How to be Hated by Others.

Have you been watching the Bible Series sequel; A.D. The Bible Continues? Do you find it great or do you find it annoying? One thing we all can agree, they keep it real and raw. You feel the emotions of the disciples of Jesus.

flickr / Chris Yarzab
flickr / Chris Yarzab

I love audio and visual representations of scripture. Now, I’ve never seen anything on TV or movies get it right, but one thing I do appreciate is that Roma Downey and Mark Burnett are allowing people to see raw Christianity. In a sense, these two are sharing their faith in Christ through visual media.

God calls us to live right-side up in an upside-down world. Everywhere we look and go—we see people living for themselves, and this does not exclude Christians. For us to begin living right-side up in our world that is upside-down is, doing and saying what the Lord says and not what we think is best.

Everything about our life should reflect the very nature of God the Father, so that others can see his light and truth. We are called to be reflectors of His glory! How do we begin to live as an outcast in today’s society? There are two ways – Die to Self, and to Love is to Hate.

1.) Die to Self:

We are not our own. The Bible is clear on this. When the disciples were gathered in the Upper Room, they prayed. I’m not sure they knew what else to do. Jesus had been taken into heaven and all they had was his teachings.

Mathew 16:24-27

Jesus is telling His disciples that if we want gain everything that God has in-store for us, we need to give up our very lives for him. If we lay our life down as a life long decision to serve Christ, we will be blessed and will find our life in him. He is the source of all life and with that we can trust he has our very best at heart.

We should not desire to strive to win over the whole world, or try and gain our own acceptance in people’s eyes. God is calling His people to put the interests of the Kingdom first and foremost above one’s own life. Picking up the cross doesn’t mean to endure a heavy burden, but to renounce self-centered ambitions. This is where eternal life results in the fullest experience of Kingdom living here and now.

Like Peter and John, we are to be giving our all for the sake of the Kingdom of God. In one respect we are made fools in the sight of the world. But when they see the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives, they cannot deny his power.

Phil 1:21; “For me to life is Christ, and to die is gain.” We live in a word where people don’t see the goodness of God in their lives day in and day out. For us it is different. When we choose to live a life devoted to Christ we are saying that we are choosing to die to our own desires and live Christ’s desires in us. To die is truly to live.

2. To Love is to Hate:

Luke 14:26

It is a strange thing to say that if you do not hate your parents or family you cannot be Christ’s disciple. Just as I had said, to love is to hate. When we have that deep and passionate relationship with Christ it is as if we don’t care our family.

That’s how it looks. I was talking with someone who said that they can’t commit to the church because their family comes first. That even Sunday mornings are hard to do with their family. And if something comes up, they forego church and do what needs to be done for their family.

I understand the need to keep family at the utmost importance in one’s life… but serving in the Kingdom of God takes and should take precedence in a believers life. Not that we neglect our families or obligations… but we must keep Christ as the center of our lives.

When He remains as the center of our lives, everything else will fall into place. And our families will be rewarded by our service to God.

We are to have such a deep and passionate relationship with Christ that others around us will see it and desire to know and understand it for their own life. Everywhere we look, people are looking for a spiritual significance to follow after.

Going back to the book of Acts we see that they Church and the Apostles are in prison an the Lord releases them. Acts 4:23-31. This is the type of boldness we need to have. The religious leaders were not looking kindly on them. The teachers and temple officials were to be guiding Israel into all Truth, but when that Truth was staring them in the face they would not accept it as such. Yet the Church kept praying and meeting together, even admits persecution.

If we are to be successful in the Kingdom of God, we need to be in a place where we no longer accept the norm and go after what the Lord is doing. Jesus said, “I do nothing except what I see the Father doing.” Imagine, if we only did what we saw the Lord doing in the lives of those around us and making it manifest His Glory. We can only deeply touch and heal those around us if we have a solid relationship with Christ. For me, it is an ever-growing process. WE have to be working on that relationship day in and day out. That is what living a sanctified life is all about.