Today’s Scrip-Bit   13 July 2022 John 17:15.

John 17:15.       I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.

And then it was Wednesday, the middle day of our workweek, when we ostensibly catch our second wind. (smile) Now that only applies to some of us, because many of us never catch a second breath, since the week is usually over by the time we do that. (smile) It’s amazing how some of us allow work, our jobs and positions to dictate all that we do and are. But it ought not to be so, for our main purpose in this world is being a grateful and productive child of God, and our jobs are only incidental to that. 

We must not allow what we do to become who we are for that’s the way of the world. In other words, the world says what you do gives you the importance, power and meaning to your life. But in God’s kingdom it’s entirely different. There you are a child of God, first and foremost, everything else is icing on the cake. That’s why Jesus advised and encouraged us to ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) 

Yes friends, if we are children of God, then our focus should always be on the things of God and not the things of the world. That brings us to the Christian saying that we are in the world, but not of the world. However, I do like how the article on the subject in the desiringgod.org website revisits that slogan. 

And they quote John 17:14-19. ‘ I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.’ 

It’s obvious that Jesus doesn’t want us to be a part of the world, however, as the article continues: ‘But notice that for Jesus being “not of the world” isn’t the destination in these verses but the starting place. It’s not where things are moving toward, but what they’re moving from. He is not of the world, and he begins by saying that his followers are not of the world. But it’s going somewhere. Jesus is not huddling up the team for another round of kumbaya, but so that we can run the next play and advance the ball down the field. 

Enter verse 18: “As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” And don’t miss the surprising prayer of verse 15: “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.”  Jesus is not asking his Father for his disciples to be taken out of the world, but he is praying for them as they are “sent into” the world. He begins with them being “not of the world” and prays for them as they are “sent into” the world. So maybe it would serve us better — at least in light of John 17 — to revise the popular phrase “in, but not of” in this way: “not of, but sent into.” 

The beginning place is being “not of the world,” and the movement is toward being “sent into” the world. The accent falls on being sent, with a mission, to the world — not being mainly on a mission to disassociate from this world.’ Now, hopefully that gives us some food for thought, (smile) and makes us realize that as disciples of Christ it’s our bounden duty to go into the world and make others want to come to Him. 

For, as the article concludes: ‘Jesus’s true followers have not only been crucified to the world, but also raised to new life and sent back in to free others. We’ve been rescued from the darkness and given the Light not merely to flee the darkness, but to guide our steps as we go back in to rescue others.’ And that’s the gospel truth my fellow believers! And I’m chuckling here because that wasn’t where I intended to go, although I’m not sure where I intended to go. (smile) But that’s the interesting thing in writing on scripture; you end up in places that often surprise you. 

Anyway, I believe the article is interesting, and the points very valid. Jesus doesn’t just want us to stay away or get out of the world, for how then would we make disciples of the world? It’s more like we are to dig deeper into it, using all our protective armour and the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit to infiltrate Satan’s kingdom and release the captives being held in the darkness there. That’s why we’ve been given all the tools we have. Not just for us to prance around like hypocritical ninnies and claim we are Christians, but to actually do the work we have been called to do! 

And I don’t know how we cannot truly live for Jesus when He and His words are ever so beautiful. Just listen to how He closes out that prayer nuh. ‘O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: But I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. and I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the LOVE wherewith thou hast LOVED me, may be in them, and I in them.’ (John 17:25-26) 

Now aren’t those extremely beautiful sentiments? Yes! And they are all in our favour, on our behalf! So how could we not LOVE and worship Jesus eh? Only if we are sinful, ungodly ingrates! But for those of us who are just the opposite and do our best to live for Christ, let’s go home declaring (awright!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And lest we forget, if we endure to the very end, then that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine. Now, please let that encourage and reassure us to endure to the very end! (smile) Much LOVE!

…Jesus doesn’t ask us to do anything…He didn’t or wouldn’t do… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​        

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