This morning we continue our journey into this year, focusing on making “Intentional Progress.” I shared six steps to intentional progress with you, and I will continue to walk through them over the next few weeks. As a reminder, here are the six steps.
Here are the steps again:
3. Wait/Discern God’s Timing
4. Execute/Measure Progress
5. Wait/Faith & Patience
6. Receive When Harvest Time Comes
A couple of days ago, I introduced you to what I consider to be the actual “Lord’s prayer.” It is a prayer Jesus prayed in John 17. Since the prayer covers the entire chapter, I told you we would study it in bite-sized chunks. We have covered the first eight verses. Today we will look at verses 9 and 10.
(John 17:9,10 NLT)
9 “My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you.
10 All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. Jesus was at peace with the reality that NOT everyone would accept Him.
Jesus prayed, “My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me.”
— When Jesus said, “the world,” He was referring to those in the world who rejected Him.
— In John 17, Jesus was not praying for those who would NOT believe in Him. He was praying for His disciples and for all those who would believe in Him through the anals of time (this includes you and me).
— Jesus knew there would be many who would not honor, respect, or accept Him. Guess what? He did not frustrate the grace on His life by worrying about it. Jesus simply focused on who He was called to be and what He was called to do. This is a big lesson for us today!
— When you finally discover who you are in Christ and you start living as the person God destined you to be, there will be many who honor and accept you and the grace that is on your life. However, there will also be many who do not. Some will devalue you. Some may even flat-out disrespect you. But you don’t have to frustrate the grace of God over it. If some rejected Jesus, some will reject you. If some dishonored Jesus, some will dishonor you.
— Some people will reject you because of their own insecurities. Others will reject you because they can’t see what God is doing in your life. Regardless of the reason, you can’t control other people. If God is not out here controlling people and knows that some will flat-out reject him, you must realize that you cannot control people. Don’t spend good time on bad thoughts. Love people, but do not base your focus on their feelings.
2. You are not graced to reached everyone.
— If Jesus could not reach everyone, then please don’t make the mistake of thinking you can.
— Don’t spend unnecessary time and energy worrying about those you are not called to reach.
— God has plenty of called, anointed, and appointed sons and daughters whom He can use for His glory. He has people He can send them to do what you are not graced to do. So don’t think you have to do it all and don’t think that you have to reach everyone. Just be the man/woman God called you to be and do what God has graced you to do.
— Jesus did not waste time worrying about those who did not honor the anointing on His life. The Bible says, “He came to the world that was his own. And his own people did not accept him.” That sounds bad, and it is. But the Bible goes on to say, “But some people did accept him. They believed in him, and he gave them the right to become children of God. They became God’s children…” (John 1:11-13).
— There will be people who don’t like you, who won’t listen to you, and who will never follow you. Just lift them up to God and trust God to send someone to them whom they can honor, respect, and follow. Just don’t lose sleep over the fact that it will not be you.
3. Jesus appreciated all those who accepted Him, and He saw those people as a gift from the Father.
In His prayer, Jesus said, “…those you have given me… they belong to you.”
— While you should not lose sleep over those you are not called to reach and impact, you should appreciate all those the Father has graced you to reach and impact.
— You are not called to everyone, but there is a group of people you are called to reach. When you think about these people, remember that they belong to the Father.
— These people acknowledge God as their Lord, but if they also recognize you as their leader, appreciate the ‘right of passage’ they have given you to speak into their lives and never take advantage of it.
— Whether these people are your children (natural and spiritual), your friends, those who come to you for mentorship, or those who work for you, respect the position they have given you in their lives and honor the Lord by making the deposit IN them you are graced to make. Pour into them what has been poured into you.
4. There is a type of “glory” that emanates from our lives when those the Father has graced us to invest in, grow and develop.
In His prayer, Jesus said, “All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory.”
— While I am always very clear about the fact that “all the glory belongs to God,” I mean that from a sense of worship. You never want to worship anyone but God, and you never want to see yourself as the god of your own life. I have told you many times to never give God’s glory to anyone else and to never take it yourself either. He gets the glory; we get the benefits.
— While Jesus was praying about the people the Father called Him to and graced Him to impact, He made the point that as these people become the men/women they are called to be, becuase of the deposit He made in their lives, they would bring glory to Him. If we replace ourselves as Jesus in this prayer, the same can be said of us, just as long as we remember that ultimately, the glory belongs to God, becuase He is the one who made the impact in the lives of others, THROUGH US.
— God has called and graced you to make a difference in this world. He then sends people to you so you can pour into them the truths that have been poured into you. When these people grow and develop, they actually bring you glory. They are part of your fruit. They are living examples of the impact God has called you to make. When this happens, accept the glory and then deflect the glory right back to God. Let your prayer be like Jesus’ prayer, “Father, glorify me that I may glorify thee!” This way, you will keep the proper perspective and you will remain humble before the hand of God.
That is enough for today.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I thank You for taking the time to teach me about Your grace through the life of Your Son. In Jesus, I see a man who knew what He was called to do and who was laser-focused on His assignment. Jesus understood the fact that He was not called or graced to reach everyone while He was on the earth. If Jesus could not reach everyone, I have to accept the fact that I won’t either. I embrace my assignment, I pursue my purpose, I know I am graced to reach certain people, and I also know some will not accept me or my leadership. So I don’t frustrate the grace on my life by worrying about those I am not called to reach. I don’t spend time or energy worrying about those who devalue or disrespect what I am called to do. I don’t base my focus on their feelings. I simply focus on my assignment, seeking to fulfill it by Your grace, and living thankful for all those You have given me. I appreciate and honor them. They belong to You. Therefore, I will never mistreat those You have given me. I will pour into them what You have poured into me, and I am blessed as I see them grow, develop and maximize their purpose and potential in the earth. I live just like Jesus. Therefore, GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.