“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
John 17:22-23 (NIV)
Jesus’ last prayer before he went to the cross was that the church would live in unity: “The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind—just as you, Father, are in me and I in you, so they might be one heart and mind with us. Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me” (John 17:21 The Message).
Did you notice that Jesus tied other people coming to Christ with his followers’ unity? He said other people would believe in him when they saw Christians loving each other and living in unity. This is Jesus’ vision and goal for anybody who claims him as their Savior.
The next verses of Jesus’ prayer say that God gives us his glory so that we will be unified and others will see the Gospel: “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (John 17:22-23 NIV).
The purpose of God’s presence in your life is to make you more loving—not harsher or more opinionated or more stubborn, but more loving.
Do you want God’s glory in your life? Do you want God’s power in your life? Do you want to feel God’s presence in your life? Jesus says he gives his glory—his power—to those who lay aside secondary differences with other Christians. He wants you to lay aside the things that don’t really matter so that you can live in unity with other believers.
Our unity as God’s family, the church, is our greatest witness to unbelievers.
More than ever, people need to see that unity is possible, and it is found in the church. It is our responsibility to lay down our pride and preferences so we can focus on God’s purpose.
Our love for one another will show the world we belong to Jesus and be a testimony of the power of Christ to transform lives.