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Weekly Devotional from August 14, 2006

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Women in Discipleship (sm)
Weekly Devotionals 2006
Week 28
"Do not be surprised, brethren if the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death."   1 John 3:13-14
Love is a very strong word. It gives indication to a heart attitude. The love spoken of here is Agape Love. This love is only experienced by the true believer in Jesus Christ. 
John reminds his flock to not be surprised by the world's hatred of us. Just speaking the name Jesus in some circles can bring out rage, anger and hatred. We hear and see it every day on the news and in our midst at work, school, in the market place. True hatred of the Christian is abounding more and more all over the world. The war on terror has a lot to do with this world mindset. Freedom to speak Jesus is not well received in most of our world today.
Jesus spoke of this hatred very well in His high priestly prayer as found in John 17: 6-19. He doesn't ask to remove us from the hateful world but asks for the Father to keep us safe from the evil one. He also asks the Father to sanctify them (us) in the truth (His word, the Bible.
True love is seen in Jesus! He knows we can't love others (believers and unbelievers alike) without His help. Our job is to love like Jesus. He had compassion on the lost. He was gentle with the sinners. I know because I was one before I was saved.
A test of true belief is this: Do I love only those who are good to me? Do I love those who talk behind my back, despise me, resent that I am a Christian? What about those who are trying to take my rights as a Christian away from me? If we don't love these people what is this? It's hate! Evidence of our salvation is Agape Love. It can only happen through Holy Spirit power and the faith we have in Jesus Christ. A Christian cannot hate! This is the truth! If you have hate in your heart it's time for a check up in true righteousness.
Our lives in Christ are to "benefit other" not ourselves. Hatred only serves self!
Jesus says in Matthew 5:44 "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." How do these words tie into what is being taught here?
How can you demonstrate Agape love toward that difficult person in your midst?
Agape Love is gentle. May we, as true believers, be seen by God as loving even if the world hates us.
Love one another,
Sandra Davis for the ministry team


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