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
In this series, I introduced you to what I consider to be the actual “Lord’s prayer.” It is a prayer Jesus prayed in John 17. We have spent two weeks studying the prayer, and I trust you have blessed. This morning we will study the last two verses. This is the benediction.
Jesus ended the prayer by saying, “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. The world does not know God, and you are called to do something about it.
In His prayer, Jesus said, “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do.”
— Jesus understood that the world did not know the Father, and He saw it as part of His mission to do something about it. Guess what? You have the same mission.
— You were born into a fallen world. You were born under the power of sin and susceptible to the fear of death. Further, you were born into sin and shaped in iniquity.
— Paul said, “Yes, in the past, your lives were full of those sins. You lived the way the world lives, following the ruler of the evil powers that are above the earth. That same spirit is now working in those who refuse to obey God. In the past, all of us lived like that, trying to please our sinful selves. We did all the things our bodies and minds wanted. Like everyone else in the world, we deserved to suffer God’s anger just because of the way we were.” (Ephesians 2:2,3).
— You were not a sinner becuase you sinned. You sinned becuase you were born a sinner. You were born that way. This is why you needed to be Born-Again.
— We live in a dark, dying, and decaying world. This is a world that does not know Jesus or the Father, and they will not know Him unless we become conduits of light in the midst of darkness.
— You are the light the world is looking for. The Father wants to reveal Himself to the world THROUGH YOU!
2. The Father is looking to reveal Himself to the world through you.
— Being a tool in God’s hands is not a matter of TRYING; it is a matter of DYING. All you have to do, for God to use you for His glory and to reveal Himself to the world through you, is DIE TO SELF.
— The more you die to sin and self, and the more you get out of the way, the more God can manifest Himself to the world through you!
— Paul said, “We have this treasure from God, but we are only like clay jars that hold the treasure. This is to show that the amazing power we have is from God, not from us. We have troubles all around us, but we are not defeated. We often don’t know what to do, but we don’t give up. We are persecuted, but God does not leave us. We are hurt sometimes, but we are not destroyed. So we constantly experience the death of Jesus in our own bodies, but this is so that the life of Jesus can also be seen in our bodies. We are alive, but for Jesus we are always in danger of death, so that the life of Jesus can be seen in our bodies that die.” ??(2 Corinthians? ?4:7-11? ?ERV??)
— Before Paul talks about getting through, over or past the challenges we will encounter on the road to our destiny, he reminds us that God has deposited His treasure and His power INSIDE of us. Everything we will ever need is already IN us.
— God placed His treasure IN us, the Bible says, “to show that the amazing power we have is from God, not from us.” When you know the power of God is IN you, and you know this power is not FROM you, you come to the realization that there is nothing you cannot do. Why? Because there is nothing God cannot do, and He is living on the inside of you.
— God is living inside of you. He is the treasure. You are simply the container carrying the treasure. You are the container. He is the content. You are not the content. He is the content. You don’t have the power. He has the power. You don’t have the ability. He has the ability. Your job is simply to LET HIM OUT!
3. People cannot see God, but they can see God’s impact IN and THROUGH you.
In His prayer, Jesus said, “These disciples know you sent me.”
— The people who saw Jesus operate knew there was a God because they saw the manifestation of God in Jesus. In the same way, God can manifest Himself through you.
— When you accept Jesus as Lord, and you willingly die to self, God will flow through you in such a way that people will see so much evidence of God IN you and through you that they will be drawn to God because of you.
— You are the proof that Jesus was the truth!
— Paul wrote letters to the churches back then, but your life is a LIVING LETTER today! The Bible says, “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts. It is known and read by all people. You show that you are a letter from Christ that he sent through us. This letter is not written with ink but with the Spirit of the living God. It is not written on stone tablets but on human hearts.” (2 Cor 3:1-3). Your life is a LIVING LETTER. So my question for you is: What does your letter say? When people look at you, and they read the letter of your life, do they see Jesus as the star of your story, or have you made yourself your own star? Your life is supposed to show the world that there is a God and that He lives IN you! Are you living with this mindset? If not, it is time to make some changes.
4. You are called to reveal God’s love and His Son on this planet.
— Jesus prayed for the Father’s love to be IN you. Love is not something God has or something God does. Love is literally who God is. So when God is IN you, and you are IN Him, love should be natural. If you have an area of your life where you are not walking in love, then that is an area where there is too much of YOU and not enough God!
— Jesus closed out His prayer (in John 17) by stating that He would be IN us. Not only are you called to reveal the Father to the world, but you are also called to reveal His Son. To do it, you don’t have to work hard, you don’t have to be perfect, and you don’t have to attempt to earn His presence. All you simply have to do is develop the habit of yielding to the divine impulses of the Holy Spirit. The more you train yourself to “minimize YOU,” the more Jesus can “maximize Himself” in, with, and through you.
As I close, ask yourself these questions:
Can the world see Jesus in me?
What am I known for? Do people even know that I am a Christian?
If I were on trial for representing Jesus in this world, would there be enough evidence to convict me?
If you don’t like your answers, it is time to make some changes in your life.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I have learned a great deal about Your grace and love by simply reading and studying the prayer Jesus prayed for me in John 17. I say “Amen” to His prayer. I come in agreement and alignment. I understand that the world does not know You, and I am here to do something about it. I am called to reveal You and Your Son to the world. I cannot earn the assignment because you called me by grace. I am could never be good enough, but Jesus was perfect for me. I could never be righteous enough, but Jesus made me righteous. Therefore, I accept the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness You have given me in Christ Jesus, Your Son.
I strive to minimize ME so that You can maximize YOU through me. I decrease so that You can increase in me. By faith, I declare that Your love, light, and power flow through me in such a prominent way that people will not be able to deny the fact that there is a God, that Jesus is His Son, and that You live IN me because they will SEE You clearly when they look at me. They will feel your love when they come in contact with me. They will experience Your power through me. My life is ALL ABOUT YOU! Which is why I know GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.