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Jesus Prays for Your Faith – Part 3

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz
The Truth Network Radio
February 28, 2021 3:00 pm

Jesus Prays for Your Faith – Part 3

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz

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Here's Anne Graham Lotz on today's Living in the Light... Jesus, He's always been thinking of you.

You've always been on His mind, always been on His heart. He's praying for you with full understanding. Anne Graham Lotz and a portion of today's message which is titled, Jesus Prays for Your Faith. Jesus knows what it's like to be betrayed by someone you love. Judas Iscariot was one of the original 12 disciples, and we learned that Judas betrayed Jesus to the Sanhedrin in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Why would Jesus choose him to be a disciple if Jesus knew what He would do that night? Well, let's learn more about this as Anne speaks from John chapter 17. This is verse 12.

While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. And he's speaking of Judas Iscariot. And Judas, can I describe him for a moment?

He was chosen to be a disciple, and Jesus gave him the responsibility of being the treasurer for the whole group. Judas was in the boat when Peter walked on the water. Judas was in the boat when Jesus climbed in and calmed the storm.

And the disciples said, Oh my goodness, who is this that even the wind and waves obey him? Judas was there on that hillside when there were 5,000 people who are men and families that were fed with five loaves and two fish. In fact, Judas was one of the disciples that passed out the baskets of broken pieces and saw the whole crowd fed until they were satisfied. And Judas was there when the man who is born blind was given sight. And Judas was there in Bethany when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. So what was it about Judas that he would betray his Lord? And why would he have been chosen to be a disciple when you know Jesus knew he would? God knew he would. So there are only two things I can come up with.

Maybe you can come up with some more. But one reason is maybe Jesus chose him to be his disciple because Jesus wants you to know he understands what it feels like to be betrayed. So if you've had a spouse that walked out on you for somebody else, you've had a sibling who stole your inheritance, you had a business associate that took the business from you right out from underneath your nose and you didn't know it until it was gone, you had a best friend who you found has been slandering you behind your back and people are believing the accusations, Jesus understands what it's like to be betrayed by somebody that you love. So maybe that's one reason he chose Judas. But I think the greater reason probably is that Jesus chose Judas to be a disciple to underscore for you and me that while we're chosen by God to be a disciple of Jesus, we also have to choose. And Judas never chose to be a disciple. He followed Jesus, he stole from the treasury, he saw all those miracles, enjoyed being with Jesus for three, I cannot imagine hearing Jesus, watching Jesus, being with Jesus for three years and yet not embracing Jesus. But that was Judas. And he fooled everybody.

The other disciples, they never guessed that he wasn't a real disciple because he just seemed so much like them. And the Bible says that within the church there are wheat and tares. And I think we have to be careful we can't go pulling up tares because it may be a baby wheat. And so Jesus says at the end of the age the angels will come and sort out the tares from the wheat and the sheep from the goats, but they're there. And sometimes you can hear them saying things in the name of Jesus, in the name of the church, things that are radically opposed to the word of God.

There are tares in the wheat. So I don't believe there's anybody who is like Judas here, but I want you to just take note that yes God chooses you and me to be a disciple, but we also need to make the choice. He doesn't want us just blind robots. We're not just, you know, on a chessboard where he moves us around. We have a free will and he wants us to choose to belong to Jesus and give Jesus our whole hearts and lives, to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. So Jesus is praying for our faith that it would be established in God's Word, that it would be secured by God's will, and thirdly that it would be evident in our walk.

Because if you're putting your faith in Jesus, we ought to be able to see that in the way you live your life. And first of all, in your redemption, in verse 10, glory has come to me through them. And we talked about that, that we live our lives through the praise of his glory. So whatever happens to us, good or bad, we just ask God please help me to use this, my overall purpose, and whatever this is, is to bring you glory so that other people see me going through this and they want to know you.

So what do people see in you? What have you been redeemed from? If we had a chance to give testimony, what's your before story and your after story?

