BY Debbie Eaton
Text: John 17:1-26
“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”
– John 17:24, ESV
This past year has been one of tremendous change for me, one that has prompted me to take time to pray, think, and consider my life through new eyes. My journey has challenged me to explore the pain and hardship of division and the healing power of unity. The tension that divides can be found almost everywhere we look—
I turn on the news and hear stories about division, corruption and destruction, with a hope in my heart for unity, respect and honor.
I watch families sit around a table on their cell phones while moments are being stolen from them and the very people they sit with (and I realize I am guilty of this, too).
I am lured into social media as if it’s a popularity contest, with metaphorical likes and hearts leaving me feeling left out or not good enough.
I hear people putting down local churches because of slight differences, and my heart breaks because a church is its people, not organizational systems.
I don’t think I am alone here. There is a battle raging between division and unity. This battle is prevalent in families, organizations and, sadly, the Church.
Jesus knew that spiritual unity could only be won through devotion to Him. His earthly ministry gave us many examples to follow.
Serve one another.
Encourage one another.
Love one another.
Be kind to one another.
Respect one another.
Be present with one another.
Before He took on death, Jesus got on His knees and earnestly prayed for Himself, His disciples and for you because He knew the intense battle between the enemy’s power of deception and division and God’s authority to unite.
“The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind—
Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
So they might be one heart and mind with us.
Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.
The same glory you gave me, I gave them,
So they’ll be as unified and together as we are—
I in them and you in me.”
John 17:22-23 (Message)
Our spiritual devotion comes from the awakening of knowing and experiencing God through His love letter to us. His Word, the Bible, renews our mind and connects us in oneness with Him. This transforms our thoughts, choices and actions; and, in return, we become a powerful witness of God’s power, authority and love. Jesus prayed that we would bear witness to His divine mission of giving a godless world evidence that Christ’s love is alive today and for future generations.
Jesus’ great love and sacrifice has won the battle of unity on our behalf and granted us the riches of His victory. May we stand firm, be courageous, and live steadfast in our oneness with Him, displaying His reconciling love in all that we do and say. We are stronger standing together with Jesus.
Does your devotion to Christ reflect a oneness with Him that translates into unity with others?
Do you believe that we are better together?