By Dai Sup Han
The Apostle John recorded Jesus’ prayer for all those who would follow in His name, “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. 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.” (John 17:20-23, NIV)
Our Lord prayed for such supernatural unity for ALL of His disciples, including you and me, just hours after the Last Supper and moments before entering the Garden of Gethsemane. Billions of lost souls coming to recognize the reality Jesus’ mission on earth depends on the Body of Christ walking in ONE with each other and with Him. This was the reason for the Baby’s birth in the manger, His ministry on earth and His willingness to go to the cross. If we truly submit ourselves to the Holy Spirit, we will experience such supernatural unity that will open blind eyes and deaf ears.
Let us explore this more deeply and its vital connection to creation care.
Jesus dined with His disciples one last time before going to the cross. In the Upper Room, our Lord washed the disciples’ feet, demonstrating His servant heart, and then gave us the New Covenant and New Commandment. Jesus spoke in John 13:34-35, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
During that same gathering, Jesus instructed, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” (John 15:9-14) This time He owned the “new command” as “my command.” Dear brothers and sisters, please note this is the only command that Jesus owned as His.
In the book, Love Revolution: Rediscovering the Lost Command of Jesus, author Gaylord Enns makes an excellent case of Christians losing Jesus’ commandment early in the Church history. He inspires the readers to receive the love of the Father and to walk out our faith in Christ by loving one another. He goes on to say that indifference towards one another is equal to hate in the eyes of God. How does the New Commandment relate to our calling of creation care?
Caring for creation honors our Creator God because we are demonstrating love of one another. The concern for increased levels of mercury in the water cycle is natural for those who are abiding in Jesus’ Commandment. The love of Jesus in us ought to compel us towards taking steps in reducing and eliminating toxins and pollutants rather than pursuing personal comfort and ease.
As His ambassadors in the fallen world, we are the ones who must model authentic biblical stewardship of ALL creation. Creation Care is a mandate from the Jesus the Creator, and we must encourage one another to care about what the Creator has created. When we do so, we actually honor one another in this generation and the generations to come.
Indifference towards creation care is counter to the heart of the Father as it hurts His little ones around the world including those who are seeking His grace and truth. God has declared His creation to be “very good” and expects His sons and daughters to be good stewards of His good creation. If the Church leads the way of conservation of natural resources and creative ways of cleaning our air and water, the people in many nations will take note and give Jesus the glory.
I realize that topics such as “global warming” and “mercury and the unborn” have become controversial. Many groups, including ministries, use varying research data to make their case, and there is a need for healthy debates that can lead to a better understanding of the issues and practical, effective ways for solving environmental problems for generations to come. The Body of Christ can and ought to promote such debates and honor God by honoring individuals and groups/ministries no matter the perspective on the issue, “For Christ’s love compels us… So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view… And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-21)
The way we love one another and our walk together as one, even with different views on caring for the environment, can and will inspire our neighbors towards the heart of the Father.
As sons and daughters of our Creator God, we are called to walk in ONENESS with Jesus and one another even as the Son is ONE with the Father. This is what Jesus prayed in John 17:21, and if the Son prayed then the Father has answered this incredible prayer. The question remains – Then why is the Bride of Christ so divided? I believe the condition of the Body of Christ is directly connected to our understanding of the nature and character of God.
The promise of John 17:21 is that our ONENESS will result in ALL people believing that the Father has sent the Son. This means that our walking in the reality of Jesus’ prayer will grant the lost grace and opportunities to repent and to give their hearts to Jesus as Lord and Savior. Jesus prayed a supernatural prayer resulting in supernatural unity that will supernaturally open the eyes of everyone who has been blinded by the “father of lies” and “the one who comes to steal, to kill and to destroy.”
Imagine a world where every child of the Father is choosing to be part of the answer to Jesus’ prayer. Imagine each follower of Christ honoring the Father by honoring the command of Jesus in John 13:33-34. Imagine the Church of the Living God living out Philippians 2, no matter the offense or circumstances. Imagine every member of the Body speaking to one another rather about each other. If ALL of us intentionally loved one another, how would the lost respond? I believe you know the answer.
Here is the KEY question – Why only imagine when we can actually live in such a way that destroys the work of the devil and proclaims liberty to the captives? Jesus has given us His Living Word and the Holy Spirit and compels us to even greater ministry than that of His own 2000 years ago. IT IS TIME for you and I choose to walk and live as the New Creation, reconciling ALL to Jesus, as His royal ambassadors.
During this Global Day of Prayer for Creation Care and the Poor, let us give Jesus the gift of honor. Let’s be the answer to Jesus’ prayer and obey His commandment.
Born in Seoul, Korea, Dai Sup Han taught high school biology for 21 years in Los Angeles and Japan. He and his family now live in Chico, California. Dai Sup coordinates Californians for Jesus, is an intercessory prayer mobilizer, and directs the ministry of Prayer Surge Now! (www.prayersurgenow.net)