Monday, June 02, 2014

God keeps us - 2

Jesus by the Sea - Alexandre Bida
Jesus  by the Sea - Alexandre Bida
TODAY'S SPECIAL: John 17:12-26

TO CHEW ON: " 'While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.' " John 17:12

What a comfort to hear Jesus pray for us! Yesterday we went through the Bible gathering reminders of God's keeping power. Today we'll look at some of the specific ways Jesus refers to in His prayer, in which we are kept.

We are:
  • Kept in the Father's name - John 17:11. The name of someone represents the essence of all he or she is. We are kept by all God is—His attributes of omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, love, holiness etc.
  • Kept in safety - John 17:12. No lost sheep Jesus prays to Father God.
  • Kept in joyfulness - John 17:13. " 'My joy fulfilled in themselves.' " When I think of Jesus being joyful, I think of Him with the Samaritan woman. Remember His reaction when the disciples tried to pull His attention from the food of ministry to physical food? He declined their food and said, " 'My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me …' " and then He talked about rejoicing over the harvest that results - John 4:31-36.
  • Kept in purity - John 17:15. Jesus prayed that we would be kept pure (" '… keep them from the evil one…' ") even while we're still in the world.
  • Kept separated from the world - John 17:16. After coming to Christ and finding we no longer buy into the world's systems and values, its inevitable to feel like a misfit. Yet there is still the desire to fit in and the temptation to conform. Jesus wants us to be okay with that sense of alienation from the world. He prays that our separation will persist.
  • Kept in the process of sanctification - John 17:17. Sanctify means to set apart. How are we established in this set-apartness? By God's Word. The Bible is the guidebook, map and North Star of this life in Christ.
  • Kept in active service - John 17:18. Though we are separated from the world, we are sent into it.
  • Kept in unity - John 17:20, 21. What a testimony to the world when we as Christians get along.
  • Kept for coming glory - John 17:22-24. Jesus lived as a man with His disciples. We read their accounts and relive His life on earth at a distance. But what Jesus wants is for all His disciples to see Him in reality: " '… that they may behold My glory which You have given Me …' " and be part of it: " '… and the glory which You gave Me, I have given them.' "

What aspect of Jesus' keeping do we need today? Let's claim it in faith and live as precious, kept children!

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for this prayer that encompasses believers across the ages. Please help me to claim and live by faith in God the Father's keeping power. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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