Sunrise United

Kevin Ibanez

"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.  May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me."  John 17:20-23

On Sunday, July 10, 2011, the High School Ministry "fused", or united, with the Spanish Youth Ministry to create one ministry, together, ready to take on the world!  We have been slowly merging together to worship and have had times of fellowship over the past few months and have done camps and other events as well.  But finally we took the plunge and are now meeting every Sunday and Wednesday as one ministry.

In John 17, Jesus prays for His disciples, those that were with Him 2,000 years ago, as well as for we who are His present day followers, and His future disciples.  He prayed for the unity of our hearts, minds, and purpose. He also demonstrated unity through the example of the Trinity: God in three persons, The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit; three persons, one God.

His purpose for praying for our unity was to "let the world know that you (the Father) sent me (Jesus, the Son) and have loved them (us, His disciples) even as You (the Father) have loved me (Jesus).  God loves us so much that He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins.  He died and rose again to save us.  But, He also died to bring us back to Himself, to do away with the separation that existed between humanity and God because of our sin that separated us sinful humans from a Holy God.

In 2 Corinthians 5:17-19, we read that we are a new creation when we become followers of Jesus Christ.  We are then reconciled to God and given the task of taking this message of reconciliation to a world that so desperately needs to hear it.  We must tell others about this message, but also Jesus commands us to live it out in our lives, our ministries and in our churches, "to be one as we are one."

God's gracious hand has been upon the Student Ministries over the last 9 months in which I've had oversight of this ministry, and I'm super excited to see what God has in store for the future.  Let's continue to Be One, Bring One, and Build One because that is the heart of God, that we are one, united with Him, and united together to love and to reach out to the world that so desperately needs God's love.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:  that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them.  And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation."  2 Corinthians 5:17-19

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