Weekly Devotion – John 17:14
Published 11:31 am Thursday, June 9, 2022
By Mike Caton
John 17:14, “I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.”
The key in this verse may be that Jesus has given his disciples his Father’s word. We live in a world where there are no longer any absolutes (or so we are told). Everything is conditional and situational. What is right in this case may not be right in that case. What is right for you might not be right for me. But that is not the case, God spoke about it in his word way back in the Old Testament. There is a standard, and we need to know that standard and stand for that standard.
And it is because of that standard the world will hate the true followers of Christ. We need to be careful, however. As Christians we are called to love others, never to hate them. We might not agree with them, we might not like what they are doing, we might realize that they are on a destructive path (according to the standard God has set), but we need to continue to love those folks. And in that love, we need to help them realize the truth and accept that truth. We will never do that by hating them, by belittling them, calling them names and so forth. We need to love those folks, to show them the truth God has revealed both by our actions and our words. We need to make Christianity a place they want to be, a relationship they want to have with the God who loves them more than anything.
Sometimes this is a tight line to walk. Standing for the truth, loving those who reject that truth and encouraging them to better things. It is hard for us to love folks who are so different from us, who do things that we cannot fathom. And yet, isn’t that exactly what Jesus did for us when he came to earth? He died for us while we were still sinners, still his enemies.
Father, help me be a better example of your word. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Mike Caton is the preacher at Mount Olive Church of Christ in Belhaven. He volunteers at the Ponzer Fire Department and works full time with Hyde County EMS. If you would like to receive daily devotions in your inbox, email firstname.lastname@example.org.