“I have given to them the glory and honor which You have given Me, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected and completed into one, so that the world may know [without any doubt] that You sent Me, and [that You] have loved them, just as You have loved Me.”
John 17:22-23 AMP
What an honor to know Jesus prayed for you and for me even before we were born–and before we ever called upon His name. Knowing the above is Jesus’ prayer for me motivates me want to pay attention to what it is He asked of the Father on my behalf. So today as I focused on the words He prayed, I noticed Jesus repeated “one” four times within four verses. Furthermore, He specifically prayed believers would be one as God is one.
Why is this important? Well, God is a triune God–one God, yet three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Each is God, yet each has His own personality and purpose.
Not the same, but one.
Now think about this in relation to Jesus’prayer. He prayed we’d be one as He the triune God is one. This means God doesn’t want cookie cutter Christians. He doesn’t want an army of exact replicas marching off to battle. No! He wants us to be one as He is one. We will not all be the same, but we should all be united. United in purpose. United in love. United in service to our King.
We don’t have to be the same to get along. We don’t have to be the same to work together. Honestly, it is most often those who are not the same who work best and most effectively together. It’s actually our differences which have the tremendous power to unite us. Instead of viewing differences as divisions, we must alter our attitude and see them as opportunities to build bridges and forge new paths. Are you a Presbyterian and your neighbor a Baptist? Great! I bet you both love Jesus and could work together to reach your community. Are you a gifted writer but your best friend is a gifted musician? Awesome! Imagine the songs you could compose that she could perform for the world to hear. Do you hate to speak in front of large groups while your ministry partner thrives on public speaking? Praise Jesus! While you work the small groups, your partner can take on the large. God uses His children to speak to the masses in the same we He can use the introvert to share with the few.
We may not all be the same, but we can and should be one as He is one. Why? That the world may know God sent Jesus and that Jesus loves the world (John 17:23). Being one doesn’t mean we’re the same in word and deed; it does, however, mean we’re united. So I encourage you today to walk in love–with your neighbor, with your enemy, with the world. Live each day knowing different does not and should not mean division. God used quite the assortment of men, even a betrayer, for His eternal purpose. And if God can use a variety of unlikely men to accomplish His will, then we too should go forth in love and grace knowing God is in everyone who believes. We may not all be the same, but we can and should be one. For as one, we will change the world.