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One with the Father

John 17 can be a wonderful comfort for those experiencing the ‘dark night of the soul’. The passage explains exactly why we are where we are: Jesus has personally prayed – is personally praying – that we may be one with the Father just as he is.

Are we helping God to answer that prayer? Or are we hindering God by our stubborn disobedience and laziness?

As modern disciples, we can longer be as independent as we once may have been before we gave our lives to Jesus. To be a true ‘disciple’ requires personal sacrifice and ‘discipline’.

God doesn’t exist to simply answer our prayer requests; rather God desires that we know the mind of Christ so intimately that our will and God’s will are one and the same – just as Jesus was one with his Father.

God allows us to experience the joys and challenges of life so we can become sweeter, better, more noble and loving people. It’s all too easy to indulge ourselves and become cynical, argumentative, critical, and self-centred. We have a choice.

Our relationship with God through Jesus will determine what we make of life. When we say, ‘Thy will be done,’ we are trusting that God knows best, and we open ourselves to discovering the peace and consolation of accepting that our Father is working all things according to his wondrous plan.

Jesus has prayed – is praying – nothing less for us than absolute oneness with himself as he is one with the Father.

Though there may be times when we feel far off it, we can be certain that God will not leave us alone until we are one with the Father, because that’s what Jesus has prayed.

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John 17:20-26  A Glimpse of the Future

20 ‘I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, 21that they may all be one. As you, Father, 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. 22The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, 23I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.   25 ‘Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. 26I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.’

 

Acts 16:16-34    Paul and Silas in Prison

16 One day, as we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave-girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners a great deal of money by fortune-telling. 17While she followed Paul and us, she would cry out, ‘These men are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation.’ 18She kept doing this for many days. But Paul, very much annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, ‘I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.’ And it came out that very hour.

19 But when her owners saw that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market-place before the authorities. 20When they had brought them before the magistrates, they said, ‘These men are disturbing our city; they are Jews 21and are advocating customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to adopt or observe.’ 22The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates had them stripped of their clothing and ordered them to be beaten with rods. 23After they had given them a severe flogging, they threw them into prison and ordered the jailer to keep them securely. 24Following these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. 27When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he supposed that the prisoners had escaped. 28But Paul shouted in a loud voice, ‘Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.’ 29The jailer called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30Then he brought them outside and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ 31They answered, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.’ 32They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay. 34He brought them up into the house and set food before them; and he and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in God.

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