Make Your Mark: Week 2 - Day 1
Lord, please open my heart to receive the word you would have me hear today.
Read: John 17:11-15 (abbreviated) (NIV)
“I will remain in the world no longer… Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name… so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe...
“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.”
Every parent who has been involved in bringing up their children all the way to adulthood understands the dilemma that Jesus finds himself in near the end of his time on earth. You have taught them all you are able to. You have protected them in ways they will never understand until they have children of their own. And now it is time to step back and let them go out on their own. For us, we may continue to have the opportunity to still be present to help continue guiding them (no meddling allowed!), but Jesus was preparing to leave this planet so his ability to continue to influence and protect was ending. At least so it seems. He knows that the Father will be sending the Holy Spirit to take over the role with all believers that Jesus has performed with just a small group, and he calls on the Father to continue the work Jesus began of providing and protecting. Note that he doesn’t ask the Father to isolate them for their protection. His ultimate desire is that they will learn to be united and joyful, regardless of their circumstances.
Think of those who are currently under your care, maybe your children, or perhaps students if you teach. Pray for each of them, for strength to endure hardship, for wisdom to learn from their trials, and for hearts filled with joy that radiate God’s presence to those around them.
Father, thank you for the example Jesus gave us. Protect those under my care from the snares that the evil one has laid out. Give them hearts filled with joy as they understand more fully each day how much you love them.