Today’s Reading: John 17-18
Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).
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Key Verse: John 18:36a
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world…”
The kingdom of Saul, David and others was a small geographic entity known as Israel. At the time of our reading, Israel was known as Palestine, and was a province of the Empire ruled over by the Roman Caesar. But Jesus declares the fact that His Kingdom is the entire planet and beyond to the entire universe. Jesus’ responded to the representatives of an earthly political and religious entity with the words, “I AM HE,” when they said that they were seeking Jesus of Nazareth; He demonstrated His total authority when He spoke that Name given to Moses from the burning bush. The detachment of troops and officers from the chief priests fell backward on the ground at His Name!!!
Let’s back up to chapter 17. This is Jesus’ powerful prayer to His Father. This prayer was answered with a resounding “YES!” His followers did maintain unity most of the time, and as a result, over two billion people on earth today claim to be Christians. When the world sees that we are one, as Jesus prayed, they believe that the Father sent His Son. Please read again John 17:20-26.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that I, as one who seeks to follow Your Son and my Saviour, Jesus Christ, will be one with my brothers and sisters as You and Your Son, Jesus, are One. I’m totally confident that as the world around me sees that love in me and the unity that I have with my fellow believers, more and more will believe that You sent Jesus. In His Name, Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
The Internet connects in a way which is important, but not really personally in a close friendship where I can put my arm around someone who is weeping or dance with someone who is rejoicing. This happens when believers come together in person. This “coming together” is “ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL.” As a leader of an international ministry with a good sized full-time team and many volunteers, I would bring together the core team to establish the budget. We would go over everything that we were doing and ask the team to categorize all our commitments under three headings: (1) Necessary (2) Essential (3) ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL. Then if funds were not available we would eliminate the necessary and the essential, keeping in the budget only the ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL!!! The teaching of Jesus on UNITY in today’s reading is the ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL for the cause of bringing lost precious people to Him. Without the unity for which He prayed, we fail miserably in the call He has placed on our lives.
Yours for the Father’s answer in all of our lives,
P.S. Tonight is Halloween, originally “Holy Evening.” The evening before All Saints Day, believers would come to church in centuries past to be prayed for to make sure that no unclean or evil spirits were controlling their thoughts and lives. The next day at church they joined all the saints, past present and future, in their celebration of God’s provision for holiness. Come to think of it, it might be a good idea to resurrect this original practice, as this celebration has certainly changed a lot since then!