At Odds with the World | Morning Routine Daily Devotional for February 11
I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the…
I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. …I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word. — John 17:14-17, 20 ESV
Not long before Jesus’ death on the cross, he celebrated the Passover meal with his disciples. And near the end of the meal, Jesus prayed for them. He went to God the Father on their behalf, in what is sometimes called the ‘High Priestly Prayer.’ We find ourselves in the middle of Jesus’ prayer today.
First, Jesus affirms that the world ‘has hated’ those who follow him. Why? Jesus says they hate us because we are not of this world. When we become Christians, we are changed, no longer of the world, no longer characterized by the desires and goals of the world. And so, Jesus prays, not that we would be taken out of the world, but that while we’re in it, God would keep us from the evil one! You can safely assume that if God has given you another day on earth, it’s because He has work for you to do here!—in the world but not of the world. And, in addition to our protection, Jesus prays that we would be sanctified, or set apart, by God’s truth, His word. One of the key ways we are distinct from the world is that we live according to God’s Word, which we believe to be objective truth.
Have you noticed opposition to your faith? Have you seen how the world has an agenda that wants to stomp out your fire for Jesus? Take heart! This world is opposed to you! But Jesus has overcome the world. And he has prayed for you and your faith—that you, while carrying out his mission, would be protected and kept in the truth. This world may be against us, but Jesus is for us. Let today’s passage fill you with great courage: you are a citizen of another kingdom. We seek to fulfill our King’s mission in this world. Christ is still on the throne. All is well!