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We are Different from the World

1 John 5:19
We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. (NIVUK)

This bold statement immediately explains why the Christian life, if it is to be lived properly, is not easy. The good news is that we belong to God if we have repented of our sin and believed in Jesus the Saviour. We are God's children; born-again into His family. He loves us and desires only the best for us. It is a privilege to be loved by somebody as special as God … and we should never minimise the preciousness of our secure position in Him.

On the other hand, the people who have not trusted Jesus as their Saviour are under the control of the Evil One. That seems a bold statement too, and one which initially we might doubt because we know so many nice and kind people who have not received Christ. We assume that they are much like us but without the benefit of knowing the intensity of God's love and the freedom of His forgiveness. But John would disagree. They may not know it but they are being controlled.

Until we welcomed the Lord of the gospel, we too were controlled by the basic principles of this world (Galatians 4:3) which conform to the devil's plan to dethrone Jesus. But we were rescued from the domination of Satan's dark kingdom (Colossians 1:13). We too were a part of the world; but when we believed the gospel we were saved, even though the world thinks we have been very foolish (1 Corinthians 1:18).

There is nothing about us which is better than the world, but there is much about Christ that is better than the Evil One. We have no reason to be proud or critical of others for we know that apart from the grace of Christ our hearts would still be mesmerised by the world. However the world will now treat us differently: with ridicule, scorn, indifference and even outright persecution. 1 Peter 4:13 says, "But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." So stand strong for Jesus and pray for your brothers and sisters throughout the world who suffer because they are trusting Him.

Gracious Father. Thank You for making me one of Your own children and rescuing me from the control of the Evil One. Forgive me for not always appreciating the privilege You have given me in welcoming me into Your family. Please help me to understand that I am different from the people of the world - whose indifference, scorn or persecution is natural behaviour for them. Help me to be confident in Your eternal protection and help me to pray for my brothers and sisters who suffer because they belong to Jesus. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams