That All of Them May Be One (Part One)



Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. 

Jesus, I belong to you.

I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body to you as a living sacrifice.

Jesus, we belong to you. 

Praying in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen. 

John 17:20–21

“My prayer is not for them 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 have sent me.”


In the ancient world, rulers would put statues of themselves in lands they had conquered to communicate their sovereignty over that people. Each statue, an icon of the ruler, assured everyone when they gazed at it that they were under the care and protection of that master. 

In Genesis 1:27, when we see God make man and woman “in his image” to populate the earth, the connection to the ancient practice is clear. We are the “icons,” God’s image-bearers, reflecting his care into the world he loves (John 3:16). Made in God’s image, wherever we are as human beings, we are a reminder to one another that we are designed to live—fully alive—under the care, protection, and love of the sovereign God.

For we who have said yes to living in union with God in Christ, yes to the covenant invitation of the Father, we carry Jesus—our sovereign—within. As we mature in Christ, increasingly our eyes, our words, and our actions communicate to all: You are loved. You are cared for. You, and all who are in this beautiful world, belong to God. We shine like stars (Phil. 2:15) to the glory of God and for the winning of hearts to him.

Today’s passage reminds us that when Jesus makes his habitation in us (John 14:23), as individuals and as a community, together we become remarkable evidence to the world that God is truly love (1 John 4:16). When we live together in unity (Ps. 133:1–3), there is a blessing that follows! Our unified love and selfless caring become powerful evidence that God is truly among us! 

As the communion of the saints, as the creed puts it, we are glimpses of God’s heart in the world. We are the evidence that God is with us. The credibility of that evidence will always be at stake because it matters so much. Our unity as believers is always a point of frontal attack on the body of Christ in every generation. Our oneness will always be contested.

But we remain the evidence of God’s love to the world. For this reason, we must fight for love.

And we must remember this as we do. The unity and love of the people of Jesus over the millennia have been the reason for myriad souls to come to a saving relationship with Jesus. Lives have been transformed! Family lines have been healed! Prisoners have been set free! We need to start watching the real news about the impact of our unity and love as the church through whom Christ lives and acts. We must rehearse that unity among ourselves, and model it in the public sphere rather than staring at all the times we have failed. Our unity lapses shouldn’t be our incessant point of conversation. 

Yes, we must lament our seasons of disunity. But let the world see us fighting for love! Let’s learn from our mistakes and move forward. We must celebrate our unity, demonstrate our unity, rehearse our unity—and do so with public joy! A fixation on our disunified moments has a negative impact on the body of Christ over time. To say it with candor and love, to myself and to the family of Jesus, complaining is easier to do than giving ourselves to the faithful work of healing. And we want to press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of us (Phil. 3:12–14), yes?

That’s who we are. That’s what we do.

And this is why the enemy goes after our unity. If the adversary can break the bond of koinonia (fellowship) between us, he can render our evangelism impotent and our love diminished in credibility. We become a weak signal to the world God loves (John 3:16).

But here, in this verse, is our hope! Jesus is in us, and has prayed for us! And though our love for one another may be imperfect, it’s definitely worth fighting for every time it is contested. Don’t give up, and don’t hold back. Jesus will bless us in our work for unity—that his peace may rule and reign in our hearts, together as one (Col. 3:15).


Lord Jesus, I am in you and you are in me. I want to celebrate the unity of your church and be a part of healing whenever that unity has been broken. May we be one as you and the Father are one—that the world may see you are truly among us. In Christ Jesus, I pray, amen.


What posture of the heart is the Lord inviting you to as you pursue unity in the communities of Jesus of which you are a part? How can you be a sign of God’s unifying love in your church and relationships?

For the Awakening,
Dan Wilt 

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

3 Responses

  1. Our unity in Jesus must transcend the institionalization that has divided the body of Christ into tens of thousands of independent denominations world wide. The Holy Spirit is trying to lead Christ-followers to humbly open our heart to the risen Jesus and to one another reguardless of church affiliation so that He alone can be the literal Head of His body.

  2. Yes!!! We must constantly remind ourselves that disunity within the body of Christ is a sign that our adversary, Satan, is having his way. “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” (Mark 3:25) Conversely, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9) However, we must keep in mind that because we are to reflect the full stature of Christ, and He came full of grace and truth, we should never sacrifice truth to achieve an outward form of unity.

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