Wednesday, March 23, 2011

hugs and smiles from Jesus

John 17

           I love this chapter in the Bible when Jesus prays for His disciples. It's so encouraging to know how much Jesus loved those people who were so close to Him. It's so refreshing to analyze His prayer and find out that, before his arrest, trial and crucifixion, you were so important that He actually took the time and pray for you (and me). No, your name is not in the Bible, but you just have to read John 17:20 "I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one." Yes, my dear readers, we are "the ones who will believe". This verse was the nicest smile on my face in last days. He actually, prayed for me! As a girl born and raised in a Christian family, I've heard about how God knew me before I was even in the womb, and how God knows every hair on my head, and how He takes care of each one of us. And you hear it over and over again, till you get so used with it, and you say "Yes" to this, "I believe" to that, but I don't know how much of it we realize it. God put a big smile on my face when I heard Jesus prayed for me with thousands years before I was born. How precious is that?
           Another very special thing that popped up in this chapter, was verse 14 and 15. When we are like Jesus, the world will hate us.... for not being like them. So, trials and troubles won't leave us alone, but listen to this: "I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one"(verse 15).  That one there is the biggest hug I've got. God wraps His arms around me to protect me when I'm happy, and when I'm troubled. When I smile and when I cry. When I feel hopeless, and when my tears took the words' place. When I sleep, when I drive or drink my coffee, when I work, or when I relax. He lets me here for a while, but His eyes are on me. Like a parent with his child... he lets his kid go play at the playground, but he's always watching the child. 
          One more thing. If you look carefully throughout the whole chapter, and make a small chart of his prayer, you realize 18% of His prayer, Jesus prayed for himself, 41% He prayed for saved people and the other 41% He prayed for the unsaved ones. I compared how my prayers usually look like and I was ashamed. Honestly, how much do we pray for us and how much do we pray for others?  One frequent question in my head (now, since I realized that) is: how does my prayer look like? 

* Not all of the ideas are mine. Recently at church Pastor Phil Loria had preached from this chapter and it was too good to just keep the thoughts just for me. Some of the ideas were taken from that sermon.

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