If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. John 15:19
For the last several years, I've kicked off the year by selecting one word and verse of scripture to apply to my life for the upcoming twelve months. It's often challenging to discern where God wants me to place my focus. It can be even harder to see how to apply the word to my everyday life.
God placed a big word on my heart for 2016: W-O-R-L-D. I didn't particularly like or want that word for the year. Primarily because of the sentence, "That is why the W-O-R-L-D hates you."
When we look at verse 19 in context, we realize that Jesus was having His final meal and teaching time with His disciples. Imagine all the men reclined around the table, relaxing during their Passover meal. You have a close-knit group of friends enjoying one another over a long dinner and listening to their teacher speak. He is praying for His disciples. Jesus knows what comes next. Life gets real and gets hard for the disciples after His death, resurrection, and ascension.
How do we apply this scripture to us today? Teacher and author Jen Wilkin https://www.jenwilkin.net/ recommends two questions to analyze and apply scripture to your life:
- What does the text teach me about God?
- What does the text teach me about myself in relation to God?
What does the text teach me about God?
God is bigger than the world I know, see, hear about, or read about. If you are a Christ-follower, you simply do not "fit in" to the world and are not the "property" of the world. God chose you and me out of this world. Listen, we are chosen. We are all looking for a place where we fit in, where we are loved, and liked just as we are. John 15 tells us just how much God loves each of us individually.
What does the text teach me about myself in relation to God?
I am the property of God. Being someone's property can be a little unnerving. As independent women living in today's world, nobody, including me, wants to say they are the "property" of someone else. But, for me, there is so much freedom in knowing to whom I belong.
I am defined by who has chosen me. Belonging and identifying with Christ is the ultimate in acceptance and comfort for me. The world can hate me, but it cannot define me. Not being defined by what is happening around us is challenging. The world will hate Jesus Christ. But Christ taught, "The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil." John 7:17 Yes, we are in the line of fire because we are chosen. God will always protect us.
Action Item |
Read John 15 or a few select verses from the chapter and ask yourself: 1) What did the text teach me about God? 2) What did the text teach me about myself in relation to God?
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for choosing me. Thank You for protecting me from the hate of this world. Help me to be the light shining in the darkness. Amen.
Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post.