Moment of Transformation:
KEPT FROM THE EVIL
I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. John 17:15 NKJV
Those whose business makes it necessary for them to come in contact with worldly men should stand constantly on guard, keeping strict watch over themselves and praying always, lest the enemy take them unawares. To those of His followers who are of necessity compelled to deal with worldlings, God gives grace according to their need. If they stand ever on guard, special wisdom will be given them when they are obliged to be in the company of those who do not respect the Lord Jesus Christ. Their every transaction is to reveal the fact that they are Christians. They are to be kind and courteous in all that they say and do, showing that they are under the control and discipline of God, that they are serving the Lord Jesus Christ.
The followers of Christ are to be separate from the world in principles and interests, but they are not to isolate themselves from the world. “As You sent Me into the world,” Christ said, “I also have sent them into the world” (verse 18)…. We are not to withdraw ourselves from the world in order to escape persecution. We are to abide among men, that the savor of divine love may be as salt to preserve the world from corruption.
Hearts that respond to the influence of the Holy Spirit are the channels through which God’s blessings flow. Were those who serve God removed from the earth, and His Spirit withdrawn from among men, this earth would be left to desolation and destruction. Though the wicked know it not, they owe even the blessings of this life to the presence in this world of God’s people, whom they despise and oppress…. Following the instruction of Christ brings the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, and this enables men and women to reveal … the fragrance and the saving grace of the truth.
Those who study the Word of God and day by day receive instruction from Christ bear the stamp of heaven’s principles. A high, holy influence goes forth from them. A helpful atmosphere surrounds their souls. The pure, holy, elevated principles that they follow enable them to bear a living testimony to the power of divine grace.
Ellen G. White, In Heavenly Place, October 31, p. 311
Quote of the Day “Joy is the occupation, character, and realization of Heaven. It is not dependent on circumstances but on the love of a sovereign God.” R. Kent Hughes
Did You Know?
Jesus prays that the disciples will be joyful in spite of His departure (John 17:13).
Despite the formidable foes which will confront them, the disciple community can experience the very joy of Christ, and Jesus prays that they will. It is surely remarkable that he can refer to his own ‘joy’ when he knows that the most appalling suffering is about to engulf him. Nor is it a passing or spasmodic joy to which he refers. It is the full measure of his joy (13). Neither the hostility from without nor the apostasy from within has quenched the joy of Jesus, nor need it do so in the case of the disciples.
Joy is a mark of the kingdom in Old Testament prophecy (cf. Is 35:1; 55:11–12). In contrast to the time of John the Baptist, the time of Jesus was a time for celebration (Mk. 2:19). True, the bridegroom would be taken away, but only for a ‘little while’ (16:16). He will soon be back with them and the brief pains of childbirth will give place to the joy of the kingdom in their midst.
Bruce Milne, The Message of John: Here Is Your King!: With Study Guide, The Bible Speaks Today (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 245–246.
How prayer can help you to be kept from evil?
This Week’s Homework