DECEMBER 8

 

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you—John 15: 18.

 

As our Master was hated without a cause, so let it be with us so far as possible, that the hatred, malice, envy and murder which may be poured out against us may be wholly unmerited by us—that our lives shall be as nearly pure as possible; that so far as we are able, our thoughts and words and deeds may show forth the praises of our Lord, and speak of our love for all men, especially for the household of faith. By and by, when the new dispensation is fully inaugurated, those who hate us now, largely because they are blinded by the Adversary and misled, will bow before the Lord's Anointed, and we shall have the great pleasure of lifting them up, blessing them, encouraging them and forgiving them, and assisting them back to the full image and likeness of God.

 

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The word world is in the Scriptures used in various senses, i.e., the universe, the earth, a dispensational order of affairs, the people in harmony with it, and the entire human race. Evidently the whole human race did not hate our Lord; for the few heathen with whom He came in contact honored Him. Rather, the Jewish religious leaders and those influenced by them hated Him. They hated Him because His teachings refuted their errors; His example disparaged their hypocrisy; His exposures injured their prestige; His reforms endangered their ambitions; His religion subverted their sects; and His influence diminished their power. Because "the darkness hateth the light," God's faithful people during the Gospel Age have been hated by the nominal people of God—even for the same reasons as Jesus was hated. It will be so even to the end.

 

Parallel passages: Psa. 41: 9; John 15: 17, 19-25; Isa. 53: 1-3; Matt. 10: 16-39; 24: 9; Mark 13: 13; Luke 21: 17; 19: 14; John 16: 2, 3; 17: 14; 1John 3: 1, 13.

 

Questions: Have I this week for the sake of the Truth experienced others' hatred?

How? With what results?

 

WHY DOST THOU WAIT?

 

POOR, trembling sheep! Ah! Who outside the fold

Hath bid thee stand, all weary as thou art,

Dangers around thee, and the bitter cold

Creeping and growing into thine inmost heart?

Who bids thee wait till some mysterious feeling,

Thou knowest not what—perchance mayst never know—

Shall find thee, when in darkness thou art kneeling,

And fill thee with a rich and wondrous glow

 Of love and faith; and change to warmth and light

The chill and darkness of thy spirit's night!

 

For miracles like this who bids thee wait?

Behold, God's precious word to thee is, "Come!"

The tender Shepherd opens wide the gate,

And in His love would gently lead thee home,

Why shouldst thou wait? Long centuries ago,

O timid sheep, the Shepherd paid for thee!

Thou art His own. Wouldst thou His beauty know,

Nor trust the love which yet thou canst not see?

Thou hast not learned this lesson to receive:

More blest are they who see not, yet believe.

 

Still dost thou wait for feeling? Dost thou say,

"Fain would I love and trust, but hope is dead;

I have no faith, and without faith, who may

Rest in the blessing which is only shed

Upon the faithful? I must stand and wait."

Not so. The Shepherd doth not ask of thee

Faith in thy faith, but only faith in Him;

And this He meant in saying, "Come to Me."

In light or darkness, seek to do His will,

And leave the work of faith to Jesus still.

 

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