“Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.”John 17:11 ESV
Dear Church Family,
The night before Jesus was crucified, just before he was betrayed, he went to the garden of Gethsemane and prayed. Jesus experienced so much stress while he was praying that the Bible tells us he sweat drops of blood. It was during this time that he gave what we know as the High Priestly prayer. Far from being consumed with his own needs, he prayed for us. He prayed “Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.” (John 17:11) If you are able, please take a moment to read the rest of John 17. Jesus knew that the world would hate, reject and persecute those who belonged to him. He did not pray for the world, but only for those the Father had given to the Son, those who would receive the Son and the life He came to give. And was what his prayer? He prayed that we would be one.
Beloved, there is nothing which Satan would love more than to create division at Faith Presbyterian Church. He uses gossip, slander, ignorance of the Word, persecution, and unbelief. He divides us over philosophy of ministry, stirs up self-interest, sets us against each other by playing on our fears and anxieties, and takes advantage of our sense of shame so that we shy away from confession, repentance, and reconciliation. Satan has many tools for dividing the church. But we have something even more powerful. We have the Word of God. The foundation for our unity, the means by which we receive the answer to Jesus’ prayer that we might be one, is found in verses 6-8, Jesus gave us His Word.
In the next few Connect articles, I plan to share with you from the Word Jesus’ vision for the church. I believe that if we will devote ourselves to studying God’s will for us found in the scriptures, the Holy Spirit will work in our hearts to conform us to the image of Christ, and we will begin to experience the unity which Christ pleaded with His Father to give to us. Please pray that God will bless us and that we will pursue unity in the Word and in the Spirit here at Faith Presbyterian Church.