Daily Reading: John 17:20—18:1

I pray . . . that all of them may be one, Father . . . so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (John 17:20–21)

The agony of the cross was just hours away. There was so little time left for Jesus to prepare His disciples for what lay ahead for himself and for them. In the upper room, He emphasized again the need for them to love one another. He promised His peace that passes understanding, and He assured them that He would send the Holy Spirit to be with them always.

Then Jesus prayed for them and for us. He knew the trials those who believed in their message would encounter. Being a Christian in a hostile world would not be easy. How would His church survive and thrive?

The greatest threat then and today would not come from those outside the fellowship of Christ-followers who opposed them, but rather from a lack of unity within. Only through oneness with God the Father and God the Son, and with each other, are we able to present a credible witness to the world.

And so Jesus prayed that we would be one—that we would set aside our personal agendas and surrender to Him our need to be in control and to make everyone think our way. He prayed that together we would be one in Him, united in passion and purpose to glorify Him and not ourselves. By our unity the world will know He is Lord.

Work for unity today.