Jesus, Keep Us Safe

John 17 ESV

Jesus Christ was still living on the earth but he was about ready to go to the cross to die for our sins. So, he was praying to God the Father. And he was praying for his followers. He had given them the words of God. And they had received them as God’s words. And they had believed in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Messiah, the Christ, the Savior of the world.

“Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one” (v. 11).

Jesus prayed for his followers to be united with God, with Christ, and with one another, that they would be one with God (Father, Son & Holy Spirit) and that they might be one in mind, heart, and spirit with other believers in Jesus Christ who were also one in mind, heart, and spirit with God. For, we, as his followers, need to be likeminded with Christ in order to do his will.

“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” (v. 14).

Now, this is to be the condition of all of us who are following Jesus Christ with our lives. We are not to be of the world. We are not to be likeminded with the world of sin and with worldly thinking, philosophy, psychology, attitudes, morals, values, and behaviors. For Jesus called us out of the world to be separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being conformed to the likeness of Christ.

And when we separate ourselves from the things of this world, i.e. from worldly thinking, talking, attitudes, philosophies, and behaviors, those who are still of this world, even many people professing faith in Jesus Christ, are going to reject us, ignore us, exclude us, mock us, gossip about us, and not want to have anything to do with us. Some of them may even publicly oppose us and accuse us falsely of things we have not done.

Since so much of today’s church here in America has gone the way of the world, and they are patterning their teachings and gatherings and music and sermons and programs after the thinking and values of the world, if we are truly following Jesus Christ with our lives, and we are living holy lives, separate from the ways of this sinful world, we will not fit in with them any longer, and they may even invite us to leave their fellowships.

And we may be ostracized and isolated from others who call themselves Christians because there is an obvious divide between those who are living still for the world and for the flesh and those who are walking in holiness and righteousness. And if we are among the latter, we will be an offense to those who are still living like the world, and so not many of them will want us to be a part of them, because we no longer do what they do.

“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” (vv. 15-16).

But it isn’t that we are to go live in a monastery and just pray and read our Bibles all day long and have no associations at all with the people of this world. For Jesus called us to go out into the world with his gospel, and to do and to say the kinds of things that he did and said. And he loved the people of this world, and he did good things to and for them, for their benefit.

So, it isn’t that we hide ourselves from the people of the world but that we don’t take on their beliefs, morals, attitudes, values, and character. We live in the world, among the people of the world, but we don’t become like the world. And we don’t unequally yoke ourselves together with the ungodly. We don’t become partners with them in their immorality or in their evil deeds.

So, Jesus, knowing that we must live in this world, and that he has called us to go out into the world with his gospel and to love the people of this world with his love and grace, prayed to the Father that we would be kept from the evil one. For the world is going to have all kinds of things which will attempt to draw us away from Jesus, so we need to be protected from evil.

But we have to cooperate with that. We must be on our guard. We must put on our spiritual armor every day and be prayed up, and we must be walking in holiness and righteousness and be firm in our faith and practice so that we are not easily led astray by all that is out there in the world that would tempt us to go astray and to follow again the desires of our sinful flesh.

“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” (vv. 17-19).

So, we must be those who are walking in obedience to our Lord, who are bathing our minds in the things of God and not in the things of this world, or we might be easily drawn back into the world. For the world and its pleasures can be very enticing, for they appeal to our flesh.

And to be sanctified means to be made holy, and to be holy is to live godly lives pleasing to our Lord, and it is to be separate in thinking, attitudes, speech, and behaviors from the world. And this happens through daily dying with Christ to sin and self, and daily following our Lord Jesus in obedience to his commands. And it involves daily resisting the devil and fleeing temptation and drawing near to God in full assurance of faith.

But we can do none of this on our own, in our own power and strength. Yes, we have to obey the Lord, and we have to cooperate with God’s work of grace in our lives, but our salvation and even the faith to believe in Jesus come from God and not from ourselves. And even the power to live holy lives, pleasing to God, and the strength to resist Satan and to flee temptation all come from God. But we must put them into practice.

So, for our sake, Jesus gave himself as a sacrifice for our sins so that we could be delivered from our slavery to sin and so we could be made holy and righteous and so we could now be slaves of God and of his righteousness. By his grace and through God-given faith we can be crucified with Christ in death to sin and now live to God and to his righteousness.

The Prayer

Written by David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager,
Alberto Testa and Tony Renis

I pray you’ll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don’t know

Let this be our prayer
When we lose our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.

I pray we’ll find your light
And hold it in our hearts
When the stars go out each night
Remind us where you are.

Let this be our prayer
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.

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P.S. This is not an endorsement of the singers other than as musicians

4 thoughts on “Jesus, Keep Us Safe

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