Morning by Morning, July 18 - Intimacy Evangelism
Good morning, Lord Jesus. You are my Savior and Strength, my Comforter and Counselor, my Father and Friend, my All in All -- God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. ...
"As You, Father, are in Me and I am in You, may they also be in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. The glory that You have given Me I have given them, so that they may be one, as We are one, I in them and You in Me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that You have sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that those also, whom You have given Me, may be with Me where I am, to see My glory, which You have given Me because You loved Me before the foundation of the world" (John 17:21-24).
There's a oneness of intimacy that I desire because You've created me to desire it. There's a longing for trusting relationship that burns in my bones because it burns in Your heart. You created me for a relationship of love, just as You created me in Your image, because You are Love and it's the nature of love to be lived out in the intimacy of relationship (1 John 4:16).
Lord Jesus, You knew and You know that depth of intimacy with our Father, as both Son of Man and Son of God, both on earth and in heaven. And it's the longing of Your heart -- just as we hear in the yearning of Your prayer when You walked this earth as a model of intimacy with God for us -- that we would have that depth of intimacy as well.
We often read Your prayer "that (we) may be one" as a cry and a call for the oneness of unity among the church of Jesus Christ, among all believers from every tongue and tribe and nation throughout the world and throughout every generation. And no doubt, that is Your heart. But I also believe that the heart of Your prayer is a cry and a call for oneness of intimacy between our God and our hearts -- "that (we) may be one" with our Father, just as You were one with our Father (John 17:22).
This kind of intimacy with our Father can only come through our intimacy with You. As Your Word explains, in the expression Your prayer, "I in them and You in Me, that they may become completely one" (John 17:23). It's when we experience that depth of intimacy, in the communion of our relationship with You -- God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit -- that "the world may know" that God the Father sent Jesus, the Son, to love us just as the Father loves the Son (John 17:23).
In this sense, seeking to live our lives in intimacy with You is the most powerful means of evangelism we have to reach the hurting and the lost with Your message of healing and hope in the power of Your love. As You said, "I in them and You in Me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that You have sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me" (John 17:23). You have "so loved the world" that You came into our world as Son of Man and Son of God to show us the life we can live forever in the eternal intimacy of a deeply personal relationship of love with You (John 3:16). As You said, "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent" (John 17:3).
I've heard of "power evangelism" and "relationship evangelism." Maybe this is an expression of "intimacy evangelism." But for the sake of those who are lost, as well as for the sake of those who have been found, may we all come to know You and Your love for us more deeply, more intimately every day. That's my prayer. And I believe that was Your prayer to our Father for me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Be encouraged today! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays