Leadership & Lessons From The Cross.
Jesus’ Prayer For Us!
The Bible contains precious truths from God! It tells us about the Purpose of life, the Cause of human suffering, the Future of mankind,how to deal with problems that arise, about making friends and developing good relationships....but even more than all that, we learn about our Creator and Heavenly Father! Such knowledge brings delight and gives meaning to our lives.
Yes, in the Bible we find teaching for every situation in our lives and all of it is ‘God breathed’ so that there is power in every word of God. God’s word has within it the DUNAMIS (or power), from which we get the word dynamite, to do what God says in it!
That is why our manual is the greatest book ever written! It contains the power of God for us today which is released when we speak the word of God.
Today I'd like to talk about Jesus’ prayer for all believers who would follow Him which we find in John 17:20-26
John 17:20-26 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
Jesus prayed for all who would be united in Him and our Heavenly Father, through the Gospel message of the disciples. He prayed that the believers of the future would also be united.
Unity must always be a distinctive mark of the Church. Because Jesus is one with His Father, and Believers are one with the Father and the son, there should be no room for rivalry and faction.
The unity of Christians, their mutual love and shared purpose, must be the clearest evidence of God in their Lives. This Jesus said would prove to the world that God exists, and that he Jesus is His son. My brothers and sisters, he was referring to us. When we are in Jesus and Jesus is in us, then the world will recognize that Jesus is Lord!
God sent Jesus to suffer and die for all. Notice that our role here on earth as believers is to reveal Jesus to non-believers. How do we accomplish this ? By being united with Jesus and the Father, in showing self sacrificing love, that Jesus showed, known as Agape towards all.
May, God's will to be done on earth!
When we consider, as the Nobel Peace Prize Winner Rev'd Desmond Tutu stated:
“We are animated and held in life by the very breath of God. It is God's breath that sustains us.” Can we want to do otherwise?
When we hear the word study, believe, and speak the word we will glorify God and fulfil our role as believers.
Next Jesus prayed that the glory that He had would be given to us as His true believers. Those who make Jesus known so that the world will know that God sent Him, will be crowned with glory in this life! … and in the world to come. It’s not something we earn, however, it is given to us freely. When we are genuinely about our Father’s business He will raise us up.
Jesus tells us in Matthew Chapter 6 and verse 5, that those who love to be noticed in the church or on the street corners have the attention of the men and women watching as their only reward. but if we humble ourselves ‘He’ will exalt us!
Again, in the book of James, Chapter 4 and verse 10.we read:
Jam 4:10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.
Jesus goes further and then tells us that when we make Him the centre of our thoughts and actions and live in Him we will appreciate the love that God has for us.
God loved the world and wanted to save everyone from sin and death, brought into the world by Adam. So he sent His son Jesus to die in our place. They sacrificed everything for people who were then sinners! Do we live with God’s love in our thoughts and thankfulness in our words at all times for a God who is this gracious? Or is God relegated to a few minutes on Sunday and on a couple of other days if we have time?
Jesus was raised up like the Bronze Snake in the Wilderness and when we look to Him we see our salvation in all things. Just as when the Children of Israel looked up to the Bronze Snake and they were saved from death.
What God wants should be uppermost in our minds always. Jesus said that he only spoke what He heard from the Father and only did what He saw the Father doing. Living like that He saw God’s glory in all situations.
Jesus always encouraged his disciples to PRAY. And to be specific in their prayers.
We should be diligent in prayer, simply talking to our Heavenly Father. If we do not know how to pray aright, we can ask Him to teach us as his disciples did. They were given a model prayer which we today refer to as the Lord's Prayer. Do we use this model prayer every day? Have we taught our young ones this prayer? Do we set the example for them to follow? Brothers and sisters it is vital that we do!
What God wants, should be uppermost in our minds always. as I mentioned, Jesus said that he only spoke what he heard from the Father, and would only do what be saw the Father do ? He saw God's glory in all situations, lived on his Love and His plan for his life,so much so that He could not be killed until He laid down His life himself!
Do you realise that the Apostle John in the Bible, our manual, tells us that for a believer who is in Jesus and Jesus is in Him or Her, “As Jesus is so are they in THIS world”! You can check that out in 1 John 4:17 later and it applies to all believers young or old who live at one with God. Jesus promises (and God cannot lie) that you will have the glory that He had when you live at one with Him. You won’t have to seek it through self effort or self aggrandizement. God, yes, God himself will exalt you when you humble yourself and make Jesus the centre of you life.
So how do we do this you may ask?
Yes, we know that God is spirit. He is holy. He is invisible. The world can never know him or what he is like.
But, Jesus, my friends is the answer! He came into the world to make his Father, known. Jesus said to Phillip in John14:9 ”Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father”.
And what is the Father like? Like Jesus the son, he constantly pours out his love for his creation. He longs to restore the world to its original beauty and peace.
He, however, did not create automatons. He wants, us, his people to come to Him of our own free will, become His children, and to be eternally united in His love!
John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
We listen for God’s voice to show us the way to go and what to do. We check to see if our God directed conscience is happy with the thoughts and actions we are contemplating. We pray as Jesus prayed, expecting an answer. And, we listen for the answer as we meditate on God’s word.
God’s word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. Everything we need is there. When we listen for and follow God’s will for our lives, God says He will give us the desires of our heart! God loves us and as we make His name known we will see how he opens doors for us and showers us with His love and all His loving provisions.
Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be our guide in this life that we live after accepting Him as our Lord and Saviour.
It isn’t the law that’s our guide, it’s Holy Spirit, “God in us, the hope of glory”.
Do we even realise the privileged position that we are in as believers under the New Covenant made in Jesus’ blood? We are recipients of a better covenant than King David had; one that is built on better promises.
Just knowing and recognising that the name of our God is above all others in honour and authority will stand us in good stead as we live in God and He lives in us.
We have the right to use the name of Jesus as the authority that backs up all our requests to God.
And, Jesus tells us in John 17, verse 26 that making God’s name know to others will cocoon us in the love of the Father just as He was enveloped in the love of God. He prayed that we would know the same love that He knew. God always answers prayers that are according to His will and the prayers Holy spirit guides us to make in Jesus’ name are most definitely in that category.
We worship a good God who loves us and makes a way for in all things.
He wants to enclose us in His love as a father or mother lifting and hugging a beloved child!
All the youngsters in our congregation should know THAT is the kind of God we come to worship and praise. Every second of the day as you look to God for guidance He is there for you. Just quietly in your minds ask Him what He would do in any situation and see how He gives you good ideas for success. God loves you! And, because you, or if you are below the age of accountability, a parent, looks to Him as your Heavenly Father, you will be blessed.
My brothers and sisters, do we ever hear God's voice? Do we listen? Let us listen now as God speaks with the voice of the heart....
What a wonderful situation to be in as a believer today.
May the love of God and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all.