Sunday Devotional: Do not be amazed if the world hates you

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1 John 3:1-3, 6-8, 10, 13, 19-24

See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
And so we are.
The reason the world does not know us
is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed
we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.
Everyone who has this hope based on him
makes himself pure, as he is pure….
No one who remains in him sins;
no one who sins has seen him or known him.
Children, let no one deceive you.
The person who acts in righteousness is righteous,
just as he is righteous.
Whoever sins belongs to the devil,
because the devil has sinned from the beginning.
Indeed, the Son of God was revealed
to destroy the works of the devil….
In this way,
the children of God and the children of the devil are made plain;
no one who fails to act in righteousness belongs to God,
nor anyone who does not love his brother….
Do not be amazed, [then,] brothers, if the world hates you….
[Now] this is how we shall know that we belong to the truth
and reassure our hearts before him in whatever our hearts condemn,
for God is greater than our hearts and knows everything.
Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us,
we have confidence in God and receive from him whatever we ask,
because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
And his commandment is this:
we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ,
and love one another just as he commanded us.
Those who keep his commandments remain in him,
and he in them,
and the way we know that he remains in us
is from the Spirit he gave us.

Five days ago, we celebrated the Nativity of Jesus the Christ.

This Sunday’s reading from 1 John 3 is rich with joy, mystery, instruction, and warning.

We are joyful that we are the children of God, and intrigued by the promise that “what we shall be has not yet been revealed” and that when our time comes, we shall see God “as he is”.

How awesome is that!

But we are reminded that for this to happen, we must be pure, “belong to the truth” and keep His commandments, because “No one who remains in him sins”.

It is in so doing that we are true “children of God,” instead of “children of the devil”. But it is also precisely because we are “children of God” that we are hated by the world, which should neither surprise nor dishearten us, for being the object of the fallen world’s hatred and abuse means we are on the right path.

And so, the battle lines are drawn.

It isn’t and won’t be easy. We are and will be reviled and scorned, not because we’ve done something wrong, but precisely because we fight for truth instead of lies, good instead of evil.

And when our hopes are dashed and our spirits deflated, just remember this promise:

Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed
we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.”

May the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,


See also “Lies are a hallmark of evil”.

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7 responses to “Sunday Devotional: Do not be amazed if the world hates you

  1. This is such an excellent topic, especially for today’s world. Fifty years ago, it was a badge of honor to be a Christian and uphold Christian values . . . but today there is so much derision of those who follow Christ and His teachings. It is easy to pick out the children of Satan, just from their reaction to Christians.

    Dr Eowyn, thank you for reminding us to hold to the truth, despite those who may treat us in a spiteful manner–they are but carrying out Satan’s edicts.

  2. Amen!!!

  3. We Christians are born for combat, and the one suspicious person I always keep an eye out for is myself. At the age of 62, I am fortunate to be in good health, but I am slowing down, perhaps a bit prematurely, and I feel it. But the standard remains the same: Have I been true to God? Have I been loyal to Him?
    Yes, Our Lord laid it out plainly: “If the world hates you, it has hated Me first.” The Devil is “the Prince” of this world, Our Lord tells us, and the very title “Prince” is telling: The prince is but heir to the king. The Devil does not own the world lock, stock and barrel—YET. But after Christ’s Second Coming, he shall be confined to his “kingdom” of filth!’
    And so the Battle goes on. I cannot see the whole picture—yet. I cannot see my place in it—yet. I cannot see how bad things are going to get—yet. But I must control my feelings and emotions and always keep in mind that God Almighty Runs the Show here, despite any and all appearances to the contrary. He is in control and He shall win. He already has won.
    But me? That is the trick: How faithful have I been? Every new day is a chance to get it right, to resume, to endure unto victory.

    “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, what God has prepared for those who love Him.” This is what it’s all about.

  4. And with Your Spirit, Amen.

  5. In our society, there are many with “innocent” faces, who remain unseen and in the shadows, preaching against true Christianity in their different ways.

