By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:35
“That’s not very Christian.” Ever been hurt by a “Christian”? I’m talking deeply scarred. I’ll put that word in parentheses because, if you have been, you may tend to say that word just a bit sarcastically. Roll your eyes even, perhaps. You may consider what they did or said, and think, “Well, that wasn’t very Christian.” I get it. I do. And, if I heard all about it, I’d likely hurt with you and think, “No, that certainly was not Christlike at all. But, Christian? Well, yeah, (sadly) that sounds like something a Christian could certainly do.” See, we (Christians) tend to forget about Jesus at times, it seems. And if He is out of the picture we are Christians minus the Christ….which would make us “ians”. And I’d have to say, they may be some of the most annoying, judgmental, unpleasantest people around. Downright mean. They have just enough knowledge of the Bible and God that they can be a real drag. They conveniently forget some of the most amazing things about Jesus. They forget what He calls them to do. Who He calls them to be. Who they were before He rescued and clothed them. I must confess, I can be a “ian” at times. I don’t admit that proudly, but I do admit it. It’s just plain true.
Being a “ian” is definitely not a lifelong dream. Why would I settle for being a “ian” when Christ offers Himself to me? Why on earth would I settle? I believe that a “ian” has nothing to offer anyone. Any good things that seem to exist or flow from a “ian” must be self serving in some way. That’s what I understand the Bible to say, anyway. And Jesus knows this. He knows this. Yet, He loves “ians”…He offers Himself to transform them into true “Christ-ians”. He has A LOT to offer. A never-ending supply of everything we need and long for. He satisfies. (Can you just reread those last few sentences and say, “Wow!” with me?)
John 17. It’s one of Jesus’ prayers that we can read. And, it was for me. About me. For you. About you. What He desired for us. What HE can make reality for us. Opportunity for “ians” to hide all they are in Him and be one. Perfectly one. That the very love that God loved Jesus with would be in us. Making it soo very evident that we are His…uppercase CHRIST, lowercase “ian”. Doesn’t that sound wonderful!? Could that really happen? Well, it was uttered by a Perfect Man/God who lived to please His Father. And didn’t fail once. Boy, that makes me think it just might be possible. I mean, Jesus prayed that. It sure feels possible then, doesn’t it? His prayer and desires spelled out for all to know. Kinda feels like something we should take note of. Maybe we should join with His prayer? Ask Christ to put that same desire in His “ians” so we can be “worthy” to be called His. To carry His name. Let me be clear, we will never be “worthy” of His name….and yet, because of Him and His sacrifice and victory…we are, aren’t we? Oh, the mystery! Blows me away.
Please, Lord, I want to hide myself in You. In Your name. I choose You. You loved me. You chose me. Now, I can choose You. And, I do. Please, please, put Your name over me. Make the Christ part be so great in me that the “ian” just disappears. Put Your love in me. Enable me to love. Help me to love others who also carry Your name. Help me to love them in such a manner that all are able to see and know that I belong to You. Let there be no doubt whose name I carry. Make Your desires my desires.
Jesus, quietly make ripples all over the world today. Ripples of Christians becoming perfectly one. That the world may know You and Your love. May we love one another deeply. (1 John 3:16, 23) May our love for each other be so evident that we truly show that we are Yours. (John 13:35) Oh, Lord, it feels like we have fallen so short in this area. Please help us. Please change us. Your voice is so powerful. Speak truth into the deepest part of our beings. Do not let us turn away from Your truth. May we love and lift You up in absolute unity. Make us one. We long to see Your prayer and desires become truth. And, in those moments when we don’t long for that, may we lay ourselves down and beg You to renew that desire in us. You are the Almighty God. May we press on and never give up. Never stop seeking You.
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one, just as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. I in them and You in Me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them even as You loved Me. I made known to them Your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:20-21, 23, 26
[Just gonna throw this out there…I have absolutely nothing against the name “Ian”. 🙂 ]