Devotional No. 13, "Unity"
I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me because of their testimony. My prayer for all of them is that they will be one, just as you and I are one, Father-that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me.
I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we areI in them and you in me, all being perfected into one. Then the world will know that you sent me and will understand that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom youve given me to be with me, so they can see my glory. You gave me the glory because you loved me even before the world began! John 17: 20-24
Every time I read these words of Jesus, this beautiful prayer, I am filled with wonder. He prayed this prayer for everyone who would ever believe in him throughout the ages. This means he prayed it for all of us here at CBLF just as much as anyone else. In fact, if we take his words at face value, then his wish is that we are to be unified with the rest of the family of God as much as we are to be unified within this forum with one another.
Yes this sounds like a lot to ask of us. Every one of us can tell story after story about how we have been rejected by Christians; sometimes by those who were very close to us. We know rejection only too well and even if it hasnt happened to some of us yet, there is still that terrible fear that it can happen at any time. How many times have we prayed Oh God, please dont let so and so find out about my attraction to boys. He will never understand and I know he will just hate me. Im sure we can all relate to THAT prayer in some way. Its a fear we all know only too well, to be found out and rejected by the ones we love, by our family and even by the church members we love.
We cannot help how others feel about us, but here is something we can do. To honor the words of our Savior, we can practice the unity he spoke of right here in our forum, among ourselves. To show the world that Jesus is indeed alive and well and living right here at CBLF. And from there, it will be only a small step to take that spirit of unity to other places; to our respective churches, families and friends and to everyone we know. Perhaps not to actually come out to these people, but to behave in ways that would reflect a loving heart as if we actually did come out to them. Jesus wants all of us to see his glory, and we will as we become one in him. It might happen slowly, but it will happen because he asked God for it and in our hearts, we believe!
Dear Father, Just as your Son prayed for unity, we too pray for unity. May we become one in Him so that the world will see this and know beyond a doubt that we are yours. We so wish to be with Jesus so that we may see your glory, Father, that we will strive for unity even among those outside of our circle who do not understand us. Help us to understand them and to love them, just as you understand and love us. We pray this in the name of your Holy Son, Jesus Christ. Amen!