    “Back in the day when Catholics had real popes, this is what they had to say about Freemasonry:

    “Their law is untruth, THEIR GOD IS THE DEVIL and their cult is turpitude.” – Pope Pius VIII

    “We have resolved and decreed to condemn and forbid such Societies, assemblies, reunions, conventions, aggregations or meetings called either Freemasonic or known under some other denomination. WE CONDEMN AND FORBID THEM BY THIS, OUR PRESENT CONSTITUTION, WHICH IS TO BE CONSIDERED VALID FOREVER.” – Pope Clement XII

    “They come under the guise of sheep although they are in truth, none but ravening wolves.” – Pope Pius VII

    “It’s aim is to corrupt the youths in school.” – Pope Pius VII (He said this in 1829)”

  6. Another subversive which had influence on demeaning true Christianity was the Crypto-jew, Lyndon Johnson.

    “Most churches in America have organized as “501c3 tax-exempt religious organizations.” This is a fairly recent trend that has only been going on for about fifty years. Churches were only added to section 501c3 of the tax code in 1954. We can thank Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson for that. Johnson was no ally of the church. As part of his political agenda, Johnson had it in mind to silence the church and eliminate the significant influence the church had always had on shaping “public policy.”

    Although Johnson proffered this as a “favor” to churches, the favor also came with strings attached (more like shackles). One need not look far to see the devastating effects 501c3 acceptance has had to the church, and the consequent restrictions placed upon any 501c3 church. 501c3 churches are prohibited from addressing, in any tangible way, the vital issues of the day.

    For a 501c3 church to openly speak out, or organize in opposition to, anything that the government declares “legal,” even if it is immoral (e.g. abortion, homosexuality, etc.), that church will jeopardize its tax exempt status. The 501c3 has had a “chilling effect” upon the free speech rights of the church. LBJ was a shrewd and cunning politician who seemed to well-appreciate how easily many of the clergy would sell out.”

  7. “501c3 Religion: Reemergence Of the Divine Right Of Kings”

    “It is … easy to understand why thousands of Nonconformist preachers fled to America’s shores, and for a time at least, the Stuart monarchy was glad to be rid of them. Few colonists shared the religious convictions of the British crown. For the most part, they were of the “Protesting faith.” Many of the emigrant clergy had been convicted criminals, guilty of “preaching without a license” and “publishing without a license.” Some had been “banished to the plantations.” Others were fugitives of the law, having received subpoenas to appear before the king’s Star Chamber, but fleeing rather than facing a heretic’s trial. Some had even escaped from the king’s prisons.

    Felon preachers were commonplace in early America, among them, William Penn. In 1668, Penn published a religious tract, entitled The Sandy Foundation Shaken. It was published without a license, and Penn was arrested, tried and jailed in the Tower of London. In 1668, Penn published a religious tract, entitled The Sandy Foundation Shaken. It was published without a license, and Penn was arrested, tried and jailed in the Tower of London….As a direct result of the Rev. Penn’s trial, two of the greatest “charters of liberty” were forever established — jury nullification and the writ of habeas corpus.4 Penn later became the founder and first governor of Pennsylvania.

    But the arrival of thousands of unlicensed preachers in America did not spontaneously result in freedom of religion. While Protestants firmly adhered to a policy of the independence of the church from the State, Anglicans exerted their influence in an attempt to bring all American churches under the sway of the monarchy, and later, also under the parliament. In an effort to control religion, the British crown established hundreds of Anglican churches throughout the American Colonies. Through imposition of various “religious acts,” the king sought a church monopoly. Unlicensed preaching and publishing was forbidden, and just as in England, the king declared himself “sovereign head” of America’s churches. To America’s Dissenting clergy, this was nothing short of blasphemy. It was in the unlicensed pulpits of America’s Nonconformist churches that the phrase was coined, “No king but King Jesus!” It was also there that such patriotic phrases originated as “Live free or die!”
    “The forces of Antichrist have conned Christ’s ministers into believing that the church can’t function without Caesar’s “privileges and benefits.” But churches only started incorporating about fifty years ago. Prior to that, church incorporation was almost unheard of, and in many states, it was not permitted. The obvious question then is, aren’t there other ways of legally organizing a church? The attorney will say, “Yes, you can organize as an unincorporated association.” But this is also a legal mischaracterization. ABA accredited law schools only teach these two ways of organizing a church, and both are wrong. Both bring a church out from under the protections of the First Amendment. The incorporated church, in particular, is placed directly under government jurisdiction and control.”


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