Anglican Morning Devotion for 27 July 2021 Anno Domini
A ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
(John 17:20-23; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
Our lives are not our own, but belong to God. In fact, they never were our sole position – even our physical bodies are on loan from the grave. Our next breath and heartbeat are borrowed from on High from the Giver of Life. The life of man is as a vapor which ascends from the kettle, rises only a short distance and fades away. “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (James 4:14) Even while we are yet in the womb, the Maker blows the breath of life into our nostrils and imparts the spirit of life. When our appointed days have run their course, that breath leaves us and we die. It is then that the spirit returns to God who gave it. “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” (Ecclesiastes 12:7)
What does it mean to be One with the Lord Jesus Christ? It means to take upon your sinful soul the Mind that was in Christ in exchange for that mind and will in sinful bondage to Satan and the world. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8) That is what it means to take upon yourself the Will of God and not of sinful man. That is Freedom undiluted. Apart from Christian faith, there is no freedom.
The Christian life is much like a beautiful symphony. There is a conductor and the orchestra. The conductor sets the tenor, and each member of the orchestra plays from the same page of music. If one plays from a different musical score, the entire symphony is out of harmony. God loves harmony among His Church, and that harmony is only achieved when all members abide by the same Word of God that is an expression, in writing, of His Will. “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” (1 Corinthians 1:10)
Why is it so that more Church divisions occur over superficial concerns than over spiritual truth? One of the largest churches in my hometown split over the color of carpet to be installed. The old, political leaders of the Church wanted to demonstrate their power to decide such matters. The formed two churches but had not disagreed over the truth of John 3:16-17; nevertheless, much damage was done to the testimony of that Church. If the Church is worshipping in Spirit and in Truth, it will be united on the word, and the word is the overriding concern of the Church. “That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us” (John 17:21)
Having the same Mind that was in our Lord Jesus Christ assures that believer the security of a protecting Savior: “Neither shall any pluck them out of My hand… and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand.” (John 10:28-29)
As our Lord told the woman at Jacob’s Well, the day will come when they will worship in Spirit and in Truth. That is assured with His spirit in our hearts. “Sent forth the Spirit of His Son in your hearts.” (Galatians 4:6) He has sealed us – not with a visible mark ON the forehead, but in our souls and in our foreheads.
“In whom… ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.” (Ephesians 1:13) “Be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18) Calling, the hope of our calling, which is to be with Him; and “The hope of His calling,” (Ephesians 1:18) which is for Him