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|Posted on July 24, 2016 at 10:55 PM||comments (0)|
One in His Love
John 17:24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Jesus prays for us to be where He is and to see His glory; He prophetically marks our citizenship in heaven. He anticipates our being with Him and wants us to experience and share His exaltation. Jesus will be the first-fruit of the resurrection and sees the resurrection of the saints in the future.
Ephesians 2:6 But God…raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
Jesus was praying for those the Father had given Him which includes believers of all time, so He was praying for us as well. The pre-incarnate Jesus has been a part of the God-Head for all eternity, so He said the Father had loved Him from the foundation of the world. The Trinity, the Father, Son, and Spirit are perfect love personified.
John 17:25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me.
The disciples, and ultimately all who would believe due to their testimony knew the Father sent Jesus. Therefore, they and we, are able to have an intimate relationship with the Father through His Son, Jesus. The world may acknowledge that there is a supreme being and an intelligent design; but unless a person has trusted Jesus, they cannot have an intimate relationship with that being (God).
John 17:26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
Our nature should show we are the children of God. Ministry to others should flow from our relationship with God and from His heart of love. We should be leaving a legacy of love because Jesus said people would know we are Christians by our love (John 13:35). Love should be a neon sign we raise, witnessing that Jesus is the way for the lost to come to the Father. Our intentions and motivations matter and should glorify God. There is no place for selfish plans to gain power, glory, fame, money, or position. God is interested in how we are treating one another, not in how big our ministry is or how popular we are. He desires us to hear His voice and obey Him, to be one with the Lord in our purpose. Our purpose is to glorify God and evangelize, to bring others to Him. As children of our Lord, we can only achieve His goals when we operate in unity. We must be one with the Lord and with each other.
Q – Are you at odds with another believer? Do everything within your power to rectify the situation. Romans 12:18 (NIV) If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. If you know you have offended a brother or sister, make it right. Matthew 5:23-24 Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. There are principles to follow if someone in the body is in obvious sin which are found in Matthew 18:15-17. Loving families are not perfect. Conflicts will arise in the family of God. When they do, we need to peacefully resolve them, continue to love each other, and thereby maintain a strong witness to the world.
|Posted on July 21, 2016 at 11:35 AM||comments (0)|
Jesus Prayed for Future Believers
John 17:20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
Jesus prayed not only for the apostles and other disciples who walked beside Him during His time on earth: He prayed for us! He prayed for those who would come to know Him through the testimony of His disciples throughout history. The Lord prayed that the church, including the modern church would work in unity, that we would be one with God and each other. In this manner, we would be an earthly reflection of the harmony that the Trinity enjoys. Our unity, our love for one another, our ability to work toward the common goal of making Jesus known is a powerful testimony to unbelievers.
John 17:22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
Jesus prayed for unity among the believers based on their oneness with Him and the Father. Christians can know unity among themselves if they are living in union with God. God has given us the capacity to be in agreement, one with the Father, son, and Holy Spirit. The church is built on the rock of truth that Jesus is the Son of God, and He is the head of His body, the church. As we submit to the head, everyone plays an equal, vital part in the body. Cooperation and teamwork build the Kingdom of God. The process of becoming the church happens as we develop our relationships with Him and each other. As believers are unified, we become a powerful witness to the reality of God’s love.
Q – Ask yourself the question, “Am I helping to unify the body of Christ, the church?” Ways of doing so include praying for other Christians, avoiding gossip, building others up, working together in humility, giving of your time and money, exalting Christ, and refusing to get sidetracked arguing over divisive matters.