Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:1-6
Key Verses: John 17:20-21
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
We have looked at the first two critical elements in our Biblical definition of success. The first element, as you remember, was being in and remaining in Jesus. The second aspect that we talked about yesterday is loving and caring for people. This third element that we now turn to, is described in Jesus’ prayer that many theologians refer to as Jesus’ “High Priestly prayer.” In other words, it’s the longest and most insightful example we have of Jesus praying. It’s a prayer that intercedes for the apostles, as well as future believers such as you and me! The main theme, as Jesus prays for future believers, is that we would be united as one! In John 17:23, Jesus details it with the word complete. “May they be brought to complete unity.”
If you read the suggested additional reading, you will read the apostle Paul’s challenge to “make every effort to keep the unity of the faith.” It’s my opinion that both Jesus and the apostle Paul knew this would be a great challenge to God’s people. They knew how easy it is to let the “human” part of us overrule the “spirit” part of us and cause disunity. Misunderstandings and disagreements are bound to occur, but when we put forth “every effort” to settle these matters with love and unity, we are very successful people in God’s sight! To say this on the negative side: don’t ever think you are a successful Christ follower if you are in disharmony with another person and have not tried – with great effort – to settle the matter in loving ways!
Your past behaviors need not control your future. Redefine success and live the adventure with Jesus Christ!
Father, grant me strength to bridle my tongue and slow my anger, that I might successfully walk with you today! In Jesus’ Name, amen.