14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. John 17:14-16
- Think of at least three events in the past week that demonstrate how the world hates Christians. Pray about the right personal response to these events.
- Has anyone told you personally that you should keep your religion private, because nobody wants to hear about it? Was this person also a Christian? How did you respond.
- Last week an atheist blogger berated all Christians for their failure to respect his personal boundaries. What is the difference between obeying Christ’s command to make disciples and aggressively inserting your testimony into the life of a person who makes it plain he does not want to hear it? Is there a difference? What did Jesus ever say that helps you know what to do here?
- What do you think Christ meant when he asked his Father to keep his followers from the evil one?
17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17
- When Jesus said to his Father, “Sanctify them in the truth,” what was he asking?
- Do you have a firm, unshakeable commitment to truth? How have you been tested recently with regard to that commitment?
- Sometimes it is very hard to see the truth in a situation. How do you go about finding it?
18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. 20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. John 17:18-21
- What was Jesus talking about when he said, “I consecrate myself”?
- What was the most important thing Jesus wanted our testimony to accomplish?
By Katherine Harms, author of Oceans of Love available for Kindle at Amazon.com.
Image: Torah Scroll
License: Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0