Kept From Evil

John 17:1-5 ESV

When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.”

Jesus was about ready to go to the cross to die, to take our sins upon himself, in order that we might be delivered both from the punishment of our sin (spiritual death), and from our slavery to sin, and that we might be given new life in him. So, he began this prayer to God the Father in heaven.

Now Jesus was the only begotten Son of God. But he was also God incarnate. While he lived on this earth he was both fully God and fully man. He suffered as we suffer, and he was tempted in like manner as we are also tempted, but he did not sin. Yet, even though he was God, he was also subject to the Father and lived in submission to him.

So, Jesus asked his Father in heaven to honor him or to reveal his glory, to show to the world that he was indeed the promised Messiah, the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and God in flesh. Through all that he was about to suffer, and through his death and resurrection, he asked that he would be made known to the world, that the world would be saved through him.

And, I would like to add here that we should pray that the glory of God would be revealed through our lives, through the things which we suffer, for the praise and honor of our Lord, and that many people will be drawn to faith in Jesus Christ, too, because they have seen Christ alive in us.

John 17:6-10 ESV

“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.”

We must understand here that when Jesus was praying concerning those that the Father had given him, he was not speaking about those who merely professed faith in him. And, because he was God, he knew those who were his and those who were not, but who were only pretending to be his. So, just because someone claims to believe in Jesus does not mean he or she belongs to God the Father and to the Son.

Notice with me what he says about those that the Father had given to him out of the world. He said, “And they have kept your word.”

Jesus said that his sheep listen to him and they follow (obey) him (Jn. 10:27-30). He also said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny self and daily take up his cross (death to sin) and follow (obey) him. For, he said if we hold on to our old lives (of living to sin and self), we will lose them for eternity. But, if we lose our lives (die with him to sin) for his sake, we will live with him forever (Lu. 9:23-25).

Jesus also said this: “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me” (Jn. 14:23-24).

And, John reiterated Jesus’ words when he said this: “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected” (1 John 2:3-5).

This is not saying that we will keep his word perfectly (1 Jn. 2:1-2), for if we could, Jesus would not have had to die for our sins. What this is talking about is what we practice, how we conduct our lives. It is speaking of our walks of faith, our lifestyles. Do we make it our practice to obey the Lord and his word, or is our practice to ignore his words and to do what we want?

John 17:11-12 ESV

“And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.”

While we still live in this world, although not of it, we will be tempted to sin. We will go through heartaches and rejections and persecutions. We will suffer physically and emotionally. We will be attacked by Satan from all different angles and in various ways. And, we will hurt, and feel weak, and we will experience loneliness and betrayal, even at the hands of our closest friends and maybe even coming from family members.

When Jesus walked with his disciples (all his followers) on this earth he protected them from the evil one, and he was there to counsel them and to correct them, but also to encourage them and to spur them on to faithful surrender to him. But, when he left this earth, he did not abandon us. He sent his Holy Spirit to indwell the lives of his followers.

The Holy Spirit gives us comfort, and he guards our hearts and minds, if we will let him, so that we are not overtaken by the enemy, so that we can resist Satan, and so we can flee temptation and draw near to God. But, we have to cooperate with our Lord in this. We have to do what he says. We have to put our lives in his hands and trust him and follow him in whatever he tells us to do if we want his protection over our lives.

John 17:13-19 ESV

But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 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.”

When we follow our Lord in surrender and obedience to his word, and we come out of the world, and we live separate from the world of sin, and we don’t conform to the ways of this sinful world, but we are becoming like Jesus, then the world will hate us. Even the worldly church will hate us.

We must know, first of all, that our real enemy is Satan. But, he has much influence over the minds of humans whom he uses to come against us. But, since our real battle is with Satan, then we must fight off his evil attacks against us, which often come through other humans, using the armor of God and not the weapons of warfare of this world (See: Eph. 6:10-20).

One of the biggest weapons Satan and his followers use against us, too, are not physical weapons of warfare, though they are that, too, but they are lies, deception, trickery, manipulation, traps, and snares, etc. For, Satan wants to trip us up and to deceive us, and to get us to doubt God, and to reject God’s words to us in favor of human philosophy.

The cross his followers teach, thus, is not the one Jesus taught, but it is a cross with a hook (like a swastika), which is crooked, dishonest and deceitful. And, the purpose of this cross is to hook people, and to trap them, or it is to try to discredit Christ’s followers so that no one will listen to them. Or, it is to try to persuade them that the true cross is legalism and that their hooked cross is the one they should follow, instead.

And, these teachers of this false grace gospel are everywhere, all over the place, like an army marching against us to persecute and to kill us, only they don’t kill with guns and knives and bombs, but with lies and the twisting of truth. Thus, their victims are not physically dead, but they are either still spiritually dead, because they never died with Christ to sin, or they have been persuaded to stray from their pure devotion to Jesus Christ.

So, know that not everything presented as the gospel is the true gospel, and not every messenger, supposedly of God, is telling you the truth. So, know the truth, for it will set you free, and stop believing the lies.

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

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