A final summary

Selwyn summarises the last two months of this study, on ‘Our Lord at Prayer’, according to three important points.

‘First, the fact that as Christians we are God’s chosen people. … Second, the realisation that on the eve of His agonising death on the cross our Saviour’s foremost thoughts were not for himself but for those whom His Father had given Him. … Third, the awareness that the more we allow the truths contained in this chapter (John 17) to take hold of us, the less we will fall prey to anxiety and uncertainty.’

The prayer for today, bears repeating: ‘O God my Father, thank You for what I have learned from this my Saviour’s most wonderful prayer. Burn its truths deep into my soul so that never again will I doubt the certainty and security of my salvation. In Christ’s name I ask it. Amen.’

The additional encouragement, I received was from reading John 10: 27-30 (re Further Study), such great verses: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternall life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out if my Father’s hand, I and the Father are one.”

What, for you, was the most powerful message that you received during this study?

‘Near’ is not enough

What a great last thought, expressed by Jesus in the closing sentence of His prayer, as recorded in John 17:26: ‘I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.’

The confidence we can have in Jesus’ words ‘and will continue to make you known’, in that, we have a God who has a continuous, on-going relationship with us. We don’t just have a two-thousand year old tradition, to assit us during our current journey!

Paul, in Roman 8:11, writes: ‘And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

Also, John, in his letter 1 John 3:23-24, says; ‘And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: we know it by the Spirit he gave us.’

As usual, Selwyn’s final thoughts and prayer for today (as follows, below), provides an excellent summary – do you agree?

“We must have Christ within. Christ near is not enough. Christ above is not enough. Christ outside of us is not enough. Only Christ within is enough.

O Father, it is no exaggeration to describe the words ‘Christ in me’ as the essence of the gospel, for I see that a Christ not in me is a Christ not mine. May the wonder of it thrill my soul hour by hour, and day by day. Amen.”

 

We know

I thought, the following point made by Selwyn, was very interesting: ‘He (Jesus) uses a form of address (in bold) which appears nowhere else in the New Testament. “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me.” (John 17:25). ‘

Do you agree with Selwyn that Jesus uses the term to emphasise the great difference between the Father and the world? Is Jesus reminding us that all that the Father does is righteous, especially the sending of His Son to make God known – what do you think?

The other point which Selwyn makes, which I find, at times thought provoking, is: ‘ … the Lord’s main concern is not for the world (in general) but for His chosen people. … We can be sure we are Christ’s (chosen people) when we are able to look into the face of the Father and say, “We know that You have sent Him into the world.'”

Do you agree with what Selwyn states in his prayer: ‘No knowledge rejoices my heart more than the knowledge that You sent Your Son to be my Saviour.’ ? It’s a powerful life-directing knowledge, isn’t it?

Our Lord’s last will

I think that today’s verse, in regard to the meditation: ‘Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be.’ (John 12:26), is a real challenge, the word ‘must‘ leaves little room for a ‘maybe I’ll follow when it’s convenient’, interpretation – don’t you think?

The part of Jesus’ prayer being considered today: ‘Father,I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.’ (John 17:24), inspires me and fills me with an impatient trust and expectancy of the future – I long to pass through that gate of death (when my mission is complete) and see Jesus in all His glory.

I agree with Selwyn, when he writes: ‘Yet it is true. It is His will that we be with Him in eternity and behold and participate in His glory. And nothing, absolutely nothing, can stop the Saviour’s last will and testament being executed in the manner He desires.’ How good is that?

It’s also great to feel Selwyn desire to see Jesus, as expressed in today’s prayer: ‘O Father, what a prospect: one day I am going to see Jesus in all His glory! I feel like saying with the poet, “O day of rest and triumph, delay not thy dawning.” Even so, come Lord Jesus! Amen.’ What a great desire to hold onto, in the last days of our life – do you feel the same way?

United in love

Selwyn summarises one of one most important Christian messages: ‘ … (to)  recognise that God loves us in the way He loves Jesus. People in the world need to see that we are sustained by that love, empowered by that love, and united by that love. This is what will impress them and be a witness to them. The more we are seen by the world to be dependent rather than independent, the more it will be affected by the gospel. Nothing can be of greater importance than this. This is the unity – the complete unity – that will shake the world.’

And, the opposite is true; when the media portrays disunity and sin within ‘the Church’ the less the world is impressed by our message and the more they turn away and seek the truth from different quarters.

Yet, we have been warned about this specific outcome during the ‘end of times’ – I feel that the world will only be shaken when Jesus returns – what do you think?

Two indwellings

I found two key points in today’s study: one, ‘There are two indwellings spoken of here: “I in them and you in me.” The first is the dwelling of the Son in His followers, and the second is the dwelling of the Father in the Son. It is only because of the latter – the dwelling of the Father in the Son – that the former can take place – the dwelling of the Son in His followers. This, then, is the only formula for unity amongst Christ’s followers.’

And the second key point, is: ‘The purpose of this unity is not that the world might believe, but that the world might ‘know’. The whole world is not going to believe. It didn’t believe when Jesus was here and it will not believe now. Our role is not to save people but to let them know they can be saved.’

Again, we have an emphasis on unity through love – our love for others should always have an evangelistic aim – to let others know that they can be saved; do you agree?

The glory ‘given’

I think that the glory referred to in John 17:22; ‘I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one.’; is a combination of all the examples of glory mentioned by Selwyn in today’s study – it’s my view that the glory Jesus received when he returned to His Father is eternal and timeless – it is, was and will be the same glory that He always had and will, in eternity, share with us.

Do you agree with Selwyn – or do you have a different view?