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John 17: 6-19

Kept safe
You are a love gift from the Father to the Son. You were chosen by the Father and belonged to him, and he gave you to his Son (vs 2,6,9). And the Father himself will protect you and keep you safe (vs 11,15).

Why would we need to be kept safe? Because we no longer belong to the world (vs 6,14,16). We still live in the world God made of trees and islands and badgers. But we no longer belong to the world of people who have rejected Jesus as King. We are as different from this world as Jesus is (vs 14,16). And so people who hate Jesus will also hate us (John 15:18 – 16:4).

Similarly sent
And yet, Jesus sends us into this world. He sends us in the same way he was sent by the Father (v 18). That means we will draw close to people and identify with them, as Jesus did when he took on flesh. It means we will live distinctive holy lives, as Jesus did in perfectly loving and obeying his Father. It means we will die to our own needs and put others first. And so on.

And as we do, we have the guarantee that we will be protected and kept safe. We may get hurt (John 16:2) but we will never be separated from Jesus.

What will it look like for us in Ruthin to be Christlike in the way we identify with people in our town, and yet are also distinct?

Mark Ellis

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