Let us go forth to Him outside the camp

In the gospel of John, Jesus issued this statement:

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. (John 15:18–19 niv)

When the world “loves us as its own,” that is a pretty sure sign that we do not belong to Jesus. We need to give heed to that warning. What, then, should our attitude be in light of this? Paul expressed it well in Galatians 6:14: “But may it never be that I should boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (nasb).

May we never boast or put confidence in anything but the cross of the Lord. Not in education, religion, or denomination—none of these things. We can safely boast only in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, where Jesus won a total, permanent, irreversible victory over all the forces of evil. Through the cross, “the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” The cross is the mark of separation between the people of God and the world. When we accept the principle of the cross in our lives, we no longer belong to this world. Jesus gave us this beautiful promise of victory: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 niv).

We are going to have trouble—but Jesus has overcome the world! Through Him, we, too, can overcome the world, if we are willing to go forth to Him—outside the camp, bearing His reproach.

Prayer response

Thank You, Lord, that You are calling me to leave this world behind. I proclaim that I accept the cross as a mark of separation between the people of God and the world—a world to which I no longer belong. I shall go forth to Him outside the camp. Amen.

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