Today’s reading: John 15:1-27

Immediately after instructing the disciples to love one another, Jesus turns the discussion to hatred and persecution–something that the disciples are going to encounter as they follow after and deliver the salvation message of Jesus to the world. What Jesus tells the disciples is also true for us as Christ followers today.

Our choice to follow Christ and live according to God’s principles and standards sets us apart from a world filled with people who don’t yet have a relationship with God and whose focus is on themselves–accomplishments, possessions, comfort, status, money, etc. That being the case, our differing beliefs and actions will likely lead us to encounter varying degrees of opposition and persecution. Thus Jesus’s command to the disciples to love one another. Jesus knows how hard it is to stand alone when under attack or being challenged about spiritual choices. But when we have friendships and are connected with other Christ followers (as part of a church body or belonging to a study or life group, for example), it strengthens us and allows us to stand strong for Christ together.

How has being involved in church or being a member of a small group (life group, community group, Bible study group, etc.) helped you stand firm as a Christian? What encouragement did you draw from Jesus’s words to the disciples in John 15? Tami

Source: Tami’s Blog