March 09, 2019
"My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death ... Abba, Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will."
In order to be the legitimate sacrifice for our sins, Jesus had to live as a man while on earth. Therefore, He laid aside His God-powers (although He was still God) and always chose to live as a man among the very men He'd come to save. Therefore, everything He did taught us how a man/woman should live in this world.
ABOUT OUR PRAYING
Jesus modeled or spoke of prayer over 25 times in the Scriptures. But perhaps the most profound model of prayer came in Gethsemane, hours before His crucifixion. It shows us how to pray at the darkest hours of our lives.
THE TRYING CIRCUMSTANCE
... was the hardest any man will face. Jesus was headed to the cross. He would lose (temporarily) every relationship in His life, including His relationship with His Father, as He bore the wrath of God for our sins. In the garden, He was grieving over what was to come.
THE PERSONAL APPROACH
... is seen in the word "Abba" which is like saying, "Daddy." His prayer was not to a judge, but to His own Father.
THE FOUNDATIONAL FAITH
"All things are possible for You"
Jesus had faith in God--which is the only basis you can approach God (see Heb 11:6). This was not "I have faith you're going to do what I'm asking" but "I have faith you can do anything You desire."
THE HONEST REQUEST
"Remove this cup from Me"
Jesus didn't play games in His prayer, dancing around what He really wanted. I believe Jesus was being tempted to walk away from the cross. We all are tempted there when we face a hard thing. But temptation is not sin. In the midst of the temptation, He was willing to obey God. But He also honestly asked His Father to remove it. In other gospels it records that He asked this three times of His Father.
THE FULL SURRENDER
"Yet not what I will, but what You will."
Without this admission, Christ's prayer would have been incomplete. He was not demanding, but asking. And this is evident by His posture of full surrender to the Father's will.
Jesus was wise enough, as a man, to know that God's will is always best. It is "good, acceptable, and perfect" (Romans 12:2). Therefore, we can trust God and be willing to fully accept whatever God brings--however He answers our prayers.
THE END RESULT
... was that God did NOT grant His request (take this away), but He did answer His prayer (not my will, but Thine be done).
This is how Jesus prayed in the hardest moment. And, it is exactly as we should do.
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August 24, 2019
Everyone in this life deals with the aches and pains and diseases and weaknesses of their physical body. We pray for those we know who are in deep physical distress. We mourn those who are dying. We fear physical loss. It is seen by most as their greatest enemy. Death is the one thing we cannot escape.
But for the believer, our physical deterioration is a sign of better things to come.
August 15, 2019
All of us have fears. Fear of man, fear of the unknown, fear that we don't have what it takes, fear of the future, fear of death--the list is endless.
August 13, 2019