Thursday, July 30: I have chosen you out of the world
Read John 15:18-25
"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: 'They hated me without reason.'"
From the beginning, there has been a line drawn between those who accept God's word and respond to his offer of a faith relationship and those who choose to reject it. This choice makes all the difference in the world, both in our lives as individuals and in the course of history.
Today ask God for strength to stand firm in your own faith, and pray for the protection and encouragement of Christians who are suffering because of what they believe.