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Jesus Prays

John 17:13-21 “And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. “

During the time of Lent, the focus of the Church is turned inward. It is a blessing to have the light of the Holy Spirit lead us to truth in the ” inward parts” as David expressed in Psalm 53: 6: ” Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts, : and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.” Truth reveals who we are, sinners in need of the grace of God. It also reveals who we are in Christ. In Romans 5: 1-2: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

Jesus prays for all that have been partakers of this joy here in time and space. He prays that we would be kept from evil. We are sanctified by the Word because it is truth. Let us pray that we may be one in sharing the Word of truth, that love will abound to the glory of God. No matter what our circumstances, may our love be as simple as taking Jesus at His word. He prays not only for us, but for a world that hates the Word.

I really appreciate this excerpt from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, written from Tegel prison, and given the title “Blessing the World”: “Blessing means laying one’s hand on something and saying: Despite everything, you belong to God. This is what we do with the world that inflicts such suffering on us. We do not abandon it; we do not repudiate, despise, or condemn it. Instead we call it back to God, we give it hope, we lay our hand on it and say: may God’s blessing come upon you, may God renew you; be blessed, world created by God, you who belong to your Creator and Redeemer.”

May our joy be so full with the presence of God, that we also can pray for the world. As it is recorded in Psalms 16:11 ” Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”

Pastor Stan

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