What do people see where you've passed from darkness to light and death to life? And I wish I had time to share stories of you. I can think of one right now, just one of those cage fighters down from Louisiana, just as rough and mean and tough, and he was my driver in New York City, and he had a big 38 revolver next to him, and mean as he could be. He walked down the street, and he was a small guy, but people got away from him, and they were afraid of him, and for good reason. And he was a champion cage fighter, and he was asked to sign to take me to the church where I was speaking, downtown Manhattan, and so he told me a story, and then he took me to the church, and I went in the church to speak, and he told me later, he said, you know, he said, it has a big armor-plated SUV. He said, I pulled it up on the sidewalk, and I parked right there where I'm not supposed to park, and he said, all right. He said, God, if you're real, I want to know you, and he said, I'm just going to trust that you're going to protect my car when I go inside. I want to hear this lady. And he went inside, and he heard this lady and gave his heart to Christ, and been radically transformed.

It's amazing. And moved from New York back to Louisiana where he's involved in a church. He had been separated from his wife for 17 years, and he reconciled, and he's been redeemed, you know. So have you been redeemed? Amen.

You know. There should be a difference in our lives. In verse 13, he said, I say these things while I'm still in the world so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. And to be redeemed, relieve that empty way of life, and come into the fullness of his joy, and his love, and his peace, and his gentleness, and his goodness, and his faithfulness, and self-control, and all the fruit of the Spirit.

Nehemiah says, the joy of the Lord is your strength. And it grieves me when I speak to Christians, and there's just this deadness on their face, and I think, oh my goodness, where's the joy? Where's the sparkle? Where's the life? I think maybe they're not spending time in conversation with Jesus, getting to know.

How can you spend time with him? How can you be in love with him and not let it sparkle from your face, and show in your lips, and just, you know, they ought to see it in the expression on our face. It should be evident not only of redemption but our separation. Verse 14, I've given them your word, and the world has hated them, for they're not of the world any more than I am of the world. John 15, he says, if the world hates you, keep in mind it hated me first. If you belong to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I've chosen you out of the world. That's why the world hates you. Matthew 10, do not suppose I've come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. Anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. And we want to be loving, and tolerant, and inclusive, and we don't want anybody to think badly about us.

And he says, oh, wait a minute. If you're living your life the way you're supposed to, you will be hated. Who hates you? That's a question to ask, isn't it?

And why do they hate you? Is it because of Jesus in your life? You and I are to separate from the world. And it doesn't mean we live in the world, we eat in the world, we shop in the world, but we're not to draw our satisfaction, our fulfillment from the world.

Think about it. The world's walking at a pace that's so fast with all this technology that makes life more convenient, but it's just ratcheted up our business and makes no time for God, no time to pray, no time to read your Bible. And we don't walk at the world's pace, do we? We're walking with God. And we make time for prayer and Bible reading and make sure that we follow through in obedience. The pattern of our behavior, the world's pattern is just whatever they feel is right, what's right in their own eyes, that's what they live by, and you and I live according to the principles of God's word. And priorities for the world, me first, and our priority is the kingdom of God first. How can we not separate from the world?

You have to. Paul says, come out from among them and be separate. Who do you need to separate from?

What do you need to separate from? That your faith would be evident to others in the way you're living your life. And our faith should also be evidenced by our devotion. Verse 17, sanctify them by the truth, your word is truth. So separation from the world, we're separated from sin and separated from the world, but we're separated to God. And that's sanctification, that's our devotion to God. So he separates you and me from the world to himself so that we live our lives for his glory.

We're just walking at a different pace, different drumbeat. First Corinthians 6 verses 10 and 11, we're to be devoted to the will of God, but also the holiness of God. And Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6, that's the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy, drunkards, slanderers, swindlers will not go to heaven.

But then the next verse he says, I love it. Then he says, but that's what some of you were, but you were washed, you were sanctified. So the people I just described when you've been redeemed, God chooses you to be a disciple of Jesus and he sets you apart for his glory.

He sets you apart to be devoted to him, to reflect his character in your life. He says you were justified, not only sanctified, you were justified, just as if you'd never sinned in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. So he says, sanctify them with your word.

