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January 17, 2019

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Read John 17

 

To read this text go to: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+17&version=NLT

 

ScriptureJohn 17:20-21- “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one- as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.

Observations- John 17 is referred to as Jesus' "High Priestly Prayer," because the entire chapter is recorded as the Son is in conversation with His Father as He serves as a mediator on our behalf. Jesus is praying for us as well in these verses, for we are the ones who believe through the witness of the first century disciples. Jesus prayed for unity. Jesus prayed for our oneness. He wanted that for every generation of Christ followers. He wanted us to be connected with one another in the same way He was to the Father. Why? So that those who didn't yet believe in Him would see the truth of His love and grace.

Application- Note what Jesus prayed for just before asking for our unity: "Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth." (John 1:17-19) This means the foundation of our unity is built upon God's truth. What do we do when our very foundation is cracked; that is, when we no longer agree on what is the truth? The right response certainly can't be to keep publicly fighting about our disagreement in front of the world that so desperately needs to see our unity and oneness! This is our ongoing dilemma in the United Methodist Church. Is marriage between a man and a woman, or is it between two people? Is this an essential issue that requires our unity, or is this a non-essential issue in which we can extend liberty? No matter where we land, of course, we must always extend love. There may well come a time (and it may now be here) when the best course of action is to release and bless one another to live out differing visions of the truth to limit a harmful witness in the community and the world God loves so much. (See Paul and Barnabas in Acts 15:36-41 for an example of releasing one another in service.)

Prayer- Thank You, Jesus, for Your prayer that we would all be one. Your truth is the foundation of all of our unity. Help us live in the truth and unity You invite us to receive and make known to the world. When folks look at us, even through our profound disagreements, help them see You more clearly. Guide us to Your truth, so that genuine unity can be our witness to those who need Jesus. Amen.

"I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose." (1 Corinthians 1:10),


Pastor Jamie

 

  1. S. - As we start a new sermon series this Sunday, "A Firm Foundation," I want to invite you to pick up the book on the porch for only $5. It's a great, quick read that delves deeper into the dilemma we face in the UMC. 

    ​​​​​​​To contact me: reply to this email...it only comes to me.

 

To connect with the New Hope website: www.findnewhope.com

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January 16, 2019

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Read John 16

 

To read this text go to: 

 

ScriptureJohn 16:33- "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Observations- Jesus was preparing His disciples for His own death and what life would be like when He ascended and returned to heaven. Jesus never painted a carefree life for His followers; instead He assured them they would suffer. Jesus was clear with those who knew Him best and walked with Him on a daily basis: "Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows." In the midst of this promise, however, Jesus also declared that they would have His peace as they remained in His love. He had just told them that the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, would be present with them when He was gone. The victory of the resurrection went through the cross, not around it. God is with His disciples through our

suffering and pain.

Application- This is my favorite biblical promise, because it doesn't sugarcoat what we can expect in this life. It's not that I "like it;" rather it's that I resonate with this promise. I know I need the deep presence of Jesus every hour of every day. There are some people who think faith in Jesus Christ should mean never having to suffer, but they must be reading a different Bible than we are walking through. God is with us in our suffering, so it's not necessarily that God will magically protect us from whatever life brings our way. The promise is the peace of Christ as we walk into the trials and sorrows we face. God cares far more about the development of our character and our "moving onto perfection" than He cares about our circumstantial comfort.

Prayer- Dear God, thank You for being with me through it all- the good, the bad, and the ugly of this life. Help me to trust that Your life giving presence is always more than enough for every circumstance I face. You can't prevent or stop all of my pain. It's a part of life, but I do ask You to comfort me and give me Your peace through all of my experiences here and now. Your Son, my Savior, has overcome the world, and I choose to stand with Him in victory today. Amen.

 

"And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.​​​​​​​" (Romans 8:17),

Pastor Jamie

​​​​​​​To contact me: reply to this email...it only comes to me.

 

To connect with the New Hope website: www.findnewhope.com

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