TIME TO RADICALLY LOVE GOD AND OTHERS
Ray E Horton
First things first. I believe God’s emphasis in 2021 is for His people to radically return to Jesus’ prayer for us in John 17, and, by His grace, start to love one another more, coming together more in unity as the family of God.
It is happening among a group of us locally as we gather several times a week to build family, and I am hearing reports of similar fellowships world-wide.
Family Is Key
Family is key – doing life together, as we see in the early church of Acts. The world will see and begin to listen.
The church has failed miserably over the years, dividing and arguing, and giving little more than lip service to Jesus’ high priestly prayer.
Father, I will walk in agreement with your heart and tap into your grace to begin to more radically come together in love and unity, in Jesus’ name, and may more and more of my brothers and sisters do the same.
His Last Words before His Suffering
Jesus’ discourse at the last supper was pretty much His last words prior to His suffering, and as such, are extremely important. Let’s pull out a few of His wonderful comments from John 13 through John 17:
Vs. 14-15 -Jesus setting an example for us: “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.”
Vs. 17 – We must do more than know the Word, we must be obedient doers: ” If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”
Vs. 34-35 – The new commandment of love will show the world: ” “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Vs. 6 – Jesus, the only way to the Father: “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Vs. 12 – We can do the works that Jesus did, and even greater works: “Truly, truly I say to you, he who believes in Me will do the works that I do also. And he will do greater works than these, because I am going to My Father.”
Vs. 14 – The method and promise of prayer: “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”
Vs. 16-17 – The Holy Spirit is with us and in us, the Spirit of Truth: “I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Counselor, that He may be with you forever: the Spirit of truth… He lives with you and will be in you.”
Vs. 21 – Keeping Christ’s commandments of love: “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father. And I will love him and will reveal Myself to him.”
Vs. 26 – The Holy Spirit teaches us and reminds us: “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.”
Vs. 5 – Unless connected to Jesus our source we cannot bear fruit: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who remains in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit. For without Me you can do nothing.”
Vs. 12- Jesus’ new commandment re-enforced: “This is My commandment: that you love one another, as I have loved you.”
Vs.13 – The Holy Spirit leads us into all truth: “But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own authority. But He will speak whatever He hears, and He will tell you things that are to come.”
Vs. 24 – Ask and receive: ” Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
Vs. 33 – Peace in the midst of trials, for He has overcome the world: “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.”
John 17 – The High Priestly Prayer:
That they may be perfect in unity, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me
Vs. 11 – Father keeps us as we are one in unity as He is with Jesus: “I am to be no longer in the world, though these are in the world, for I am coming to You. Holy Father, through Your name keep those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are one.”
Vs. 15 – Jesus prays that we be protected from the evil one: “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.”
Vs. 20 – His prayer includes you and I: “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word.”
Vs. 21 – Jesus prays that, as a witness to the world, we “may all be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You. May they also be one in Us, that the world may believe that You have sent Me.”
Vs. 22-23 – He prays for our perfect unity, as between Him and the Father, that the world may know: “I have given them the glory which You gave Me, that they may be one even as We are one: I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfect in unity, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”
A Divine Crescendo
Here we have just experienced a divine crescendo culminating in Jesus’ prayer for our love and unity. These are not just words but are the desire of the heart of God. And, in spite of the failure of the church over the centuries, these words will not return to Him void, but will come to pass. And it is beginning to happen now.
Will you commit to the Lord to focus on and proactively engage in the love and unity that He so desires, so that we can show forth His love and speak with one voice to bring in the harvest?