Jesus’ Prayer for Us

One of the most important passages in all the Bible, to me at least, is John 17. In that chapter, we see Jesus praying. But’s not just any prayer, it’s a prayer that He’s praying for His followers that are yet to come.

So, reading this prayer would really give us great insight into what Jesus was thinking at this hour before His crucifixion. It’s a beautiful prayer, but I want to, this morning, specifically focus on what He says in John 17: 20-22

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

c39_jesus-praying1Of all the things that Jesus could focus on at that time, that’s what He says. I pray that the believers that would follow me that they would be one.

Isn’t that what the faith should be about? No matter what church, or denomination, or tradition, or worship style, or theology we are a part of, shouldn’t we be one?

Aren’t we saved in the name of the same Jesus? Don’t we worship the same Triune God? Don’t we have the same purpose, the same calling, the same hope?

Aren’t we brothers and sisters, not competitors?

Shouldn’t we rejoice in each other’s victories and weep in other’s defeats?

Shouldn’t we love each other?

Because we are family. We are. If we are in Jesus, we are family.

We are one. That was His prayer for us. Jesus. Prayed for that.

I said this yesterday on Facebook – “interesting talks today. I hope that the life of the church can grow from being competition between churches; who has the best preacher, or music, or coolest youth pastor, and can grow into true community. Community within the local church and community among the churches. I don’t know what that looks like. But I know that’s what I want Asbury Church to be about.”

That’s what I want us to be about here in Petal. And everywhere. And I hope that I can do my best to make sure we are one.

That’s our Lord’s prayer for us. May we seek to be faithful to that.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones, and you thought our app, you can now watch our worship services from Asbury too!

A Partnership with God

To me, one of the coolest parts about faith is this – God wants us to do our part.

Think about it. God is the maker of all that is – both seen and unseen. There is nothing that has ever been created that God hasn’t made. God has all power in the universe. God is the ultimate authority in all of life. God is all in all.  He is it.

So, what does He need from us?  Nothing. And so, with the life of faith, you might thing that there’s not much we can do. There’s not much we have to do.

And yet, listen to what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1 this morning:

God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

God doesn’t need us for any thing in life.  He’s God. We are not.  But God wants us to be part.  God wants us to be faithful. God wants us to be part of His team, to be part of His body. To be part of what He’s doing.

He invites us into partnership with Him.  He doesn’t “need” it.  Just wants it.

Wow.  The God of the universe wants to work with us and use us.  God wants us to be part of what He’s doing.  He wants us to do our part for His kingdom.

Today, God wants you to join in.  Yes, you.  No matter what you may think of your own gifts or abilities, God thinks you are worthy to be part of what He’s doing.

No matter what you may have done wrong in the past, God thinks you are worthy to be part of what He’s doing.

Today, you are invited to be part of an amazing effort and team.  You are invited to be part of what God is doing.

He wants you to. Will you join in?  Will you be faithful?  Will you do your part?

You’ll find the life that you want so badly there.

Today, you are invited to join a partnership with God!

 

Just Do It – Connect Podcast

The sermon podcast for Sunday, October 3 is up on Asbury Church’s website.  This is the first sermon my series “Just Do It.,” and it’s about “Connect.”  The text is 1 Corinthians 12: 12-27.

You can listen to it by clicking here, or you can listen to it here on this blog by clicking below. And, as always, you can subscribe to my sermon podcasts through iTunes.

 

Your Part to Play

We are not all the same. Thank goodness.  I like the fact that we are each different, that we each have different likes, dislikes, abilities, and gifts. That’s a good thing.  None of us are exactly the same.

Today in Acts, we see the Apostles teach the people that each person has a different gift and calling. These gifts aren’t better than each other. They are just different.  All gifts are needed. We each have a part to play in the body.  We see in Acts 6:

2 And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3 Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, 4 while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word.” 5 What they said pleased the whole community,

And God needs all of us to do our thing. God needs each of us to do what He has called us to do and be who He has called us to be.

Not everyone is supposed to be me.  Not everyone is supposed to be you.

We are each supposed to be who God has called us to be.

Just because you don’t have the same gift or passion as I do, that doesn’t make you bad.  It doesn’t make me bad. It makes us different and it means that God wants to each use each of us for His kingdom.

He needs each of us do what we are called to do, what we are passionate about.

And in doing that, we will build the kingdom of God here among us.

Today, don’t try to me, or your mama, or your preacher, or your teacher, or you neighbor.

Be you. Be the person God has called YOU to be.

He needs you to be that person.   Your church needs you to be that person. the kingdom needs you to be that person.

We each have a part to play.  Each of us.  None of us are unimportant. We are each valuable to God.

Be who you are called this day.  And don’t worry about being anybody else.