Wednesday’s Reading – John 15:18-16:4
Devotion by Juliann Mazzeo
When I read this passage and ask God what He wants us to see here, I am reminded that we ought to look like Jesus, sound like Jesus, and act like Jesus. How the world reacts to us should be how they would react to Him – either to accept us or reject us. As a people-pleaser that sounds scary to me, but our hope is in this, verse 19 says ” As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.” We are chosen by God, with all His promises! I would love to say that I can immediately accept this and have no fears or doubts about what it means to be hated, separate from the rest of the world, but that isn’t true for me. So I pursue God for His help.
In Psalm 73, Asaph speaks of His struggle to not be envious of the worldly, ungodly who do whatever they please and get away with it
“Surely God is good to Isreal, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills.” Psalm 73:1-5
“When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.” Psalm 73:16-17
“When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.” Psalm 73:21-28
God’s word is where I run to be reminded of who it is we serve and why we daily lay down our lives to bring glory to Jesus, the only pure and spotless lamb, sacrificed on the cross for my sins that I might be made right with God. There is nothing on Earth that comes close to Jesus. He is worthy of anything and everything we can give him. Choosing to not be part of this world is a sacrifice He is worthy of receiving. Are we willing to make it? He can help with that!
Pray with me if you feel to respond…
“Lord, I struggle with wanting the comforts of my life and wanting to please you. Please help me to trust you enough to place it ALL in your hands no matter what you ask me to do. Please help me not to doubt but to believe in your eternal purposes and that the things you have for me are truly better than the things of this world. Help my heart walk with you Lord Jesus. I know you deserve it all. Thank you for your love and patience with me Father.
In Jesus Name, Amen