This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Power of Fellowship.” Last week we looked at the prayer Jesus prayed for us in John 17. Let’s go back to it today as we continue to talk about fellowship.
I will wrap up this series soon.
(From John 17:20-26)
Jesus said: “I pray not only for these followers but also for those who will believe in me because of their teaching. Father, I pray that all who believe in me can be one. You are in me and I am in you. I pray that they can also be one in us. Then the world will believe that you sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me. I gave them this glory so that they can be one, just as you and I are one. I will be in them, and you will be in me. So they will be completely one. Then the world will know that you sent me and that you loved them just as you loved me…”
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. Jesus prayed for us to be ONE, just like He and the Father were ONE. In the last message I talked about the things that divide us. It’s time for us to get past these things; things like doctrine, race, culture and styles of worship. None of this should keep us from fellowshipping together as ONE. Simply put, satan is happy when we are divided. God is happy when we are united. Determine in your heart that you will be used of God to bring people together and not drive them apart. I know you are busy, but please keep this at the top of your mind. It is important to God, so it should be important to you.
2. The United States today is arguably the most divided that it has been in a long time. The political climate has caused ungodly separation. As followers of Jesus, the world should see something different in us. When they look at us they should see love and not hate. When they listen to us, they should hear something different than what they hear on the news. They should hear what heaven is saying. Heaven will always want us united! If all people hear when they talk to you is what they can get on CNN, then there is no need to talk to you. The world is looking for God. Will they find HIm in you?
3. The reason why this series is so important is because Jesus said that once we are ONE, “Then the world will know that God the Father sent Him.” Our unity — looking past our differences — proves to the world that there is a God, and that Jesus was His Son. But if the church is as divided as the world, then we are failing God and failing the world. There are people who will never step into a church until they see Jesus IN YOU! There are people who will never believe in God until they experience Him through YOU! So it’s time for us to focus on displaying God’s love and His light every day. I know we are busy, but we have to make this a priority.
4. The greatest message the world will ever receive will not come from behind a pulpit. As much as I love to preach, I have to admit that the greatest preaching does not come from preachers. The greatest preaching happens outside the church, when God’s children love each other and love the world. Love is how people know that we are children of God (John 13:35). Love is how the world will know that God is real. It’s time for us to put love on display every day in our daily routine and in our relationships.
5. I trust you enjoyed the Labor Day weekend. If you are like me, you have a busy 4 days ahead of you. But as you enter into them, please slow down long enough to remember what is important. Be kind. Be nice. Be respectful. Walk in love. God’s love has been poured out in your heart through the Holy Spirit (Rom 5:5). Since His love has come TO you, it is time for God’s love to flow THROUGH you. Don’t be so busy that you fail to provide a listening ear to someone who needs it, or a hug, or a kind word. Something as small as a smile can change someone’s day. So while you are doing email, and reports, and meetings, and etc., don’t forget to take a moment to fellowship with someone. God can use those few moments to change the course of their day, and even the course of their life!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I thank You for helping me to keep my priorities straight. I am heading into a busy week. I often have more tasks than time. But I refuse to allow busyness to keep me from walking in love and BEING a blessing to someone else. I will slow down and be led of Your Spirit. I am kind, respectful, nice and courteous. I give honor to whom honor is due and I treat others the way You want me to treat them. I provide a listening ear, a hug to those who need it, a kind word and a smile. Yes, I am busy. But I am not too busy to connect with others. I enter into this day open to divine fellowship! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!