Future

Jesus Longs for You and Me

John Chapter 17 is a passage that is packed, pressed down, and running over with the most revealing truth about the heart of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and the plans He has for you and me. Early in His earthly ministry, the disciples had asked Jesus to teach them to pray…(Luke 11:1). In response, Jesus gave them an outline of a model prayer. However, in John chapter 17, we are given an incredible opportunity that allows us to “hear” our Lord offer a life-changing, extraordinarily comprehensive High Priestly prayer for Himself, the early disciples, and the subsequent believers of all ages after them. In this prayer, Jesus gathered the entire human race into Himself and stood before the Father to make supplication on its behalf. “Father the hour has come…,” He began, (John 17:1). The hour for which Jesus came into the world was the hour He would leave it; the hour He would lay down His life for the seed of Adam; the hour He would be scourged, beaten, spat on and cruelly nailed on a Roman cross for you and I- a most ignominious death. This is the background against which this remarkable prayer was offered. Jesus was well aware that Satan was preparing to unleash his unbridled, vile force on him. So much was at stake. The redemption of the whole human race was the crux of the matter at that moment. Jesus turned to His Father. He needed to speak with One who understood the unfolding events; One from whom He could draw strength to endure the impending harrowing experience. That is why this prayer is unique. It is dense with emotion and passion, and fills the reader with wonder and adoration for our Savior and Lord.

In this prayer, Jesus made an astonishing request to His Father.  He said “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. ” (verse 24). Just pause for a while and contemplate on this stunning request and its staggering implications. Jesus, the Son of God, made this timeless request on your behalf and mine. He was calling you and I a gift to Him from His Father. Just think about the unparalleled worth this bestows on us. God saw you and I and decided to make us an eternal gift for His Son. We are God’s love gift to His only begotten Son. Jesus does not desire that we should be with Him because we have inherent goodness. It is because of His marvelously abundant grace. He loves us enough to want us to be with Him in glory!! In essence, He was saying to His disciples and to us who believe through them, “I will miss you and I want you with me where I will be.” How we all long to be wanted and loved not because of what we can give, but just for who we are. That the pre-existent second Person of the Godhead, the One through who all things were made, should think and long for your company and mine is a stunning thought. We were chosen before the foundation of the world and adopted of God so that, in the metaphor of marriage, we have become the corporate, spiritual bride of His Son (Ephesians 1:4; 5: 25-27; 2 Corinthians 11:2). Jesus wants us with Him in His presence not for a limited period of time but for eternity!!! If you are ever tempted to think that no one loves you, think again. On earth, believers only saw a silhouette of His glory. But in heaven Jesus’ glory is unveiled in all its magnificence. His power is unbridled. This is what He wants us to experience with Him. On that eve, over two thousand years ago, Jesus was obviously aware of the rigors, harshness and sordidness of the night of our earthly existence, and He desired to give us an eternal rest. Although He would be leaving the believers, His desire was to, ultimately, have us all gathered unto Him, an eternal gift from His Father. This is one time the gift will take on the appearance of the its recipient. “But we know that when He appears [to take us home], we shall be as He is…” (1 John 3:2). Of course, this does not mean that we shall take on His deity. Rather we will also have a glorified, eternal body, just as He has. No wonder the apostle Paul exultantly exclaimed that ““Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him, (1 Corinthians 2:9). In the book of Revelation, the apostle John was blessed with a vision of heaven and shared it with us.  He said he did not see a temple there because the Almighty God and the Lamb are the temple.  Nor did he see the sun or moon shedding light on the city of God because Jesus is its Lamp.  The radiance from the Person of Christ illuminates the entire city for eternity because. There is not night there. Jesus is heaven’s infinite Light.  They need no batteries or generators or power plants as sources of light there. Jesus shines forever. John saw Him in full disclosure. He was fully displayed as He has always been from eternity past, not as a flickering light but gloriously bright and incandescent, and we shall experience Him in this state forever.  I don’t know about you, but this strengthens my resolve to be there with Him, our Savior, our Redeemer, our Lord.  My spot is waiting for me because of Jesus who ever lives to make intercession for us, and I don’t intend to miss it.

Global Child Trafficking: The Desecration of Our Future

This stunning statement was released by the FBI: “It’s sad but true: here in this country, people are being bought, sold, and smuggled like modern-day slaves. They are trapped in lives of misery—often beaten, starved, and forced to work as prostitutes or to take grueling jobs as migrant, domestic, restaurant, or factory workers with little or no pay. We’re working hard to stop human trafficking—not only because of the personal and psychological toll it takes on society, but also because it facilitates the illegal movement of immigrants across borders and provides a ready source of income for organized crime groups and even terrorists.”[i]

Child trafficking is not only a public health problem, but it is also a horrendous and heinous clandestine activity that is threatening the fiber of our civilization. This practice transcends cultural and national boundaries although it is more endemic in some countries than in others. This is a global epidemic fostered by greed and an impudent disregard for human rights. The International Labor Organization describes child trafficking as “taking children out of their protective environment and preying on their vulnerability for the purpose of exploitation.” The ILO further claims that there are approximately between 980,000 to 1,225,000 children of both genders in forced labor situations across the world as a result of child trafficking.[ii] These are conservative statistics. The numbers could be higher.

Child trafficking occurs internally in countries, across national borders and across continents. It is closely interlinked with the demand for cheap, malleable and docile labor. Usually child trafficking is more rampant in sectors and among employers where work conditions and employee treatment grossly violates the human rights of the children. It is a cruel practice that requires stiff punishment for perpetrators. The children’s places of employment and sleeping quarters are often unacceptably dangerous and squalid, and extremely hazardous to their health and development. Forms of indentured labor include child domestic labor, commercial sexual exploitation and prostitution, drug couriering, and child soldiering as well as exploitative and slavery-like practices in the informal industrial sector. UNICEF has programs such as End Trafficking, Every Child Counts and many others that need our support including lobbying governments, working with communities, and supporting training of professionals working with children rescued from child trafficking. The risk factors for the perpetration of this practice are many, but we can win this battle through a concerted effort, incrementally; one step at a time. The Bible says that children are a heritage from the Lord… a reward from Him (Psalm 127:3). Common sense tells us that squandering an inheritance is one sure way to court poverty.

To learn more about child trafficking, get a copy of The Perfect Prescription from: http://www.wmturls.com/pp

Sources

[i] Federal Bureau of Investigation (2014). Human Trafficking. Accessed from http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/civilrights/human_trafficking

[ii] International Labour Organization (2014). Trafficking in Children. Accessed from http://ilo.org/ipec/areas/Traffickingofchildren/lang–en/index.htm