Tuesday, October 25, 2011
"JESUS PRAYS FOR HIS FOLLOWERS"
Good Evening to All!
The following passage is where Jesus is concentrating and praying for His disciples. He says: (9) I pray for them. I am not pray8ng for the world, but those who You have given me, for they are Yours. (10) All I have is Yours, and all you have is Mine. And glory has come to Me through them. (11) I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name--the name you gave me--so that they may be one as we are one. (12) While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. (John 17:9-12 NIV)
Understand now, that God loves the whole world, but here, Jesus was keeping his focus on His disciples. He would be glorified in them after he had ascended into heaven because their lives and words would live on and reveal Jesus' essential character to the world. He would be present in and live through them. It was the disciples complete responsibility to spread the news about Jesus and His Kingdom. Taking on this responsibility meant (and still means in some cases) encountering terrible opposition, so Jesus asked the Father to unite and protect them. During the time that Jesus was physically present with the disciples, they had been unified around Him, and Jesus had carefully protected these men as a precious gift given to Him from the Father. soon Jesus would leave these disciples and he knew their faith would be severely tested; yet they would glorify Him through their lives and testimony.
Does this sound familiar to you? This is exactly what He wants us His Children to do for Him. He doesn't want to see anyone parish, but if they don't know Him or have rejected Him, that's what will happen. This is why a Pastor works so hard at trying to help people understand that Living for God is critical. Do you know they are going to be accountable for their service while here on earth when judgment day comes? God will want to know why, if they are lax in bringing souls to Him. If a Pastor has a chance to witness or attempt to bring a person to God, but dismisses it, he will have to answer for it. The reason I am telling you this is the next time you feel your Pastor is "stepping on your toes", or that he is preaching fire and brimstone instead of love, love, love, think about what I just told you. He doesn't want to stand before God being judged for a person not knowing or doing what they are suppose to according to the Word. At least because of his negligence. Therefore, let him do his job without criticism about being too harsh, or preaching "hell and damnation". We ALL NEED TO HEAR ABOUT THAT.
OK, I don't know how I got so far off track, but I'm back on now. So Sorry! What I had started out to say is that again, it is our responsibility as a Christian, better yet, how can we call ourselves Christians if we don't follow Christ's example of informing others of His Kingdom and how to get there.
They need to know that it is not an automatic thing for everyone to go to heaven. The trip to heaven is not obtained by saying I believe it Jesus, alone. It is by yes, accepting or "confessing Jesus as your Savior, but also, Living for God, Abiding By His Word, Repenting of your sins, turning away from them not to sin again), and being baptized in Jesus' Name. (Acts 2:38).
Now, I'm going to say something that may cause some controversy, but I feel in my spirit I must. People can tell you all day long that baptism isn't necessary because it is just symbolism. If that is the case, then why did God require Jesus to be baptized? If it was important enough to God for Jesus to go to John the Baptist and be "IMMERSED UNDER WATER", then what gives us the right to say it's not important? As far as "being sprinkled or immersed", the purpose of baptism is to have your sins washed away. Have you ever been dirty and just had water sprinkled on you? Did it get you clean? I doubt it. We are really covered with our sins and it takes complete immersion to get us cleansed. Another reason is the symbolism of being Buried with Christ. (I'm just glad we use water and not dirt for the burial as well as the cleansing). The coming up out of the water represents the resurrection of Christ. Afterwards, receiving the Holy Ghost.
We all should be responsible for spreading God's Word especially about Salvation to as many as will listen. Even if they don't. I say that because some of what we say will stick. Maybe not all or even most to some people, but I guarantee a seed will be planted. Even if they don't acknowledge it, they may some time be talking to someone and remember a statement you said and tell that person and it will change that other person's life.
YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT EFFECT YOUR WITNESSING WILL HAVE ON OTHERS.
Let Christ's Prayer for His disciples apply to you. Be a disciple for Christ and witness to someone. It doesn't take a sermon. When I witness to someone, it usually starts out as a regular conversation about something that happened that day, or something someone said to me, or even to the person I'm talking to. While we are talking God brings a scripture to mind that has something to do or in common with what we are talking about, and I quote it. Sometimes, not even word for word, but by paraphrasing it. Such as you know, I read something in the Bible about this. I think in (such and such) book of the Bible, it says. . . . or I'll say, "you know, God says . . . . ( about the subject we are talking about), and then go on. Sometimes the other person will bring it back and keep talking about God, sometimes they don't, but at least I know I have planted a seed and done the will of God. Be a Disciple of Christ.
The DEFINITION of Christian according to the Dictionary is Pertaining to or derived from Jesus Christ or His teachings. (2) pertaining to or adhering to the religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. (3) "exhibiting a spirit proper to a follower of Jesus Christ. (4) a person who exemplifies in his life the teachings of Christ.
This being said, My question for all of us is how do we call ourselves Christians if we do not focus on following Christ's Doctrine or His example of "going about His Father's business" more than our own fleshly desires?
Good Night to All and May God Bless!