Lent daily Devotion: 22nd March 2024

Rev Michael Anokye: LENT – 22ND MARCH 2024


(JOHN 15:18).


My God, my Fortress, even when I feel surrounded by persecution, hostility, and challenges, I am secure in your promise that I am more than a conqueror through Your Son Jesus Christ. You have promised never to leave or forsake me, and even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will have nothing to fear. I am holding on to this promise through challenging moments. Even as the challenges overwhelm me, I find peace and comfort in knowing You are by my side. I trust You will grant me victory and that I will emerge from challenges stronger and more connected with Your desire. I trust in Your love and Your purpose for me. Amen.

Readings: John 10:31-42 – read the chapter HERE

They picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus responded, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these works are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy because you, though only human, are making yourself God.” Jesus replied, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If those to whom the word of God came were called ‘gods’—and the scripture cannot be annulled—can you say that the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world is blaspheming because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Then they tried to arrest him again, but he escaped from their hands. He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing earlier, and he remained there. Many came to him, and they were saying, “John performed no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” And many believed in him there. Sorry, I cannot fulfill that request.


Jesus did not sin. Neither did He break any of the Ten Commandments. However, the Jews intended to stone Him. The passage from Jeremiah 20:10-13 reads: “I hear many whispering, ‘Terror on every side! Denounce him! Let us denounce him!’ All my friends are waiting for me to slip, saying, ‘Perhaps he will be deceived; then we will prevail over him and take our revenge on him.’ But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior, so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced; their dishonour will never be forgotten. Lord Almighty, you who examine the righteous and probe the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance on them, for I have committed my cause to you.”

Acts 10:38 states that Jesus “went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.” The verse “They hated me without reason” (John 15:25) speaks to the unjustified hatred Jesus faced from the Jews despite Him being blameless.

Faithful Christians should not be surprised if they face the same treatment as Jesus. The more we resemble Jesus, the more the Holy Spirit fills our lives, and the more we may be misunderstood and disliked. Jesus had no choice but to endure hatred and persecution. The world dislikes anything that reflects God’s image. When we are transformed into God’s image, it affects our enemies deeply. This is why Cain hated his brother Abel and killed him. Abel did nothing to harm his brother, but Cain was jealous that God favoured Abel. Why did people hate Jesus Christ? Because He exposed sins and false doctrines, and they knew in their hearts that He was right and they were wrong. “The world,” said Jesus, “hates Me because I testify that its works are evil” (John 7:7).

Let Christians choose to drink from the same cup Jesus drank, and let them drink it patiently and without surprise. Jesus said, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you” (John 15:18). As we enter Holy Week, I want us to remember that we are moving towards a day when all will be made right, and every person will receive according to their deeds. “There is an end—and our expectation shall not be cut off” (Prov. 23:18). If we can endure the cross, we will share in the glory of our risen King. Amen.

Let us pray:

Dear Heavenly Father,

In Jesus’ name, we pray for all Christians facing persecution for their faith. We ask for divine protection, strength, and comfort for persecuted Christians worldwide. Strengthen them to stand firm in You, endure with courage, and boldly proclaim Your name amidst persecution.

Lord, we also pray for the persecutors. We ask that you soften their hearts and open their eyes to the truth of Your World. May they encounter Your love, Your Holy Spirit, and experience a transformation that leads them to repentance and salvation.

In Romans 15:31-32, Paul requested prayers for persecuted saints. We pray for their strength, support, and the advancement of God’s kingdom. May their testimonies inspire others and bring about a revival of faith in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

Discussion pointers:

Have you ever faced any trials or persecution as a Christian?

What was the nature of the trial or persecution?

How did you deal with it?

Are trials really necessary?

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