Journey to Unity – Day 6

God in Christ and Christ in Us

24 “Father! You have given them to me, and I want them to be with me where I am, so that they may see my glory, the glory you gave me; for you loved me before the world was made. 25 Righteous Father! The world does not know you, but I know you, and these know that you sent me. 26 I made you known to them, and I will continue to do so, in order that the love you have for me may be in them, and so that I also may be in them.”

Our destiny as God’s people is to be with the glorified Christ and with one another forever. Now we see heaven through a dark glass, but when Jesus returns, we will see him face to face.

Yet life is not just about getting to heaven. We have a heavenly task right here, right now, to make Jesus known. We often pray: Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We know and believe that the Father sent Jesus to save us, to change us, and to transform our world through us.

Here in John 17, Jesus is praying to the Father that this great mystery of God in Christ and Christ in us will be known most powerfully when the Father’s love for the Son is fully expressed through us. The love of God in us for one another is the primary witness to the world that Jesus is risen, that Jesus is Lord.

Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 13, “the love chapter,” that the love of God in us overshadows all the things that seem so important to us in the practice of our faith: spiritual gifts, deep knowledge of the Bible and Christian theology, faith for miracles, and passionate sacrifice of everything we have, including our very lives. No matter what we may think we are accomplishing for God, without love it’s all just a lot of noise.

Prayer

God of infinite love, remove from us whatever barriers are in us that keep us from fully experiencing and expressing your love. Your mercies in my life are new every morning. Oh, how I need to be reminded of that! And yet it’s so difficult at times for me to show others the same kind of love and mercy you’ve shown me. Forgive me. Forgive us, your people. Your word tells me that anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. These are strong words, but I thank you that they have a purging effect on my soul. This is how I know what love is: Jesus, you laid down your life for me, so I ought to lay down my life for my brothers and sisters. Your love, God, is so real to me. Make it real to others through me. Amen.

Going Deeper

Ponder and personalize this last verse in John 17: “I made you known to them, and I will continue to do so, in order that the love you have for me may be in them, and so that I also may be in them.
Take a pen and paper and, while sitting quietly in prayer, jot down the things in your life that keep you from loving others the way God loves you. The apostle Paul writes: With his [Jesus] own body he broke down the wall that separated them and kept them enemies (Ephesians 2:14). Pray over that list. Offer it to God. Keep it in your Bible as a daily prayer guide.
Tomorrow, we’re going to read John 17 as a complete prayer and continue to consider Jesus’ next steps for us.

Continue to Day 7 Heart for Unity
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