John 17:24-26 NIV 24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
“By the end of [John] chapter 17 we know that this love of God for the world comprises the whole movement of God’s love that begins in the mutual loving communion of the Father and the Son, entails the Son’s mission to include humans in that divine love, creates the loving community of disciples of Jesus, and thereby reaches the world. Disciples are not explicitly told to love the world, but they are caught up in that movement of God’s love that has nothing less than the world as its goal.” [Gospel of Glory by Richard Bauckham, p. 41]
The community of God’s people is formed in the unity and mission of the Triune God. Jesus makes it clear that the Father desires to pour his love into the church in such a way that the world will recognize the divine presence in the church.
Today, let’s pray, “Lord, pour your love over your church today. May your love also pour into my life so that others may see you at work in me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Today, let’s worship the Lord by singing “This Is How We Know” by Matt Redman (click here).
Let’s read aloud the following passages and prayer together.
1 John 1:1-7 NIV 1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We write this to make our joy complete.
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your precious promises that lead us into fellowship with Jesus! We declare that you are the true light in our lives. Lead us to walk in your light, to enjoy true fellowship as your people. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today, let’s worship the Lord by singing “This Is Our God” by Hillsong (click here).
John 17:22-23 NIV 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Remarkably, Jesus prays that the church would be “completely one” (NRSV) or brought to “complete unity” (NIV). In contrast to any worldly image of unity, Jesus’ prayer speaks of a deeper “oneness” that is rooted within the Trinitarian relations of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We are to be “one” just as the Father and Son are “one” (v. 22). Jesus prays that we would be “completely one” – as fellow participants within the people of God, in relationship with the Father and the Son.
The math is simple: if the way we approach one another is based on any other reality than “being-in-the-Lord” (e.g., socio-economic, demographic, ethnic, racial, academic, professional), we become “two” rather than “one”! We are called to be “one” in Jesus as God’s church, and we are called to be examples of God’s unconditional love to the world around us.
Today, let’s pray, “Lord, bring me into the unity of your love today. May I see others in light of the love that has been poured out from the Father through the Son into your church. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Today, let’s worship the Lord by singing “Old for New” by Bethel Music (click here).
1 Corinthians 10:16 NIV 16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?
2 Peter 1:3-4 NIV 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
“Koinonia” (in Greek – κοινωνία) is often translated as “fellowship” or “participation” and describes the supernatural “relationship” we now share in Christ Jesus, through the love of God, in the working of the Spirit. “In God we relate” is not a simple slogan, or a catchphrase—it is a change of reality from natural relationship, to a supernatural identity change. As one commentator puts it: “This fellowship with Christ comes about through the creative intervention of God. It happens through the transformation of human beings to the very roots of their being. It is birth into a new existence and can be expressed by the contrast of life and death” (“Koinonia,” New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis).
What an amazing blessing that we have been invited into participation in the body of Christ! Let’s pray, “Lord, lead me into true fellowship in you today. Lead me into true fellowship in the body of Christ where you have called me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Today, let’s worship the Lord by singing “This I Believe” by Hillsong (click here).
2 Corinthians 13:14 NIV May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
John 17:20-21a NIV 20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.
The overall perspective of the painting is distorted, so that the three figures are prominent and not in the expected scale from the observer’s point of view. Instead, the observer is immediately drawn into the scene. We as God’s church are drawn into the life of the Trinity; we are not simply observers imposing our perspective. Instead, we are drawn into relationship and participation through the Father’s will (represented by the figure on the left), according to the life, death and resurrection of the Son (represented by the central figure), in the power of the Spirit (represented by the figure on the right).
Today, may the Spirit awaken our desire to “be in” the Lord, as Jesus prayed for us in John 17:21. Let’s pray, “Father, lead me into your presence today, that my life would be lived in the Lord at each step. In Jesus’ name. Amen.“
Let’s close by singing, “The Awesome God You Are” by Matt Redman (click here).
