Church Without Walls

A Weekly Word from Ron "Preacher" Clutter

 

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We begin our service in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.  Peace be with you.

 

Hymns

 

Jesus’ Prayer is the longest prayer recorded in the Bible; it is the entire 17th Chapter of John.  It is also called by many theologians, the “High Priestly Prayer”.  It is recorded many times that Jesus went away to a quiet place or a mountain top to pray.  This is one of my favorite prayers of Jesus because He prays for me, He thanks God the Father for giving me to Him and He asks that I be protected while I am living in this world.

 

In the first part of the prayer, Jesus acknowledges that His time has come and asks that His Father be with Him and glorify Him so that He may glorify the Father.  Jesus acknowledges that God is boss and that He [God] has given Him [Jesus] the power of salvation and damnation over all flesh.  Jesus also asked that the Father would restore the glory that He [Jesus] had before the beginning of the world.  Remember that Jesus came to this earth as 100% God but took on flesh and humbled Himself to become 100% man giving up the prerogatives of being 100% God so as to take on all of the aspects of humanity in order that we can know that everything we go through Jesus has gone through also and more.

 

In the second part of Jesus’ prayer we find that He is thanking God for giving His disciples to Him.  He is asking that God will be with them.  Jesus is asking God to keep them together in the faith as He and the Father are together.  Now, we go to the text for today and the remainder of Jesus’ prayer.

 

John 17:13-26(NLT)

13 [Jesus prayed,] “Now I am coming to you [Father]. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. 

 

Sometimes we see Christians looking like they have just lost their best friend or have been sucking on a lemon.  We see here that Jesus wants us to be joyful.  He doesn’t want us down and depressed.  Paul tells us in Hebrews 12:2 that we are to keep our eyes on Jesus, who initiates and perfects our faith and, as our example, because of the joy awaiting Him, endured the pain and the shame of the cross.  Jesus wants us filled with joy so that we can endure whatever we are asked to endure upon this earth.

 

14 I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 

 

In many parts of the world you can be imprisoned if you dare to talk about Jesus or identify yourself as a believer.  We actually have it pretty good here in America; occasionally you may hear a disparaging word because of your faith, but not often.  You may hear jokes or negative comments about Christians on television, but all in all we have it pretty good.

 

15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 

 

Jesus asked His Father to not take us out of the world, but to leave us here and protect us from Satan.  It is a wonderful promise.  I have enough trouble with my human nature getting me in trouble, let alone having to deal with Satan.  Does this mean that Satan cannot touch us here on the earth if we are believers?  No, I don’t think so.  Satan can tempt us and discourage us, but in the end God will protect us from eternal harm.

 

Jesus has work for us here to do on this earth that God wants us to do, if we daily listen to the whispering of the Holy Spirit.

 

16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do. 

 

Isn’t it nice to know that even now we don’t belong to this world, we belong to heaven?  We have reservations in heaven to be with those who at this time are gathered at the river.

 

17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 

 

To be made holy comes from the word “sanctify” which means that we are set apart from the world.  We are set apart by the Word which is Jesus.  Remember from John 1:1 where John tells us that in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.  We are made holy by the Word, Jesus the Christ.

 

18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. 19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.

 

Jesus sent us into the world when He told His disciples, go into all the world making disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit [Matthew 28:19].

 

20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 

 

Jesus is now praying specifically for all of those who would come after the disciples and apostles until the Day of the Lord.  He is praying for us.  And, here is His prayer for us.

 

21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. 22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one.  23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.  24 Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began! 25 “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me.  26 I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”

 

This part of Jesus’ prayer gives me so much comfort and a sense of purpose.  Jesus talks about how He and God the Father are one.  Jesus is saying that as He and the Father are One, you and I are one, and that we are in Them and They are in us.

 

Now, here is the challenge, and I must say that not all of us are doing a good job.  Jesus is praying that all believers will be in such perfect unity that the world will know that God sent Jesus, that God loves Jesus, and that He loves the world as much as He loves Jesus.

 

I pray for the unity of God’s children too, but unfortunately you seldom find unity in one single church let alone find unity among all churches regardless of denomination.  We find segregation of unity in different ministries because someone doesn’t think like I do or someone’s calling to minister is a little different than mine.

 

If we all would focus on Jesus and would all focus on going out into the world and teaching and making disciples instead of focusing inward on the structure of the organization and the rules – we would be better examples of Christ-followers; more effective in our ministries; and we would be much more full of the joy that Jesus prayed for.

 

We can pray for unity of the church or in our ministry, but we cannot fix it.  We just need to work at it on our end by loving each other as Christ has already loved us [John 13:34].

 

May God bless you and bless the study of His Word.

 

Pray and Lord’s Prayer

 

Matthew 6:9-13

9 … … Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.  Amen.

 

Lord’s Supper


1 Corinthians 11:23-26

… the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, "This is My body , which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me."  25 In the same way He took the cup also, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."  26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes.    NASB

 

May the precious body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen and preserve you until eternal life.  Amen.  Go in peace.

 

Hymns

 

Benediction


Numbers 6:24-26

24 The LORD bless you, and keep you;

25 The LORD make His face shine on you,

And be gracious to you;

26 The LORD lift up His countenance on you,

And give you peace.'

NASB

 

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.   Amen.