I chose you out of the world ...

These things I command you, so that you will love one another. "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

What do you think of when you read the words "the world"? These words are used six times in this short passage and seem to reference a fleshly kingdom. Three times in John's gospel our Lord speaks of "the ruler of this world" giving us a glimpse into the nature and influence of Satan on fleshly life. Make no mistake about it, the kingdom of God is at war with the fleshly kingdom. Consider what Paul writes in his second letter to the Corinthians:
For though we walk in the flesh,
    we are not waging war according to the flesh.
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh
    but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
The words of Christ in our passage today calls us up to kingdom life and calls us out from fleshly living. The contrast is stark. Hatred of God's kingdom pervades worldly behavior. But loving your enemies is the banner that flies high in His kingdom. When we pray Thy kingdom come we entreat the Lord to empower us to love.. to motivate us to compassion.. to cause us to live as ones who have been called out from fleshly living.

Dear Lord, empower me to return love for hatred today.

1 comment:

  1. We are called to walk in the world but not be of it... It makes me think of a wetsuit for the diver...he's in the water, but doesn't get wet!!!

    His banner over us is LOVE!! Lord help me to wave your banner today in this old world of hate!


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