“Jesus’ Prayer from A to Z” - R - Revealing Jesus to a Lost and Dying World
Please note the following includes excerpts from the book, “Jesus’ Prayer from A to Z”, of which I’m Editor.
- R - Revealing Jesus to a Lost and Dying World - , by Rutherford, Dudley C.
“I have revealed You to those whom You gave me out of the world… They knew with certainty that I came from You, and they believed that You sent me…As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” (John 17:6, 8, 18)
At a recent worship service, I witnessed something truly miraculous. Standing in the wings getting ready to go onstage to begin my sermon, as we sang our final praise song my gaze fell from the beautiful, multi-colored stage lights to the buoyant wave of illuminated faces in the congregation. Not only were the lights a lovely array of colors, but so were the faces in the crowd from such diverse ethnicities. I was profoundly moved by seeing so many people from so many different cultures, races, educational backgrounds, income levels, and political views harmoniously worshipping the Lord Jesus Christ.
Why is that such a miracle? Because the unity we have with one another as Christians speaks volumes to the world. When they see us gathered together in unity, love, and purpose—coming from such diverse backgrounds—people of the world can’t help but think, “Wow, only God could do that!”
One of the most amazing things about Jesus is His unifying love. It is easy for us to appear united when we’re all so much alike, but the world takes special notice when we, each so different, changed by His love and sacrifice, are joined together in Christ. As one Body, we are supposed to be very close with Jesus and very close with our Christian brothers and sisters.
"1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. 9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. 16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. 17 These things I command you, that ye love one another." (Joh 15:1-17 AV)
Nearly every time Jesus speaks about His church (see John 15:1-17 for one example), He has something to say about His desire for His people to be in a living, loving, close, caring, harmonious and bonding relationship. Did you know that this is one of the best ways we can reveal Christ to this lost and dying world? Jesus said, “By this all men shall know that you are My disciples, that you have love for one another.” (John 13:35) And again, “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent Me.” (John 17:23) How awesome for our Savior to show us His heart’s desire of love and unity, that the world may believe!
Prayer: Our wonderful Friend and Savior, I know as I read Your word that I am supposed to walk each hour of each day hand in hand with You, in a unifying love for Your people. You are not just someone for me to cry out to when I am in trouble, but You and I are supposed to be best friends. You have reached out to me with a true and unfailing love, so please help me, in turn, to be Your close friend. Help me to have compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and love for my family in Christ, to be united with them, and to have a burden for this lost and dying world. In Jesus’ name, I ask these things. Amen.
Rutherford, Dr. Dudley - Porter Ranch, CA - Senior Pastor, Shepherd of the Hills Church (10,000 members; eight daughter and satellite campuses. Third generation preacher; graduate of Ozark Christian College (B.A. Church Growth), Pacific Christian College (M.A.), honored by St. Charles University (D.D.). He and his wife Renae have three children.
In Christ There Is No East Or West In Him no South or North, But one great fellowship of love Throughout the whole wide earth.
In Him shall true hearts everywhere Their high communion find; His service is the golden cord Close-binding all mankind.
Join hands then, brothers of the faith, Whate’er your race may be; Who serves the Father as a son Is surely kin to me.
In Christ now meet both East and West, In Him meet South and North; All Christly souls are one in Him Throughout the whole wide earth. - John Oxenham (1852-1941)
Lord, let Your boundless love that floods the narrow confines of my soul overflow my bounds and reach to embrace the wide expanse of Your Body whole. - Thomas E. Mackey
Lord, whom have I avoided or neglected, to whom You would have me reach out in fellowship?