2017 Is a Year of 1 John 17
It’s a provocative word that seems to plague both our conscious and our subconscious minds on a daily basis.
“I’m a part of this country, this party, this denomination, this social class.”
People have always wanted to be part of something great. No one wants to be an outsider.
An overemphasis on differences seems to be abundantly prevalent today, and it’s what fuels the culture. All of this identification, yet people still feel as if they are searching for something greater.
There is one common theme I have begun to see: The world today is looking the wrong way.
We are looking at justifying ourselves instead of owning that we are the body of Christ! We are the sons and daughters of God, destined to inherit the kingdom because of what He has done for us. How quickly we overlook that identity which is the most important of identities. When we realize that we are a son or daughter of Christ, we see others as brothers and sisters, not just other humans. We suddenly start to feel a family-like responsibility for one another. We see all things in this world, whether easy or difficult, as a gift from the Father to help us grow.
But today, the body of Christ is tragically torn and divided. Just as the whip of the roman soldiers tore apart Jesus’ body, the scourge of sin has torn us apart today. All of us, the children of God, are divided.
I have been so convicted lately about what the Lord has brought up in my prayer. We need to focus on the goodness of God’s heart and love. We don’t want Him to return to a bickering, separated bride. He doesn’t either! In his conversation with the Father on the night before his death, Jesus pleaded that we would be one.
John 17 is where he wishes that we may be one as He and the Father are one. WHAT? If we really read and understood that chapter, we would be shocked! Jesus and the Father are really…really close. He wishes that for all of us.
1 Corinthians 12:21-22 says, “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you.’ Nor again the head to the feet, ‘I do not need you.’ Indeed, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are all the more necessary.” We NEED everyone to be united. It’s how we were meant to be!
I know what you’re thinking: “It’s too lofty of a goal,” right?
No. It is attainable. God isn’t going to ignore his Son’s prayer. It will happen, and it’s already happening! The devil whispers the lie that it isn’t attainable. But let’s trust the Lord with reckless abandon. This is the life we are called to. To KNOW that nothing is impossible with God and to act on it in bold faith and reliance. He wishes that we may be one with each other, which is only possible when all of us are one with him.
Imagine if upon His return we weren’t startled, but pleasantly surprised. All of us. Not bickering and finger-pointing, but choosing hope and understanding over prejudice. How powerful would it be if all of His children worshiped this way together!
In a world so bombarded with information, it takes a lot of willpower and discipline to absorb any amount of depth on one topic. How easy it is to start something new and get rid of it once it loses its pleasure. To only be in a marriage for the sake of the good feeling. To start a hobby and quit after the excitement wares off. The same thing happens with our faith. Our culture shows it.
So, let’s love our brothers and sisters fully today. It doesn’t matter how the year, month, week, or day has gone. Right now, let’s put ourselves behind God and others. Let’s approach each other with love and compassion. Lay down our pride and hidden agendas, and desire to be a part of each other’s lives genuinely. Let’s continually pray for unity of Christ’s people.
Pray that we may love as He loved, and pray that we may have an increased desire to not just be known, but to know others selflessly.
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