devo//FELLOWSHIP [1John 1:7]

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. [1 John 1:7]
Just before He went to the cross, Jesus took time to get alone in the Garden. There, on dusty ground he lay- pouring Himself out to the Father. Have there ever been such an intense time of prayer in all of history? The Son communing with The Father at the cusp of redirecting history. On the verge of making a way for us. As Jesus prepared Himself spiritually for the sacrifice to be made, as He readied His mind and His heart to become sin... He prayed for us.

For me, and for you. JESUS. Our Savior, our perfect sacrifice, the One who hears our every prayer... prayed for us.
I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you 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... May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you loved me. [John 17:21, 2]
Jesus could have prayed for anything here. He could have asked that we be prosperous, that we be world changers, that we win over many... but here, pouring Himself out in prayer from the deepest recesses of His Person... He prays that you and I should walk in unity, in fellowship with one another. 

Oh Father, let them be brought to complete unity- because THEN the world will know that you sent me, THEN the world will trust the report of their testimony, THEN the world will be changed, THEN our Truth will be made known, and your Name will be glorified.

Our communion with one another was so important to Jesus. He knew that this would be the thing that would set us apart from the rest of the world. He also knew that without unity, without oneness of spirit, without a single-minded focus on the work of the Kingdom... we are less. Our power is less, our prayers are less, our impact is less.

And so, when we truly walk in the Light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus purifies us from sin. Too many Christians focus only on the second half of that statement- they question how their sin-life has been changed, cleaned up, cast out by the blood of Christ... And certainly, we need to be ever mindful of those things...

But have you checked your walk with your brothers and sisters? Have you checked your fellowship with the church down the street? Have you checked your heart toward the sister that has fallen, or the brother that is more successful, or the believer that sinned against you?

Because if we are walking in the Light, we should be walking in unity. In fellowship. In oneness of heart and mind and spirit. Single-minded in our focus... Kingdom Minded.

Can we rejoice when another church in town enters a season of abundance? When the unchurched come through their doors and money seems to come easily? Can we celebrate without jealously?

Can we enter into mission with other Bodies without concern for whose name is at the top of the list of credits... or even better, not worrying if our name appears at all?

Can we forgive the brother or sister that has hurt us... simply because Jesus tells us that's what we need to do? Can we walk in unity with the one that offended? Or the one who seems to be more successful, in their lives or in their ministries?

What about the sister who has fallen? Can we join her in her pain, encouraging her spirit and lifting her head toward Jesus? Or do we shake our heads knowingly across a room at a prayer meeting? Do we speak in hushed whispers about that sin we are all just a compromise away from stepping into?

Unity was everything to Jesus. Everything. At this moment, when He was facing literal darkness... separation from the Father who is Light, becoming our sin offering... He asks Father that He would equip us to walk in unity... and not just for our own good, but so that the world would know.

Father, I thank you for the beautiful example of unity and submission we find in your relationships with your Son. I thank you so much that you have not left us ill-equipped for this call to unity, but that you have strengthened us through the power of the Holy Spirit to walk out this calling. That you have gifted us with submission, to think of others needs above our own. That you have transformed our minds into the minds of Christ so that we may be single-minded about the work of your Kingdom!!! That I can rejoice when another does big things for your Kingdom... because we are all ONE. Father would you strengthen our unity? Would you bring us into greater levels of one-ness? Would you convict our hearts of areas of competitiveness, jealousies, selfish ambitions? Will you show us areas where we have set ourselves higher than another? Will you give us the strength to forgive? The ability to meet another brother or sister where they are and lift them up out of sin? Thank you Father for hearing our prayers and for bringing our hearts in line with your will! We love you Jesus... in your name...

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