July 9

2 Kings 7:8-9 (NIV) 8The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp and entered one of the tents. They ate and drank, and carried away silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also. 9Then they said to each other, "We're not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let's go at once and report this to the royal palace."

The Arameans laid siege to the capital of Israel, Samaria. The people inside the city were slowly starving to death. Some of them even ate their own babies. The king of Israel became furious against the LORD and His prophet and determined to kill him. When he arrived at the room of the prophet Elisha, Elisha prophesied that the next day there would be an abundance of food. That was very hard to believe, but the king backed off.

A group of lepers decided to go out to the Aramean camp. They decided that either way they would die, and they might find mercy. When they arrived, the army was gone and all their goods were still there. They began to raid the tents, hiding the goods, until their conscience got to them. They knew they needed to tell the starving people of the city.

The king of Israel thought it was a trap, so he sent a small group of chariots to see what had happened. They followed a trail of forsaken goods all the way to the Jordan River. The LORD had caused the sound of a great army to frighten the Arameans away.

We are like those beggars when we come to Christ. We have lived in a land starving for truth. People are desperate. We found the answer in abundance and begin to stash away the truth in our hearts, hiding it there. Then our conscience gets to us. What about all the others, who are holed up in the city, slowly dying, waiting for someone to tell them the good news, "The enemy is defeated!"? We are not doing right by keeping this discovery to ourselves.

Consider: This is a day of good news... Let's go at once and report this.

July 9

John 17:20-22 (NIV) 20"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that 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. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one.

In the verses that preceded these, Jesus was praying for believers to be sanctified (set apart) through the truth of the Word. He followed that request with the above passage that asked that those who would come to believe through their message would be sanctified also. If those who preach the word and those who receive the message are all set apart for God, they will be one. We will have one Lord, one faith, and one desire.

Jesus describes that unity as the same relationship that He has with the Father. They are each in the other. Jesus' heart is in the Father, and the Father's heart is in the Son. Jesus demonstrated this by doing only what the Father showed Him. How do we experience that kind of unity? By being in the Son. If I am in the Son and He is in you, then I am in you and you are in me. We share the heart of the Son and seek only to do His will. That does not mean that we will never disagree, but that we will both be seeking His will. Once His will is plain to us both, we will be in unity. When the world sees us, though we are from all cultures and status of life, in that kind of supernatural unity, they will realize they are witnessing a miracle. They will know that the Father did indeed send the Son to be their Savior. Are you in the Son so that the world can see this wonder?

Jesus gave us the glory that was given Him. I believe that is the grace and power of the Holy Spirit to express the heart of the Father in words and in actions. If we will yield ourselves to His life and power we will express the glory of God. Those who do so will be in complete unity. There is the heart of evangelistic effectiveness.

Meditation: To be fruitful for the kingdom of God, live in Him today!