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Read This Passage: John 15:18-22
“If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will also keep yours.”
People today are always making predictions about what’s going to happen in the future. They try to predict which way the stock market and the housing market will go. Meteorologists try to predict what weather patterns will emerge. Pundits make predictions about who will win political races, commentators try to pick the winners in the biggest sporting events, and entertainment reporters spend a lot of time trying to predict the year’s best movie, actor, and song. At camp, many of you try to make predictions about what the SockWar theme will be, or what activity you will play that evening.
But predictions aren’t really new. Today’s key verse involves a prediction Jesus made to His followers about the future. Unlike our present-day -predictions about movies, sports, weather, and markets, Jesus’ prediction had to do with how the world would treat those who chose to follow Him wholeheartedly.
Jesus knew that really living out our faith wasn’t going to be easy. He knew that people would take notice when they saw real live faith, and many of them wouldn’t like it. And the truth is, there are people all around the world facing persecution because they are choosing to follow Christ. The Bible says that we shouldn’t be surprised when it happens because, after all, they persecuted Jesus. Is there any reason to believe that we will have it better than the Son of God?
While most predictions don’t change the way we choose to live, this prediction helps us gain the necessary strength to keep pressing on. The real question is, what will you do as a result of Jesus’ prediction? What do you think your counselor would do? Would they stand up for Jesus? Will you choose to quit following Christ or will you choose to draw even closer to Him? Follow Christ and draw closer to Him every day.
Write down the ways you believe you have been persecuted for following Christ. Think back to those times and ask yourself if you walked away stronger or more defeated in your faith because of the way you handled the situation.
Check out www.imb.org or www.releaseinternational.org to gain a better understanding of how Christians are being persecuted. What can you do to help minister to those who are suffering today?
Praise God today for the times you face persecution. Thank Him for the opportunity to grow stronger in your faith. Pray for those around the globe that are facing persecution today.