Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!

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Unity in Love

Reading: John 17: 20-26

Verse 22: “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”.

Our passage today focuses on unity. Jesus prays for unity between and among the believers. Unity was essential for the early church – the Jews and the Romans would put a lot of pressure on them to try and snuff out the early church. In both verses 20 and 22 Jesus prays that they “may be one” and He connects this prayer to how He and God are one. Jesus defines this further in verse 23, praying for “complete unity” among the believers. Such a unity reveals their absolute faith in Christ and also the love of Jesus that is in them and flows through them.

The second unity that Jesus focuses on is between the believers and Jesus himself. A unity between Jesus and those who follow Him is also essential. A relationship with Jesus is the core connection. It is the foundation upon which the believers’ relationships with one another will stand. Their personal relationship with Jesus is also what connects them to God. In verse 22 Jesus prays this prayer: “I in them and you in me”. It reveals this connection.

Throughout His time on earth Jesus revealed God’s love. All that Jesus did and said and prayed was based upon this love. Our passage today closes with a prayer for this love to be in the believers. In verse 26 Jesus prays, “I have made you known and will continue to… in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them”. If we have the love of God in Christ inside of us, it will be revealed to the world. Just as Jesus came to reveal God’s love, we too are sent into the world to be like Christ, revealing God’s love by all we do and say. May it be so this day and every day.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, dwell fully in me this day. May I so know your love that it is evident to all. Fill me with your love so that I may share it with others. Thank you Jesus. Amen.

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May His Love Abound

In the Philippian church, the love of God was evident.  Paul’s affirmation of this love must have been uplifting and encouraging for them.  But Paul also challenged them to let this love grow so that it yeilds knowledge and insight.  Like a good coach, Paul built them up with a positive and also gave them an area to work on.

Church is the place where we should find love.  Jesus was all about loving all He met.  As His hands and feet He calls us offer His love both to those within the church and to those outside our walls.  His love calls us forth to alleviate suffering, to right injustices, and to share the good news of Jesus Christ.  These efforts are the ‘fruits of righteousness’ that Paul writes of and they bring praise and glory to God.

This knowledge and insight gained through allowing our love to grow and abound also helps churches in their relationships within.  As imperfect human beings there will be times when we are less than God intends us to be.  This may cause hurt and even division within the body of Christ.  Paul reminds the Philippians and us that the same guiding force must be used here as well: love.  When we meet challenges with love, then the outcome and resolution will also bring glory and praise to God.

As we prepare ourselves to receive our King, may this love abound more and more within us.  As we seek to love each other and our world in need, may His love within us be pure and blameless, seeking to bring praise and glory only to God and Jesus Christ.

Scripture reference: Philippians 1: 9-11