Welcome to the United Presbyterian Church in Ingram, PA
Bringing Christ to the People and the People to Christ


A Partnership
May 5, 2024
Sixth Sunday of Easter

The central words of this passage are that Jesus told his disciples that they did not choose Him, but that He chose them. Consequently, it is not we that chose God, but that God in God’s graciousness approached us with a call and an offer of love.

But Jesus did not call us for a series of tremendous privileges. He called us to be His partner. In the past, we were called to be the doulos or the servant of God, and there were forefathers of the faith like Moses, Joshua, David and Paul who considered this a title of honor. The greatest men of the past were proud to be called the doulos.  

He called us to be His partners. The slave in the Greek was considered a living tool. The master never opened his thoughts and mind to the slave, they were to do what the master wanted without question. But Jesus told us that he opened His thoughts and minds to his partners telling them all that God had told him. So, the partnership is up to us, we can accept the joy of the partnership or we can reject it. So, what does Jesus call us to in this partnership.

First, he calls us to be ambassadors Jesus chose us to be sent out. Jesus did not intend us to live a life retired from the world. He chose us to represent Him in the world. When a knight came to the court of King Arthur, he did not come to spend the rest of his kightly days feasting and basking in the fellowship of other knights. He came to the court of King Arthur to be sent out on some great task which he can do for you the king and for chivalry.  

Jesus chose us first to come to Him, and then to go out into the world.

Jesus chose us to be advertisements. Jesus chose us to go out and to bear fruit and the only way to bear fruit by spreading Christianity is to be a Christian. To most people this may seem simple, but I can assure you that there are those who profess to be Christian and yet project that which is anything else. We do not argue people into the faith, we do not threaten them in any way, we attract people to the faith by the way that we live. We show our faith by word and deed.

Jesus chose us to be privileged members of the family of God. He chose us so that whatever we ask in His name God will give to us. This obviously makes us question the idea of prayer. If we come to prayer thoughtlessly, it sounds as if Christian will get whatever they ask for. However, the New Testament lays down certain definite laws about prayer.

First, prayer must be a prayer of faith. If prayer is merely routine and conventional it cannot be answered. For instance, if a person prays to be changed, he must believe it to be possible. If he does not, then there is little chance to be saved. For prayer to be powerful, a person must believe in the all-powerful and all-sufficient love of God.

Prayer must be in the name of Christ. We cannot pray for things which Jesus would not approve. We cannot pray for something which is forbidden. We cannot pray for personal ambition. We cannot pray for someone to be hurt or wounded. We cannot pray for vengeance. These prayers are ineffective and not real prayers at all.

Prayer must say, thy will be done. We must never forget that God knows better than we. Real prayer must never be that God would send us the things we wish for, but that God gives us the wisdom to accept what God sends to us.

Finally, prayer must never be selfish. No person should pray entirely for their own needs, forgetting the needs of others. For instance, the holiday maker may be praying for sunshine, but the farmer is praying for rain. When we pray maybe we should ask ourselves is this just good for me, or is this good for all people. The greatest temptation in prayer is to pray as if nobody but ourselves mattered; such a prayer cannot be effective.

Jesus chose us to be privileged members of the family of God. We can and must take everything to God in prayer; but when we have done so we can and must take, not the answer which our limited knowledge and our imperfect goodness, but the answer which God n God’s perfect wisdom and perfect love sends to us. And the more we love God, the easier it will be to do just that!

Grace and Peace
Pastor Wayne