I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us.
But whoever is united with the Lord is one with Him in Spirit.
A union is 'a number of persons joined or associated together for some common purpose' (Random House Dictionary). It's a brotherhood.
In 2012, the entertainment industry celebrated a new union: 'SAG-AFTRA brings together two great American labor unions: Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Both were formed in the turmoil of the 1930s, with rich histories of fighting for and securing the strongest protections for media artists' (SAG-AFTRA Mission Statement).
Most performers remember the day they joined the union, or they look forward to the day they will. It's a benchmark, and membership brings benefits of status, fellowship, and protection.
God has a union, too, and His Son heads it up. Invitations come down from the Top: 'No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him' (John 6:44), and invitations are serious business. (See Matthew 22:1-14).
The decision to join His union requires the surrender of personal rights to His authority. 'I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service' (Romans 12:1).
Once done, the deal is sacred. It's signed in blood by the Head of the union: 'And He said to them, 'This is My Blood of the new covenant' ' (Mark 14:24). Membership is permanent, 'For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable' (Romans 11:29).
The agreement is recorded in the 'Lamb's Book of Life' (Revelation 21:27). Members are 'Sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise' (Ephesians 1:13). Promises from this union are guaranteed benefits; they include provision, protection, guidance, fellowship, and a joyful life without end.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Joining the Union series.