Scripture Reading: John 17:6-19
“But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. 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. I do not ask that You take them out of the world, but hat You keep them from the evil one. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As you have sent Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” (John 17:13-18)
Jesus is primarily praying for His disciples from whom He would soon depart; but His prayer is also for us. The primary emphasis of His prayer is for our sanctification. He prays for our spiritual growth and for protection while we are still in the world.
Jesus does not ask the Father to take us out of the world. He has sent us into the world to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8). He prays for our protection from the world and from the evil one, whose desire is to destroy our witness. We are in the world but not of the world. We are in dangerous territory and we are involved in spiritual warfare. Jesus prays for our protection: “I do not ask that You take them out of the world, but that You keep them from the evil one” (v. 15). Isn’t it comforting to know that Jesus is praying for our protection while we are on His mission in the world?
Jesus not only prays for our protection, He prays for our spiritual growth: “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” (v. 17). The Word of God is essential for our spiritual growth. God’s Word brings us great joy: “…these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them Your word…” (vs. 13,14). Christ gave us God’s Word to enable us to experience His joy. When we read the Scripture, we discover the character and nature of God, and we find great comfort, strength and joy in Him.
God’s Word is a sanctifying power in our lives because it reveals God’s truth to us. Truth is what we must have in order to grow spiritually. As we immerse ourselves in the Bible, we discover God’s truth. His truth reveals God’s character and nature, and it reveals His will for our lives. The Word of God is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (II Timothy 3:16).
Lord Jesus, I acknowledge that You have sent me into the world on mission. I am to be Your witness and Your ambassador. Thank you for Your prayers for my protection while I am in the world, and for my spiritual growth. May I be faithful to Your calling and obedient to Your Word.
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