That All of Them May Be One (Part Two)



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 17:22–23

“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.”


Are you a lover of group projects? If you are, bless you! If you’re not, the line forms behind me. I have been an avid “Oh please, oh please, don’t make this a group project!” person ever since I was in grade school. I always ended up doing most of the project, until, of course, the night before it was due. Then, inevitably, a few of my group mates would decide they had something to add (in order to feel good about their participation). The whole presentation would fall apart before my very eyes.

Here is what I’ve come to realize, however. While I might prefer to do a school project on my own, I definitely don’t want to do life on my own. Hundreds of times brothers and sisters, shining with the glory of God in their eyes, have ministered grace and peace to me in Jesus’s name. 

I’ve been in need, and they have prayed for me. I’ve been sick, and they have cared for me. I’ve been afraid, and they have given me courage. I have needed insight, and they have given me wisdom. I’ve needed grace, and they have extended it. There have been bumps along the way, but I have never lost my deep love for the body of Christ. We belong to one another (Rom. 12:5), and we need each other to grow into Christlikeness as we navigate the challenges of life.

Just as we are given to one another for support, so, too, we are given to one another to grow in grace. And nothing grows us in grace like relationships. You can probably think of a few grace-growers in your own life. I can think of a few people for whom I am a grace-grower in theirs. While some relationships within the church can be hard, they are ultimately vehicles through which Christ is formed in us (Gal. 4:19).

Paul, the Apostle of Union and Love affirms our part in the work of unity—work that Jesus in us enables us to do, and that changes us as we do it: 

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Eph. 4:3–6)

Make every effort. Let’s cut straight to it. We can be separated organizationally, and still remain one in love. We can either make every effort to join Jesus in nurturing the “unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” between us, or we can fall back into the hellish and chaotic separation habits that the world stews in every single day. I, for one, do not want to go back there. I’ve seen how the world’s free-form animosity tears at souls and destroys people’s humanity over time. The distorted visions of unity so common to this world, usually based on ideological agreement or blind sentimentality, pale in comparison to the unity into which Christ calls us.

Jesus and his way of sacrificial, cruciform love is the only way to complete unity in heart and mind. In the School of Union and Love, John 17:20–23 is our reminder that Jesus prayed for us, as believers, about this. He knew that maintaining unity would be hard work, even with him living in us. And there is no prayer more powerful than a Jesus prayer, the most righteous human being who ever lived (James 5:16).

The Lord of Union and Love then says these words in John 17:23b: “Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

As a Community of Union and Love, doing all we can to nurture healthy relationships through Christ’s power working in us (Col. 1:29), we can become a sign and a wonder to a hurting world. Our relationships, especially with those who are part of the body of Christ, must be fought for, worked for, and pursued with spiritual endurance. We can stop furthering disunity through social media posts and backroom conversations where we malign one another over our differences. It is not to be this way with us. Instead, we can affirm the best, disagree in love and with respect, and work toward unity. 

Jesus is here to help us be united in love—to be one as he and the Father are one.


Lord Jesus, I am in you and you are in me. I want to make every effort to keep the “unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). Show me how I can do my part. In Christ Jesus, I pray, amen.


Have you ever experienced unity between believers being a catalyst for someone to come to Jesus? What happened, and what can we learn from that experience?

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

2 Responses

  1. I’m truly blessed in that I’ve been given the opportunity to facilitate a gathering of believers who come from diverse theological faith traditions every Sunday morning at a local nursing home. The one thing they all have in common is that through some sort of disability, they are now home bound, and are separated from their fellowships that they were once active in. I’m sure that there are some of the other residents and staff members who witness this frequent gathering of formerly disparate saints, and marvel at how this can take place, but I have no way of knowing how many nonbelievers might be drawn to receive Christ’s love because of it. Hopefully when all is accomplished here on earth, and we experience the joy of the New Heaven’s and the New Earth, I’ll find out.

  2. Christianity unity has to be the heart-to-heart unity of the Holy Spirit. Christ-followers will never come into full doctrinal agreement on earth. Seeking unity through doctrinal agreement has backfired. It has splintered the one body of Christ into an estimated 40,000+ independent Christian denominations world-wide (not counting all of the independent congregations).

    During the Jesus Movement I saw unity between believers bring multitudes into a direct, personal relationship with the living, resurrected Jesus. When we sang, “We Are One In The Spirit,” we meant it, and we felt it, and we lived it. But then some of the 40,000 denominations began to chip away at our unity by trying to pull us into their institutionalism and diverse doctrinal beliefs. Over a few years the Spirit-led lifestyle of the Jesus Revolution was snuffed out by churchianity. O that Christians would return to the heart-to-heart unity and direct, personal leadership of God’s Spirit.

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