Taking it in, asking what does it say, what does it mean, what does it mean in my life, and washing your mind and your heart and your life with the water of the word, just letting it flow through you until increasingly the Holy Spirit conforms you to the image of Jesus. Then Jesus says in verse 19, for them I sanctify myself, so that they may truly be sanctified. So that's interesting isn't it, Jesus said he sanctified himself and so going way back in eternity, when God the Father got up and motioned for his son to come to him and his son who's Lord of glory seated on the throne with his father and surrounded by millions of adoring angels and the father said, son I'm going to set you apart for the work of redemption. Now I want you to go to earth, inner creation, and I want you to do the work of redemption to put once and for all to have victory over death and the devil and save people from their sin and shed your own blood to make atonement and to open heaven for them and so he sanctified Jesus and he set him apart for the work of redemption. Now Jesus, the night that he's betrayed, facing the cross and all that that represents, it's like he's re-sanctifying himself. He was so devoted to his father's will he said it was like his meat in his drink and now the night before he's crucified when that will is going to take him all the way to the cross, he's recommitting himself to his father's will and I'm willing to go the distance all the way to death on the cross and so he sanctified himself for you and for me, set himself apart to do his father's will regardless of what it cost him and I think he's setting a pattern for you and me.

Re-commit yourself to living your life as a disciple. Now devotion should be evident in our walk. People ought to see that we love Jesus. Do people know that about you? Do your children know that about you?

Do your grandchildren know that about you? They should see in our lives a mission. In verse 18, as you sent me into the world, I've sent them into the world. So to be saved is to be sent, to be converted is to be called and you're to take the gospel into the world between your own two feet.

So what is your world? Your neighborhood, your church, your business, your office, your school, your classroom, your hospital, wherever it is that you work and he sends you into your world to take the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is sending you. There should be a sense of mission. You can't be a disciple of Jesus and not be on mission. Who are you praying for that doesn't know Jesus? Who are you sharing the gospel with who doesn't know Jesus?

What's your mission? So Jesus is praying for our faith, that our faith would be established in his word, secured by his will, evident in our walk through our redemption and our separation and our devotion and the mission. And then lastly, he's praying that our faith would be successful in our witness. And in verse 20, he says, I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message. So he knows that the disciples are going to write down his word and they're going to pass that message to the next generation and the next and the next. And so he's praying for those who will believe on him through the message that he's given them that they're giving out.

So actually, the night that he was betrayed, he's praying for you and for me. We're the ones who believed on him through the message they gave. And then who have you given the message to?

So you've received it from them, so to speak. We've received God's word from the disciples. And then we've taken it. We've accepted it.

We believe it. We live our lives by it. Then who are we giving it to? Who have we passed it on to? And our witness should result in other Bible believers.

And I think that should start within our homes. So could it be the night that he was betrayed facing the cross? Was he praying for your children and your grandchildren and your best friend and your neighbor, those that you've been witnessing to, those you've been trying to make an impact? And Jesus is praying for them. So make sure you don't water down your witness. We want to reproduce Bible believers, people that also put their faith in God's word. And we also want to bear the fruit of unified followers. Verse 21, that they may be one Father just as you are in me and I am in you. So there can be different generations, different ethnicities, different cultures, different languages, different skin colors. But we are one in Christ. When you receive the Holy Spirit and he comes into you, then the Holy Spirit is in me, the Holy Spirit is in you, the Holy Spirit is in Jesus, the Holy Spirit ever lives before the throne of God. We're made one, aren't we?

So can I just apply that? That means for a disciple of Jesus, there is no room for racism or white supremacy or anti-Semitism or self-righteousness, critical spirit, whatever you want to name. I love Revelation 5 verses 9 and 10. It says, talking about Jesus, with your blood, you have purchased men for God from every tribe, every language, every people, every nation.

You have made them to be a kingdom and priest to serve our God and they will reign on the earth. We are one in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We're a family and I've traveled enough around the world and it's thrilling to meet God's people and maybe they have different accents, maybe I can't even speak their language, involved in some of their ministries and we're like a family. There is a bond there. I held Just Give Me Jesus revivals around the world.

