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(Read John 17:20-23)
This morning we continue our series “Grace that is Simply Amazing” by continuing to teach on “Minimizing Your Humanity and Maximizing Your Divinity.” A couple of weeks ago I introduced you to what I consider to be the actual “Lord’s prayer.” It is a prayer Jesus prayed in John chapter 17. We have studied our way through the first 19 verses. Today we will look at verses 20-23.
Jesus prayed, “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.”
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
1. Jesus prayed for you. In Jesus’ prayer to the Father, He said, “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.” Did you realize Jesus prayed for you while He was in the earth? He sure did. He interceded for you, praying that you would be one with your brothers and sisters, and also one with Him. Jesus loves you so much that He did not just pray for you then, but even now, when you make mistakes, Jesus is your advocate with the Father, pleading your case before Him (1 Jn 2:1). This is truly an example of God’s undeserved grace. Having your brothers and sisters pray for you is great. When your Mom or Dad pray for you it is even better. But when Jesus Himself takes the time to intercede on your behalf, it shows you how much God loves you.
2. Unity with God is the key to becoming a conduit of His power in the earth. In Jesus’ prayer to the Father, He said, “I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.” Did you catch that? The world will believe that Jesus was sent from the Father, and that He was truly the Messiah, when you and I become one with each other and with the Father. When that happens, when you die to self to the point where your personal imperfections don’t keep you from pursuing God, and when your idiosyncrasies don’t keep you from connecting with God’s children in the earth, the power of God will be released through you, the world will see it, and Jesus will be glorified.
3. Unity with God leads to unity with men. John said, “If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?” (1 Jn 4:20). Your love for God is exemplified in your love for man. If you cannot walk in love with man, then it is clear that you do not posses the love of God. Think about all your faults, flaws and failures, and then think about how much God loves you and how He extends grace, mercy and forgiveness towards you. In the same way you are supposed to offer and extend the love and grace of God towards others. Recipients of grace must become extenders of grace.
4. Unity with God and man is the witness the world is looking for. In Jesus’ prayer to the Father, He said, “May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” The world will know that Jesus is Lord, when they can see, feel and experience His love through us. If Baptists keep arguing with Catholics, and Catholics with Anglicans, and Anglicans with Pentecostals, and Pentecostals with Non-Denominationals, and etc., then the world will think we are crazy and they will never come to Jesus, because they won’t see Him in US. Listen, the closer you get to God the less you think of yourself and the less judgemental you become. When you minimize your humanity and you allow the divinity God has placed in you to flow to others, you will see people the way God sees them, and you will love them in spite of their imperfections, just like God loves you in spite of yours. When this happens, you will see the power and love of God change lives through you!
Closing Confession: Father, I thank You for Your love, grace, mercy and continual forgiveness. As I study my way through this series I am learning, growing and becoming more and more appreciative of You and of what Jesus did for me. I am thankful that my mother prayed for me. I love it when my brothers and sisters pray for me. But when I think about the fact that Jesus prayed for me, it is a humbling thought, and all I can say is thank you. You want me to be ONE with my brothers and sisters, and also ONE with You. I declare that I will. I walk in love with my God and with men. I know men will not be perfect, but neither am I. You look past my faults, flaws and failures. You love me in spite of my imperfections. By grace You give me the good I do not deserve, and by mercy You hold back the bad I do deserve. You are so good to me, and Your love has changed me. Since I am a recipient of grace and mercy, I declare that I shall be an extender of grace and mercy. Your love has come TO me, and it now flows THROUGH me, for all the world to see. I am ONE with You, I am ONE with others, and Your are glorified in the unity I exhibit in the earth. The world will see Jesus IN me! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.