Walking in Glory
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 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.
“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” (John 17: 20 – 26 NIV)
Has the prayer of Jesus been answered? Have we become one? Have those who have heard the message of the disciples and believed in Jesus become one just as Jesus and the Father are one?
I believe that the answer is yes!! Although there are disagreements and differences between Christian churches and individual Christians there is a unity in love that exists between all who believe in Jesus Christ. Why, then, are there obvious differences and divisions? We have failed to realize or accept the underlying glory of the early believers: “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they all shared everything they had.” (Acts 4: 32 NIV)
When we forget, or, may I more correctly say, when I forget, that Jesus has overcome the world I become afraid that I can do what God has assigned for me to do. When I remember what my Lord and Savior has said and done I know that I can do anything the God assigns me to do. Yet, in reality, it is not I who do it but Christ who lives in me. That is the glory I am attempting to articulate.
The difference between living a life dedicated to living according to correct doctrine and living according to unity in love is the essence of what I am trying to express. I find in the scripture quoted above the fullness of the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I can imagine what the world would be if the followers of Jesus lived the life of love He demonstrated while He was among us. Just one small statistic is enough to demonstrate what I am talking about. It is claimed that fully 1/3 of the population of the earth are proclaimed Christians. If those who proclaim themselves to be Christians were to tithe their income the hunger problem of the world would be instantly over. For those of you who do not understand what a tithe is: it is the giving of one-tenth of one’s income. It was the Old Testament Jewish standard of giving dating back to Abraham who gave one-tenth to Melchizedek, priest of God Most High.
But walking in glory is much more than giving according to a standard of scripture that could easily be construed into a doctrine. In my view, doctrine or law is counterproductive. Trying to live according to doctrine or law is to create opportunity to attack others. The essence of following Jesus is to live according to love and there is no law against love. The essence of following Jesus, then, is relationship in love with God the Father. Our standard of behavior must then become, “How can I express the love of God to the particular individual I am now associated with?”
Expressing the love of God is the essence of walking in glory. This is how we become one in heart and mind. In my experience I find that I have an immediate and intimate love connection with all people I encounter except those who have a standard of law or doctrine that they insist others must follow in order to live up to what they believe is God’s demand.
This way of living is what I believe Jesus lived. He demonstrated that way of life by associating with those considered by the religious of His day to be on the edges of society. Jesus always was associating with prostitutes, tax-collectors, and sinners. I am very thankful for this because I feel comfortable that He wants to associate with me. Walking in glory means walking in love and that is demonstrated by extending God’s love to all others.