These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: (John 17:1)
And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. (John 17:11)
I WAS SAVED AT AGE NINE AND BEGAN TO READ THE BIBLE, primarily by following the plan in my Sunday school quarterly and training union quarterly. Gradually, I became more and more familiar with Bible landmarks. I liked to do “sword drills” on Sunday night with a dozen or so others my age. If I was going to do better at sword drills (finding random verses before someone else), I needed to memorize the books of the Bible.
SURPRISINGLY, I ENJOYED MEMORIZING BOOKS OF THE BIBLE and practiced it regularly like basketball players practice dribbling and “laying up” the ball during warm-ups. I strongly recommend memorizing the books of the Bible.
I MUST HAVE READ THE 17TH CHAPTER OF JOHN several times but there was this one time, after I was grown, when I saw what Jesus was praying for. He was praying that His followers might become one just like He and the Father are one. Hold it! I had visited several churches and saw that they were still “not one” as Jesus was one with the Father. When and how is this going to happen? It bothered me that I was doubting that God could ever make His people into one.
THE FOUNDING FATHERS OF THE NEW NATION of the United States of America adopted “E-Pluribus Unum” (out of many: one). That was a lofty goal. If a hand-full of Christians have trouble “being one,” how could millions of people “become one?”
IT SO HAPPENS THAT WHILE ON THIS EARTH, there are going to be law breakers in the American citizenship and there are going to be rule breakers in Jesus’ church He is building. What to do with the law breakers and rule breakers? American citizens who do not want to be one with the laws will encounter the police power of the State and will suffer the consequences of breaking the law.
OUR FOUNDING FATHERS HAD SAID PUBLICLY that our new form of government would only work among a moral people who willingly obey the laws of the nation; that our form of government IS wholly inadequate for any other kind of people.
WHEN JESUS WAS PRAYING FOR "ONENESS" in John 17, He understood all would not quickly submit to oneness. It would be a drawn-out process. We would come to know it as the process of sanctification. We are babes in Christ, will behave like children and will only do better as we grow in the Lord.
Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (1 Peter 2:1-2)
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18)
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. (Colossians 3:16-17)
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. (Hebrews 5:12-13)
And some were never born again: For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. (Hebrews 4:2)
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: (Hebrews 12:14) It is not peace and holiness that saves us. Following after these two things is characteristic of people who have been born again. Notice that it is a matter of following after, chasing after, pursuing after peace with all men and holiness.
I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. (3 John 1:9) Don’t be surprised to find this kind in a church.
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. (Romans 16:17)
For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (Romans 16:18) Watch out for this kind and…avoid them. Don’t let them influence you.
SOME OF THEM WOULD VOLUNTARILY LEAVE THE CHURCH. Others would have to experience discipline by the local church body. Being one with each other and being one with Jesus and the Father is not settled by an experience or two with God. We become one with God and one with each other as we learn how to walk with God and learn how to crucify self, getting self out of the way so the Spirit of God can work unhindered in us. Being one is not a sudden, one-time experience. It is a way of life that we experience as we go through all the experiences God either sends or permits to come our way.
Read Through the Bible in a Year
SEPTEMBER 18, 2019 - WEDNESDAY
A.M. Ecclesiastes 1-3 P.M. 2Corinthians 9
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.
A Good Verse to Memorize:
That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. (Isaiah 45:6)
Song for Today:
How Great Thou Art (3:45) (Royal Albert Hall-Big Sing)
(You may have to adjust the volume and delete an ad.