“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. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” – John 17:20-23
Isn’t it mind blowing that nearly 2,000 years ago Jesus prayed for us? We are the ones who believe today because of the Disciples’ message. When it comes to praying for us today, Jesus only prays that we will be unified. He goes on to say that this is the way the world will be convinced that He really is inside of us.
When I look at the church as a whole right now, it couldn’t be more divided. It seems to me that the places on Earth, who really love each other and even their enemies, are the places where Christianity is forbidden by law. In those places, Christians have no choice but to look out for each other. They are willing to give all that they have for one another. They want to keep each other alive so that God’s Word may be spread. They realize and are aware that each one holds a vital place and plays a vital role in God’s kingdom. When the unbelievers of those countries see what these Christians are willing to endure for one another, they don’t understand it, but it becomes very desirable. So many non-believers end up believing simply because they want in on this pure love that they’ve never seen before. Real Christianity spreads like wildfire.
Oh that we would have a true and pure revival in America today! If only we could truly love one another! As it stands, we are so far from being unified. We have denominations. The word denomination looks and sounds like the word denominator, which, in mathematics, is the number that represents division. I see churches not willing to help each other, pastors refusing to share resources, and an unbelievable lack of God’s love in the American church. No wonder Christianity is on the decline in our country . . . nobody wants what we have.
What would it look like if, right now, we stopped arguing over things like Bible translations? There are people who have stopped reading my posts simply because I have used NIV scripture references instead of KJV (like today). There are people who literally get upset with their pastor if he allows the service to go over some perceived one-hour time limit. There are people in churches who allow volunteers to accept positions in the church and literally allow them to grow old and die in those positions. It is even a running joke that if you ever volunteer for a church position, you will be stuck there for life. No one really looks after one another in the American church. We would rather criticize and tear down than praise and build up. Therefore, when the world takes a peek in and sees people who supposedly represent God Himself behaving just like the world, and in some cases worse than the world, they don’t want what we have . . . and I don’t blame them.
God, I echo your 2,000 year-old prayer this morning. Help us in the American church to be unified. Help us to truly love one another and want the best for one another. Help us individually to shoulder the load and not place so much weight on so few. Bring us to a point where, when others see us as Christians, they see us loving one another unconditionally and building each other up instead of tearing one another down. May the world see us wanting the best for one another. May they see something different that is so attractive and actually worth having.
May it all start with me. Help me to love those who don’t love me back. May the love that I have for them change them just as your love for me has changed me and still changes me. Give me a new heart that can contain and dispense your love. Give all who will read this a heart of real, genuine, Godly love. Let real Christianity spread like wildfire in America!
Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
Revive us again.