Looking Ahead (Part 2): Instructions For the Chosen

Posted on December 19, 2022

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Looking Ahead (Part 2): Instructions For the Chosen

As we continue in our preparation for scaling through the coming year, we draw inspiration from the conversation of the Lord with His disciples in John 17. We will do a close study of this chapter, taking key verses and drawing truths from them using the AMPC and TPT versions for comparison.

  • I have glorified You down here on the earth by completing the work that You gave Me to do….I have manifested Your Name [I have revealed Your very Self, Your real Self] to the people whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, and You gave them to Me, and they have obeyed and kept Your word. John 17:4,6 (AMPC). What work had Jesus finished? The direct answer is in verse 6 but note the beginning emphasis of the phrase “out of the world.” What is wrong with the world that Jesus kept on emphasizing this to His disciples? Please pay attention to verse 8—And the very words you gave to me to speak I have passed on to them. They have received your words and carry them in their hearts (John 17:8 (TPT)
  • While I was with these that you have given me, I was guarding them and keeping them in your name. Not one of them is lost, except the one that was destined to be lost, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. But now I am returning to you so Father, I pray that they will experience and enter into my joyous delight in you so that it is fulfilled in them and overflows. I have given them your message and that is why the unbelieving world hates them. For their allegiance is no longer to this world because I am not of this world. I am not asking that you remove them from the world, but I ask that you guard their hearts from evil, for they no longer belong to this world any more than I do (John 17:12-16 (TPT). What is wrong with world, that the disciples needed protection from? Nothing separates from the world other than keeping the word of God.
  • What is Jesus’ expectation of us as believers as He summarised in Verses 18-20? I have commissioned them to represent me just as you commissioned me to represent you. And now I dedicate myself to them as a holy sacrifice so that they will live as fully dedicated to God and be made holy by your truth. And I ask not only for these disciples, but also for all those who will one day believe in me through their message (John 18:18-20 (TPT).

Today we deal with the first two sections and conclude later on in the week with His expectation.

To the extent that the Lord harped on Himself not being of the world, what is at stake is the question of IDENTITY. He simply was reiterating what was at the beginning (Gen. 1:26-28). Two things were set out from the get go:

  • Identity and
  • Purpose

Both are intertwined. When you are robbed of your identity either through carelessness or by your own intentionality, purpose for your life is compromised. This is what Paul was emphasizing in Romans 1:21-32 (MSG). To better understand why the Lord kept harping on identity, let’s look at:

  • Ephesians 2:2-3 (AMPC) and see the connection with us in
  • John 4:13-18 illustrating the 5 husbands we are all married to the five senses
    • sight
    • hearing
    • tasting
    • smelling, and
    • touching

These are the frontiers or gates to the mind of which vision is most crucial. A survey of which one of the five senses would you not want to lose amongst Americans reveals that 7 in 10 (70%) say they would miss their sense of sight. Other Americans say they would miss the ability to hear (7%) most, followed by their sense of taste (5%), touch (3%), and lastly, smell (2%).

While most say that one’s vision would be missed most if lost, the extent to which they say so varies with age. On one end, 79% of Americans aged 55 and over cite vision loss as they sense they would miss most. Vision loss is also the most cited answer among younger Americans, but to a lesser degree. Just 58% and 60% of those aged 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 respectively, say they would miss their sense of sight most. Three things here:

  1. Each sense provides us with unique information about ourselves and the world, capturing different aspects of reality.
  2. But the emphasis rests on the
  3. Explains why the two leading apostles spoke extensively about mortifying our members—Romans 8:11-13 (AMPC); Colossians 3:1-17 (AMPC); 1 Peter 4:1-5 (TPT); 1 Peter 2:8-12 (TPT) and 1 John 4:4-5 (TPT)

The times will test you and Paul warned specifically in 1 Corinthians 7:31 (MSG) and 1 Timothy 6:5-11, 17-19 (TPT). The answer to the issue of the world rests upon John 17:8, 12-16, 19 (TPT) and I close asking each of us to answer on our total dedication to the Lord. Selah.

Pastor Afolabi Oladele

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