Jesus’ Prayer for Unity

“. . . Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Romans 8:34 NIV

Can you believe it? The One who conquered death is right next to the Father interceding for us. That’s a pretty incredible thought, isn’t it? As incredible as it is, sometimes we forget that Jesus is praying for us. Think about it a moment. Picture it in your mind’s eye. Do you wonder what he’s saying? Would you like to hear his words?

One of the prayers Jesus prayed for all believers is recorded in John 17:20-23. It was the night before he was crucified, and we were on his mind. Jesus said:

“’My prayer is not for [the disciples] alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.’” (NIV)

Do you think Jesus might still be praying this prayer today? Let’s join him and pray for unity among believers — in our own circles and around the world. May we be brought to complete unity!

“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:3 NIV

*Have you noticed a lack of unity among some groups of believers? Lift them in special prayer today.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early May. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Amazon and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by Jose Roberto, Creative Commons License

Guest Blogger Jane M. Tucker: Better Days to Come

I went to bed feeling fine and woke up with a pain in my leg so acute I could barely walk. How did I injure myself while sleeping?

“It’s probably bursitis,” my doctor said.

Bursitis? Isn’t that an old people’s word?

On days like this, when my body lets me down, my thoughts sometimes turn gloomy. Will this pain last forever? I wonder. Is it a foretaste of misery to come? Getting old is not for the weak!

My earthly body is my home in this world. It’s the means by which I process all my experiences. Without it I would not be human, and if I weren’t human I would not know the Lord Jesus. I’m grateful for my body, but I know it’s not going to last forever.

In First Corinthians 15 the apostle Paul addresses the Corinthians’ doubts about the resurrection. It’s true, he tells them. Jesus’ body was resurrected, and ours will be too. Our resurrected bodies will be different from our natural ones, just as a seed planted in the ground is different from a stalk of wheat. “The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.” (I Cor 15:42-44 NIV)

The promise of an imperishable body makes my current imperfect one bearable. Someday eyeglasses and allergies and random bouts of pain will end for me. Maintaining my health becomes a means to serve the Lord, not the focus of my life.

The promise of a body raised in glory and power makes me look differently at my appearance. I do what I can to be neat and attractive. But I don’t see any reason to put time and money into looking younger than I am. Someday I’ll look much better than I do right now. I can wait for that.

The promise of my natural body being raised a spiritual body reminds me of my purpose on earth. I’m not here to glorify self, but to work hard for the glory of the Lord.

Friend, are you struggling with the aches and pains of growing old? If you know the Lord Jesus, you have every reason to hope for better days to come.

“We . . . would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8 NIV

Jane M. Tucker is a lifelong writer and reader with a deep love for the art of storytelling. Her Midwestern roots inspire the stories she tells, both in her books and on her blog, Postcards from the Heartland. Jane is the author of the Lottie Braun series, about an Iowa girl with a big gift for music, and the family she loves with all her heart. Lottie’s Gift, Lottie’s Hope, and Lottie’s Freedom are available at Amazon.com and Crossrivermedia.com.

Follow Jane on Social Media:

Website: JaneMTucker.com

Facebook: Jane M. Tucker Author

Twitter: @JaneMTuckerAuth

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Thank you, Jane, for sharing your encouraging thoughts with us this week!

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early May. Sign-up is FREE and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

Photo used with permission from Picmonkey.com Stock Photos

Midweek Morsel: Attended by Angels

11248586324_e55d800f60_z“At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.” Mark1:12-13

Did you know angels attended Jesus during his days in the desert? Scripture doesn’t tell us exactly how they attended him, but they were on duty.

The gospel of Matthew specifically mentions angels attending Jesus after Satan tempted him (at the end of a forty day fast), and here in Mark’s gospel we hear that wild animals were part of the scene. My NIV text note says that in Jesus’ day there were many more wild animals, including lions, in Palestine. I guess Satan wasn’t the only danger in the desert. Wild animals posed a threat—and I’m sure the elements did as well.

The Israelites also experienced angelic attendance during their desert days. In Exodus (23:20, 23; 32:34), we’re told that an angel went ahead of them, guiding and protecting them. I wonder if the angels who attended Jesus did the same for him. Perhaps they even ministered to other needs he had.

If God sent angels to attend Jesus and also the Israelites during their desert days, don’t you think he might send them to us as well in our times of need? When we are faced with temptations, dangers, dry and barren days, as well as need in extreme situations, will God leave us to struggle on our own? No, he will minister to us. And it might just be through angels.

“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;” Psalm 91:11

*Have you ever felt that angels were attending you?

*Flickr photo by  www.carloscherer.eu, Creative Commons License

The Pull of the Past

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Is there an activity, a place, an aroma, a taste, a sight, or a sound that transports you back in time? Most of us long for times gone by on occasion. We long for loved ones no longer with us, we yearn for a simpler time.

Nostalgia can be good for us. It causes us to remember our blessings and even inspires us to look forward to a heavenly home where we’ll be reunited with our loved ones, where we’ll be safe and happy in the presence of our Lord.

So indulge in some nostalgia today, friends. May my “Pull of the Past” give rise to your own. And may it lead to all our eyes looking heavenward!

The Pull of the Past

As I travel down the country road
the pull of the past is strong.
Decades suddenly disappear
as my heart is drawn like a magnet
to the farms, to my grandparents,
to our family as it was then.
The crunch of gravel under the wheels
and the smell of dust wafting behind
stirs memories so deeply held
my heart aches from the longing.
Oh to go back in time,
to find everyone at home
waiting with ready smiles and welcoming voices,
waiting to share the day together.
Those bottled memories
so real yet just out of grasp
stir a precious joy
trailed by a touch of sadness
that keeps me lifting my eyes
to the sure hope of the future,
to the promise of reunion.
And so the pull of the past
becomes the hope of heaven
where one day I’ll find
everyone at home
ready to share forever together,
ready to praise and serve our Lord.

“I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.” Psalm 143:5

*What triggers the pull of the past for you?

*The Life Notes Subscriber Appreciation Giveaway is underway. Details are in my Oct. 19 post and sign-up is to the right under “Free For You.” Deadline is 6 p.m. Nov. 11. Don’t miss out on the chance to win a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble!

*My photo

Midweek Morsel: Safe Home

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When loved ones are traveling, it’s always a relief when we know they’ve arrived safely home, isn’t it? We can’t rest until we know they’ve reached their destination and that they are indeed safe. Then peace settles around us like the comfort of a warm blanket.

For those of us who have accepted Christ as our Savior, it’s also a blessing to know that our loved ones who have passed are now safely home in heaven.

As my dad was coming to terms with the unexpected loss of my mom a little over a year ago, he told me that he’d always thought it would be best for him to go first—that she would do better alone than he would. But after he experienced her loss and what life was like without her, he said he was glad she went first. He was glad she didn’t have to go through what he was going through. “She’s safe home,” he said. And even in his grief, he found peace in that knowledge.

Whether we’re dealing with the loss of a loved one or thinking about our own mortality, we can find peace in the hope and comfort of heaven. And just think—one day we’ll all be safe home together.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or pain . . .” Revelation 21:4a

*Who are you longing to one day see again in heaven?

*Don’t forget to enter the Steaming Hot Valentine’s Day Giveaway. Deadline to enter is 6 p.m. Feb. 11.

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, came out this week. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign up is free and to the right!

*Flickr photo by James Wheeler, Creative Commons License