Friday, October 31, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I am more and more convinced that we need to get this one thing more than anything else right now. This is Jesus' prayer for us! This is His heart! Why don't we live this? It is not a list of things to do but a total surrender of all that we are to Jesus. Jesus said that we are not defined by the world when we are His and yet we continue to try and do just that - define ourselves by the world's standards! We try and tell the world about who it is we believe in and yet forsake the one thing that Jesus himself said would be the convincing point: unity through love. Father God, help me see others with your eyes, with your heart! It's all about you, it's not about me and what I think or want. It's all about You, Jesus!
John 17 (The Message)
Jesus' Prayer for His Followers1-5 Jesus said these things. Then, raising his eyes in prayer, he said:
Father, it's time.
Display the bright splendor of your Son
So the Son in turn may show your bright splendor.
You put him in charge of everything human
So he might give real and eternal life to all in his charge.
And this is the real and eternal life:
That they know you,
The one and only true God,
And Jesus Christ, whom you sent.
I glorified you on earth
By completing down to the last detail
What you assigned me to do.
And now, Father, glorify me with your very own splendor,
The very splendor I had in your presence
Before there was a world.
6-12I spelled out your character in detail
To the men and women you gave me.
They were yours in the first place;
Then you gave them to me,
And they have now done what you said.
They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt,
That everything you gave me is firsthand from you,
For the message you gave me, I gave them;
And they took it, and were convinced
That I came from you.
They believed that you sent me.
I pray for them.
I'm not praying for the God-rejecting world
But for those you gave me,
For they are yours by right.
Everything mine is yours, and yours mine,
And my life is on display in them.
For I'm no longer going to be visible in the world;
They'll continue in the world
While I return to you.
Holy Father, guard them as they pursue this life
That you conferred as a gift through me,
So they can be one heart and mind
As we are one heart and mind.
As long as I was with them, I guarded them
In the pursuit of the life you gave through me;
I even posted a night watch.
And not one of them got away,
Except for the rebel bent on destruction
(the exception that proved the rule of Scripture).
13-19Now I'm returning to you.
I'm saying these things in the world's hearing
So my people can experience
My joy completed in them.
I gave them your word;
The godless world hated them because of it,
Because they didn't join the world's ways,
Just as I didn't join the world's ways.
I'm not asking that you take them out of the world
But that you guard them from the Evil One.
They are no more defined by the world
Than I am defined by the world.
Make them holy—consecrated—with the truth;
Your word is consecrating truth.
In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world,
I give them a mission in the world.
I'm consecrating myself for their sakes
So they'll be truth-consecrated in their mission.
20-23I'm praying not only for them
But also for those who will believe in me
Because of them and their witness about me.
The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind—
Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
So they might be one heart and mind with us.
Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.
The same glory you gave me, I gave them,
So they'll be as unified and together as we are—
I in them and you in me.
Then they'll be mature in this oneness,
And give the godless world evidence
That you've sent me and loved them
In the same way you've loved me.
24-26Father, I want those you gave me
To be with me, right where I am,
So they can see my glory, the splendor you gave me,
Having loved me
Long before there ever was a world.
Righteous Father, the world has never known you,
But I have known you, and these disciples know
That you sent me on this mission.
I have made your very being known to them—
Who you are and what you do—
And continue to make it known,
So that your love for me
Might be in them
Exactly as I am in them.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
he remembers his covenant forever.
24"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. 25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
and Paul said in 1 Timothy 6:
7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.
Our provision is not dependent on our own efforts, on our jobs, or on the economy. Our provision comes from God. He gives us the skills and talents that we can use in making a living, certainly. But when our circumstances are such that our own efforts come to nothing, we need not live in fear for our food and clothing. Our provision comes from God. It is that simple.
I think that in this country we have become so accustomed to a lifestyle that is so excessive that the thought of actually being content with having just our needs met is, by comparison, terrifying to most of us! But the bottom line is: If I have less to occupy my time in care and upkeep, I have more time to spend with God and family and friends. What are my standards for contentment in life? Are they based on things? or are they based on relationships? What are God's standards?
Maybe by answering those questions, we can find a right perspective on the events that are happening in front of us. Whether the person we believe should be in office wins or not, whether the economy recovers quickly or we enter into an economic crisis - these things I know - God is sovereign and His ways are not our ways and He loves us and is pursuing us with a passion and I want to return that passion to Him. My response can only be - Whatever it takes, God.