Weekly Devotional 4-30-18
Trouble for Sure, but a More Abundant Life
On the night of His arrest Jesus told His disciples that the world would hate them (be strongly opposed to them). We read: “15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17 These things I command you, that you love one another.
18 If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 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. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.
22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause’” …. 16:1 “These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. 2 They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. 3 And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me” (John 15:15-25; 16:1-3).
Ten of Jesus original Apostles suffered many things during their lifetime, they each were martyred. John was burned with oil and was exiled to the Isle of Patmos. Many of Jesus original disciples were tortured and killed by the Roman government and many others were persecuted by Jews and Gentiles alike. Yet they experienced a more abundant life then those who rejected Jesus and them. How was that possible? Their understanding and purpose of life had changed.
An abundant life is based on the eternal, and it begins with one’s spiritual rebirth. When one comes into a relationship with Jesus Christ his or her life takes on a different perspective than previously. The un-regenerated man (the natural man) is held captive by his pursuance of wealth, prestige, position, and/or power knowing nothing about having a relationship with Jesus Christ or what comes of it. One is never truly satisfied with any of the mentioned things because no matter what level one is at, there is always the desire, and many times the need, for more. Christians on the other hand, who are committed to following Christ are filled with a sense of worth, a heavenly purpose and desire.
What greater blessing could there possibly be than to be in a relationship with God? To know that everything has been made right between one’s self and his or her Creator; To have His Spirit indwelling us who produces in us Godly love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (See Galatians 5:22-23). This is the abundant life that Jesus alluded to. It’s being in love with God.
The word “abundant” in the Greek is perisson, meaning “exceedingly, very highly, beyond measure, more, superfluous, a quantity so abundant as to be considerably more than what one would expect or anticipate.”
So yes, we Christians, like Jesus earliest followers and his followers down through these many centuries will no doubt suffer many things if we are truly committed to Him, But, through all of those things we will experience an abundant life.
Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man
All Scripture cited or used is from the NKJB