Matthew 6:33 NIV But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Revelation 4:10b-11a NIV They lay their crowns before the throne and say: 11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power…”
“Biblical faith is not passive… it is an active reliance on God and His promises, often in the face of impossible circumstances…Biblical faith is always linked with obedience. If you trust God, you obey God. To obey God, you must trust that His Word is true.” [Making Christ at Home in Your Heart, Bible.Org Series: Ephesians, Steven J. Cole, 2007]
Believe that God’s promises are true! God will empower us with his passion to seek first his kingdom that many more may have Christ dwell in them. This is the passion we hunger for! The crowns we lay down at his throne are the lives who proclaim, “Jesus lives in me!”
Let’s trust the words of Ephesians 3 and pray them today for ourselves and our churches and ministries:
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ”
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship with “By the Grace of God” by Brian Johnson, et al. (click here).
Let’s read aloud the following passages and prayer together.
Romans 8:9-11 NIV 9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
Ephesians 3:16-19 NIV I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Prayer: Lord, thank you! We are in the realm of the Spirit! Fill us with the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead! Fill us with life and love! We worship you! In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship with “Strong in Us” by Brian Johnson, et al. (click here).
John 14:18 NIV I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
John 4:25-26 NIV 25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
Colossians 1:27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Are you worn out trying to manage your outer life to compensate for the troubles and disorder in your inner life? Our hope is “Jesus lives in me” – Christ in you, the hope of glory! Our living hope, Jesus, seeks you today. Let’s turn to Jesus for his love to break through all that has tried to hinder and imprison us with guilt, shame and pride. We receive the healing and renewal we need as we surrender and confess in the Spirit and in truth all the “no’s” we have had in our hearts before God. The love of Jesus pours out the freedom of life in the Spirit of our Savior who dwells in us!
Prayer: Lord, thank you that you are with me. I turn and confess all the “no’s” in my heart toward you. I surrender my heart and ask for the healing and renewal of your love to overwhelm me with your freedom through the power of your Spirit. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship with “My Heart is Overwhelmed” by Dylan Thomas (click here).
John 14:23 NIV Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”
This is Jesus’ promise to us. Once Jesus lives (indwells) in us, salvation life is now about Jesus dwelling in our hearts in increasing measure, taking over, making his home in us. It’s about experiencing the nearness of Jesus and all that he wants to do in us and through us to make us more like him.
“The verb that Paul uses refers to a permanent indwelling or residence of Christ in the heart. He means that we should welcome Christ into every aspect of our lives, so that there is no known area of our lives that we would be uncomfortable having Christ share it with us. Perhaps no one has put it better than Robert Munger, in his little booklet, ‘My Heart, Christ’s Home’ [IVP]. He tells of how after Christ entered his heart, in the joy of that newfound relationship, he said, ‘Lord, I want this heart of mine to be yours. I want to have you settle down here and be perfectly at home. Everything I have belongs to you.'” [Making Christ at Home in Your Heart, Bible.Org Series: Ephesians, Steven J. Cole, 2007]
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your promise. I want my heart to be yours. Please come and make your home in me, in our church, and make us more like you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship with the song “More Like Jesus” by Kristian Stanfill, et al. (click here).
John 3:5-6 NIV Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
John 14:16-17 NIV And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth…you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
Galatians 2:20a NIV I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
At the heart of our salvation is promise. God wants us to truly know that he treasures us and wants to fill us with his presence to empower us to love and walk in his ways. We may fail again and again to love the Lord with all our being, but God fulfilled his promise. God keeps his word. When we trust Jesus for salvation and confess Jesus is Lord, we are born again by the Spirit of God! Because Jesus, our Savior lives in us through his Spirit, we can experience the blessings of this miraculous salvation life every day!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for your great salvation! Help me to experience your blessings even more. May all my praise and devotion be yours forever. Let my life now become your throne. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship with the song “Unbroken Praise” by Matt Redman (click here).