Scripture: 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. (John 17:14)
The word of God received distinguishes the disciples of Jesus from the world around them because the primary characteristic of the world is that it rejects its maker. Thus, to receive the word of God is to receive God himself, and thereby to have your identity in God revealed. But that means that those who are “not of this world” will in the end be hated by this world because the world rejects those who receive God because they come from God and are an extension of his rule.
Prayer: Lord, we know that we’re called to be ambassadors, disciples, everyday missionaries in the world. But it’s hard because we don’t like to be hated. More than that, it can be difficult for us to know when we’re being hated for the name of Christ and when hardship arises because of our own remaining sinfulness. So have mercy on us, Lord, and teach us to know the difference. More than that, purify us so that we might be more like Christ and better able to endure as salt and light in a world that rejects you. Amen.