Let me first share a revelation that almost caused me to drive off the side of a mountain in West Virginia. I was headed home after a preaching engagement. About midnight, I was meditating on John 17. That chapter is a record of the intercessory prayer Jesus prayed for the church just before He went to the cross.
The Messiah said, "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word" (v. 20). That includes us. That reaches all the way up to our generation nearly two millennia later. Then He said to the Father:
"The glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me" (vv. 22-23, NKJV).
It hit me like spiritual lightning, "He wanted the world to know ... But we don't even realize this yet."
I was so overwhelmed with gratitude that, without thinking, I lifted my hands to worship God and almost drove off the side of the mountain. Thankfully, I was able to get my vehicle under control, but I was praising God the rest of the night.
Other Scriptures reveal the depth of God's love toward His people:
Ephesians 1:6 – The power of this verse is increased dramatically by the original Greek word charitoo (pronounced khar-ee-to'o) found only twice in the New Testament.
Jeremiah 31:31-34 – His love causes Him to forget our sin.
Romans 9:25 (quoted from Hos. 2:23) – God refers to His people as His "beloved": "I will call them My people, who were not My people, and her beloved, who was not beloved."
The backstory is powerful. The restoration of God's people is compared to the prophet Hosea marrying a prostitute, a whorish woman and redeeming her after she fell back into sin.
Discover Your Spiritual Identity podcasts are based on Mike Shreve's book titled Who Am I: Dynamic Declarations of Who You Are in Christ. Obtain your copy today.
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