A total involvement

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A total involvement         

 John 17:20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message” (v.20) NIV Bible

Extra Reading: John 17:6-20

Have you ever noticed that those who believe in Jesus find themselves admitted to a remarkable fellowship, one of the marks of which is a high degree of ‘ownership’ of the gospel. Forgiveness and faith lead to a union with the Lord Jesus which marks our separation from the world and commitment to himself. When Paul wrote to the Philippians he referred to their ‘partnership in the gospel from the first day until now’ (Phil 1:5). We are not mere beneficiaries, nor are we shareholders in a speculative commercial sense; we are partners after the manner of those who have invested everything in a business and work diligently for its success. Paul’s sense of ownership of the gospel was so complete that when he wrote to the Romans he concluded one section with the comment, ‘as my gospel declares’ (Romans 2:16). ‘My gospel’? Of course!

Jesus prayed for those ‘who will believe in me through their message’ (v.20). The disciples, and succeeding generations of disciples, speak with the authority of people who have been transformed by the power of Christ and who are indwelt by his Spirit. When they witness, although they may refer to a work of grace done in other lives, they are at their most persuasive when they declare simply and truthfully what Christ has done for them. The message has become ‘their message’.

We have no mandate to change the gospel or make emphases which are not Christ’s. Occasionally we meet with individuals and groups whose message is most regrettably their own. In the main they mean well, but their message does not honour our Lord. When we are teachable, dependent upon the Holy Spirit, and check our opinions against the experience of mainstream Christianity, we can be confident that the gospel is ‘our gospel’.

Prayer: Father God, help us to fix our choice on you. Use us to spread the message of the cross worldwide. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

Rev. Samuel N. Modise

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