the meanings of kosmos, which conveys Jesus’ thoughts in this context is “the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ” (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon). It is the same word for the world which Jesus referred to when He said earlier, “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil” (John 7:7 New King James Version).
Jesus was replying to His brothers who didn’t believe Him and told Him to go into Judea for the celebration of the Festival of Shelters, which was at hand so that His disciples might see His miracles. They were teasing Him that if He wanted to become a public figure, He must do His miracles openly, not in hiding. But Jesus said the right time had not come. Whereas every time was right for them, it wasn’t so for Him because the world hated Him. Why? Because He testified of it that its works were evil. The world didn’t hate His brothers (verses 2-7).
When a child of God begins to testify that the works of the world are evil or lives in accordance with the Word of God, the world will hate him. This should not be a surprise to a child of God. He doesn’t belong to the world. As we’ve seen in 1 John 3:10, the practice of righteousness and loving one’s brother differentiate the children of God from the children of the devil. The children of God walk in the light. They’ve been delivered from the kingdom of darkness and conveyed into the Kingdom of God’s dear Son (Colossians 1:13).
On the other hand, the children of this world dwell in darkness and practise evil. “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God” (New King James Version John 3:20-21).
The world hated Jesus and, therefore, will hate anyone who truly believes in Him and practices His Word. Jesus said, “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. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me” (John 15:20-21 New King James Version).
Many children of God have been persecuted and even killed because of Jesus Christ. This was how the religious leaders hated Jesus Christ and killed Him. Tribulation or persecution will always arise for the sake of the Word of Jesus, but the children of God must never stumble. We must let the Word have root in us (Matthew 13:21; Mark 4:17).
The Word will always attract persecution. Jesus said, “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one” (John 17:14-15 New King James Version).
The world will persecute those who believe in Jesus but we must endure. 2 Timothy 3:12 says all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. The promised reward for following Christ comes with persecutions (Mark 10:30).
Believers are in the world but don’t belong to the world. Jesus said of His followers, “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” (John 17:16 New King James Version). Believers in Christ are not part of “the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ.” We are the children of light, not of darkness. Just as Jesus said His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36), our citizenship is in heaven, not in this world (Philippians 3:20).
Don’t compromise because of persecution or the world’s hatred. There is no fellowship between light and darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14). Come out from them and separate yourselves from them (2 Corinthians 6:17). Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness but reprove them (Ephesians 5:11).
You must love sinners but you must never live like them. “Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” (Romans 13:13-14 New King James Version).
The children of God don’t belong to this world. While they live in darkness and practise evil, let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16). As a child of God, don’t forget who you are. Don’t lose your identity. You have been redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot (1 Peter 1:18-19). Don’t blend with the world. You don’t belong to the world. Friendship with the world is enmity with God (James 4:4).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, thank You for redeeming me with the precious blood of Jesus. Help me, Holy Spirit, to live according to my true identity in Christ Jesus. I shall not live as the sons of darkness but as the sons of the light. Holy Spirit, I receive strength not to succumb to the world’s hatred and persecution. I shall endure to the end and be saved in Jesus’ name.
(For about 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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