Where Love and Peace Abide
I have given them your word. The world hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I am not praying that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. I sanctify myself for them, so that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
John 17:14-19 (CSB)
Therein is peace!
Not of this world
The words of Jesus as He prayed for you and me. When I contemplate the compassion of Christ as He prays for us, I am humbled and in awe of the love that He pours out on us constantly. The same love that permeates all of the scripture.
Yes, there is sin, judgment, pain, sorrow, betrail, and a host of other things scribed by the Spirit of God on the pages of the Bible, but no matter how I look at the scriptures any more all I can see is the Love that drove all of it into being.
Human flesh is incapable of framing God or His love for us, so He dictated the very words that appear in every book of the Bible. He did so to tell about Himself and the love that He has for us, the plans that He has made specifically for each and every one of His Children. He is faithful and cannot be that which He isn’t.
And as we are raised to new life in Jesus we are transformed in an instant and set on a path of constant change and growth to become the embodiment of His Spirit.
“They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. “, Jesus prayed. We are no longer of this world we live in. Because of Him, our point of existence has been significantly altered from the conformity of the world to abiding in Jesus. We have been removed from living in the world so that we may live in Christ Jesus.
Because we now live in Jesus. He does not live in the world. As a result of our cohabitation with Jesus, our address has changed. We now occupy the very same point of existence as Jesus does.
Physically we appear within the world and we do so for a purpose. We appear here to carry out the commands of our Lord and do His work. This means that we are not subject to the priorities of the world, instead, we are committed to the mission of Christ Jesus.
“I have given them your word“, then He says, “your word is truth“, and followed by “that they also may be sanctified by the truth.”
The origin of the Greek word translated here to be ‘sanctified’ is, ‘may be set apart (for holy service to God)’.
If it were not for this ‘service to God’, there would be no reason for us to remain here physically.
The Disciples of Jesus are not of this world they are in this world for a purpose.
I consistently focus on the Great Commission because it is in becoming a Disciple of Jesus that all of the guidance, directives, and commands given by Him to us converge.
The Disciple is committed to pattering their behavior, and understanding after their master. So it is, when we are Christ Jesus Disciple we are committed to doing the things He would do, saying the things He would say, responding to the things He would respond to in the manner in which He would respond.
Being a Disciple of Jesus means that we, in fact, are becoming that term coined for the believers in the early church in the book of Acts. We are becoming Christians.
Agrippa said to Paul, “Are you going to persuade me to become a Christian so easily? ”
Acts 26:28 (CSB)
And you see in the very next verse Paul confirmed to Agrippa that in fact, Paul desired that Agrippa become a Disciple just as he was, A Christian. Not only just Agrippa but all who could hear him, less the chains that he was bound in.
“I wish before God,” replied Paul, “that whether easily or with difficulty, not only you but all who listen to me today might become as I am — except for these chains.”
Acts 26:29 (CSB)
The mission for each and every person redeemed by the blood of Jesus is to be Disciples of Jesus and while they are striving to ‘become Christian’, they desire and make every effort they can to teach others to be Disciples as well.
This means that we do pray, we do immerse ourselves in the Word of God, we do seek to spread the truth of God’s Word to everyone we can, or in other words, evangelize.
It is our mission, our purpose, our duty to our Lord and Master to be His Disciple and make Disciples.
We remain here, to be different, and to make a difference. This is our purpose.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden.
No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
Matthew 5:13-16 (CSB)
In the middle of that opening passage in John, there are two verses that are the focus of today’s devotional. Yes, I want to emphasize for you that we are to be Disciples of Jesus and we have a purpose here. However, being ‘sanctified’ or set apart, different, changed, comes at a price.
Let me repeat those verses in the middle.
I am not praying that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
John 17:15-16 (CSB)
Jesus was aware of the danger we face being left here in the world exposed to the corruption and graft of the world. The core to His prayer for us was to invoke divine protection for us as we, His Disciples remain here fulfilling the will of our Master.
The love of Jesus for us in that prayer is profound.
Where Love and Peace Abide
So, what do we do when the issues of living here in this world appear to be overtaking us when the problems seem insurmountable? How do we deal with health issues that inhibit our ability to pursue our objectives and financial woes that threaten us?
Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one body, rule your hearts. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:14-15 (CSB)
The love that Christ Jesus exhibited in this prayer for us is the catalyst to bring us to a point of peace, regardless of our circumstance.
It is the ‘perfect’ bond of unity between the brotherhood of believers. We are one body in Christ. As we are in Him and He is in us we can have peace in times when the world threatens us.
In fact, we can have peace that transcends the understanding of the world just as we have transcended from death to life in Christ.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7 (CSB)
Amazingly enough, it is that very peace of God we have abiding in Jesus that is guarding our hearts and minds.
Where do love and peace abide? It abides in Christ Jesus. If we abide in Him, then it is there for us constantly, regardless of the threats around us.