I still stay in touch with some of the international revival chairs, one in particular in Puerto Rico. I've been through so much on that island and to see her faith and to see what she's doing in her church and reaching out to people and it's encouraging to me and we would have such different backgrounds and cultures and economic level and all the rest of it but we're sisters and she knows that she's a forever sister for me. So we should have the fruit of Bible believers, unified followers and glory reflectors. Verse 22, I've given them the glory that you gave me that they may be one as we are one, I am them and you and me. The world doesn't understand the finer points of prophecy and doctrine and the inspiration of the scriptures, maybe the deity of Jesus but they do know what they see in the church down on the street corner and those people always bickering, fighting, critical of each other and how many people don't want to know Jesus because of what they see and people who call themselves by His name. And we need to be people who reflect His glory ourselves, the way we talk, the way we act, the way we interact. We also need to reproduce that kind of person, authentic believers who live for the praise of the glory of Jesus. So unbelievers are more impressed by who we are than what we say, like our children. They watch us and you can say all the right things but if you're not doing them, not backing it up with the way you're living then your words can fall on deaf ears. So he's praying that our faith would be successful, would be fruitful in witness. So I remember Miss Johnson who founded Bible Study Fellowship and she was applying to go on the China Inland Mission and they asked her and they said, you know Miss Johnson if you're there for 15 years and nobody ever comes to Christ, actually she was being interviewed with another person also, asked them that question, if you're there for 15 years and nobody ever comes to Christ then what would you do? And the one lady said, well I think I would quit. And then Miss Johnson said, I'd ask the Lord why.

You know, we should expect fruit, right? So who are you sharing the gospel with? Who are you discipling in your home, outside your home, in your church? And are you reproducing a Bible believer, a unified follower, somebody who's not critical in condemning but accepts whoever and anybody who's in the body of Christ.

We don't have to be the same, thank goodness. Great diversity but there's a oneness in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and they should be glory reflectors, living their lives to the praise of His glory. So who did you receive the message from? Who passed it along to you?

And who are you passing it along to? And is somebody believing the Bible because you do? Is somebody one with others of different races and different cultures and different nationalities because they watch you and they see you embracing those people and see that there's no, you don't blink your eye, you don't even see color, you don't see nationality, you just see people that God loves and glory reflector. They want to reflect God's glory because they see it reflected in you.

You make Jesus attractive to them. So Jesus is praying in this day and time when we're living in this crazy world with anger and fear and confusion and division, people falling away from the faith, people falling away from God's Word, people denying, within the church, denying the scriptures and what God has said, His Word that's forever settled in heaven, He says. And He's praying that our faith would be established in His Word and that our faith would be secured by God's will. If we're chosen by God we would know it. We won't keep doubting our salvation.

Just come into that assurance. And He prays that our faith would be evidenced in our walk and fruitful in our witness. So would you choose to be an answer to His prayer?

Would you not only stay focused on your relationship with God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, but would you be steadfast in your faith that's rooted in His Word, secured by His will, evident in the way you walk, successful in your witness? And remember, Jesus is praying for you. Praise God.

Pray with me. So Father, I thank you. It's very humbling to think that you look all over the world and your eyes rested on me and each one in this auditorium and you've chosen us to be disciples of Jesus. And so Lord, we confess that we've fallen short of that. And it's been enough for some of us just to be saved and know we're going to heaven. But we haven't embraced all that you are.

We're not living our lives for your glory. We want to make that commitment. We commit before you. We sanctify ourselves. We put our faith deep, deep down in your Word.

Lord, we won't go on our feelings of what other people say. We believe what you say. So Lord, I thank you for the diversity of disciples, that you don't expect us all to be Baptists and Presbyterians or Pentecostals or whatever. You're just looking for Jesus followers. We don't all have to go to a mega church or a home church or like Hims or like the contemporary. We're not all the same, Lord. You're looking for men and women who will fully commit themselves to you.

And Lord, I want to be one. So I ask that you would take this message and put it in our hearts. Make it meaningful for us as we reflect on your prayers for our faith in this day and time. Thank you for praying that our faith would not fail.

And we ask this please in Jesus' name. You can hear Living in the Light with Ann Graham Lotz weekly. And for ways to experience the God-filled life as you pursue your personal Bible study, go to anngramlotz.org. She'll help you get started with free resources you can use and share with others. Join us here each week for Living in the Light.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-20 09:37:26 / 2023-12-20 09:46:59 / 10

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