A United People
Copyright by Freedom in Christ, used with permission.
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” John 17:20-21
Shortly before He went to the cross, Jesus prayed the words above for you and for me and for all believers. He wants us to be one – to be genuinely united at a heart level so that the world may believe in Him.
This involves a radical and unconditional love for other people but loving people isn’t always easy! It’s much easier (and very tempting) to complain about and find shortcomings in other people. How can we overcome this tendency?
Well, a good place to start is to remember how God came to you: “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19); we give freely because we have received freely (Matthew 10:8); we are merciful because He has been merciful to us (Luke 6:36); and we forgive in the same way that Jesus has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32). If we truly understand how God comes to us and we go to others in the same way, we won’t go far wrong.
If you haven’t done so yet, remember to take a couple of minutes to complete the “What Do I Believe?” questionnaire on page 184 of the Participant’s Guide in preparation for the next session.