“I’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.” John 17:20-23 (The Message).
With just hours left to live, Jesus takes the time to pray for His disciples and all of those who will believe in Him. His heart is so strong for unity and closeness within His Kingdom. He knows that one of the best ways to disciple to an unbelieving world, is for us, Christians, to remain unified, connected, and committed to the same goal: bringing Jesus’ peace and love to the hopeless. Wow! Of course, I have to wonder what, then, would Jesus think of the world now? The church has become divided and filled with strife and anger. If Christians aren’t treating each other kindly, then how will we show a Godless world Jesus and His father?
Friends, for me, the above verse means so much. It is a powerful and direct prayer from our Father. I yearn to remain steadfast and connected to other believers because this life is hard! Jesus knew what we would face. He saw firsthand His own disciples stumble, lie, and betray Him. The way we can encourage, show grace, kindness, and peace to the world is to remain watchful. We all need to care deeply about restoration and unity, but we also need to extend the olive branch and open up conversations with our Christian brothers and sisters when we don’t get along. The Scripture says that “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT). The division we feel is scary and often seems helpless, but Christ died for us to live differently. He prayed with such fervor for us to love one another and be unified. Our harmony is the most impactful way to evangelize this world!
We can learn from the Corinthians in the early church. Paul guided them and taught them how to maintain a Christian lifestyle in a sinful society. He urged them to keep love as their aim, build relationships that were pure and considerate, have attitudes and actions that were confident but not arrogant. And most of all, have hearts that were committed to honoring God no matter the cost. “Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” 1 Corinthians 13:11 (NLT).
Blessings and Love,
Rachel and the Help Club for Moms team