Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, March 2, 2016
“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.” John 17:21
It is often said that there is power in unity. This is absolutely the case in every arena. Just consider the impact of immigrants who enter the country as a family, and live in the same home, and share expenses. Many come into the country with little money, and in a matter of a few years, they experience success. They secure meaningful employment, and pay for a good education. In democratic governments, the power of unity is demonstrated in the voting process. Whenever enough voters unify for a particular candidate, that candidate wins the election (in theory).
Jesus prayed fervently, what some call a high priest prayer, near the end of His ministry on earth. One of the resonating requests He made of His heavenly Father was that He make us one. The standard that Jesus used for His request was His relationship with His Father. He wanted us to be one even as He and His Father were one, so the world would know that He was sent by God.
There are many religious groups attempting to unify. It is a blessing to see. Many are beginning to understand one another and become tolerant of each other’s views of God. One of the exciting things about Jesus’ prayer is that He did not leave us in the dark about the method of unifying that would bring Him glory. He said that we should be one as He and the Father are one. This means that in as much as they are united on the foundation of truth, we too should unify. Unity in the truth does not set aside Bible commitments in order to appear to be in fellowship. Can you imagine what a mockery of the gospel that would be made if those who believed the Bible command to be faithful to one’s own spouse laid aside that belief in the name of unity? Similar things are occurring in religion today. Masses of religious leaders are laying aside the beautiful truths of scripture, all in the name of tolerance and unity. The unity to which Jesus referred, demonstrates the power of the Holy Spirit to convict and convert people, but not to nullify what He has so faithfully revealed in His word.
May the Lord teach us that true Biblical unity inspires believers to seek the face of God and search His word diligently. May we learn to love the truth that is the person of Jesus Christ, the holy Bible, and God’s holy commandments (John 14:6; John 17:17; Psalm 119:151). It is as the Lord does this that true unity can be brought about.