John 15:10-21 (NIV)

10 If you obey my commands,1 you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.2 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.3 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.4 14 You are my friends5 if you do what I command.6 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.7 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you8 to go and bear fruit9–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.10 17 This is my command: Love each other.11

2 Thessalonians 3:1 (NIV)

1 Finally, brothers,1 pray for us2 that the message of the Lord 3 may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.4

DEVOTION – Ruth L. Snyder (Alberta, Canada)

I sat in my cozy chair and read my Bible.  Then I canned Facebook.  My attention was captured by a memorial to William Tyndale carved with a statement that Tyndale was convicted of heresy and on October 6, 1536 was executed for translating the Bible into English.

This memorial made me think of how often I take things for granted.  I have freedom to attend church, to read, my Bible, and to share my beliefs.  My family honors God and supports my faith.  I don’t have much money, but I’m rich in freedom.  Jesus died to save me from my sin.  Soldiers died defending my freedoms.  William Tyndale dies so I can read the Bible in English.  While I enjoy these privileges, some people today face rejection and death threats from their own families for following Jesus Christ.  Others are persecuted, imprisoned, or killed for their faith.

Knowing all this, I now pick up my Bible with renews reverence.  I sing with a grateful heart and pray for fellow believers in other countries who are suffering for their faith.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: We have freedom to pursue our faith today because of choices people made yesterday.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for the gifts of salvation, the Bible, and freedom.  Be with our brothers and sisters who are suffering for you.  Amen.