Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Am I Asleep?

Photo Credit: Image Base

32 Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. 34 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.”
35 He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. 36 And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”
37 Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
39 Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words. 40 And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him.
41 Then He came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.” (Mark 14:32-42 NKJV)

 43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Luke 22:43-44 NKJV)

In the above passages Jesus longed for His disciples to stand watch and pray. He knew what lie ahead and He was deeply distressed, even to the point His sweat became like great drops of blood. The angles ministered to Him and he was deep in prayer with the Father, yet He desired His disciples to stand watch and pray. What happened? Three times Jesus found them sleeping.

There are many times we need our brothers and sisters in the Lord to stand with us and pray for us. During our darkest hours, it is most comforting to know someone is there. Jesus being God desired it, how much more do we need it? As Jesus cried out to the Father, so should we. However, God did not intend for us go through our trials alone. He works through us to help and comfort others.

A question we should all ask of ourselves, “is someone I know going through a trying time and reaching out, yet I am asleep?”

Another question, “are we hurting and too proud to make someone aware?”

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Passion of the Christ

 Photo Source

When the movie “The Passion of the Christ” first came to the theatres I was very young in my walk with the Lord. I remember thinking as I set there in the theatre watching the scourging He took, “wait until you stand before Him!” In my mind I was thinking revenge and pay back. I liked the thought of how small and foolish they would feel when they stood before Jesus in judgment.

And then:

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

WOH WOH WOH!!! Wait a minute here! Stop! 
Time Out!


I tell you that was an eye opening experience. Here I am thinking revenge and pay back while Jesus has a heart of forgiveness! A few weeks back someone stole the tailgate off my truck. What the first thing that came to my mind? “I wish I was a cop who caught them so I can throw them into jail.” Not to keep them from steeling someone else’s property, but pay back. I / we must remember the wonderful example Jesus gave us to follow. Forgiveness.

Lord help me have a forgiving heart and thank you for going to the cross so I may be forgiven and everyone else who believes in you.
In Jesus Name,

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you (Matthew 5:43-44 NKJV)

14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14-15 NKJV)

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing! (Luke 13:34 NKJV)

“For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord GOD. “Therefore turn and live!” (Ezekiel 18:32 NKJV)

9 "that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13 NKJV)

I pray all of you have a blessed Easter.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sorrow Turned To Joy

Google Image

“A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father.” (John 16:16 NKJV)

20 Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. 21 A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. (John 16:20:22 NKJV)

Today I am continuing on the topic of peace and joy He offers His children. I wrote earlier about how He offers us His peace and we choose a troubled heart. Then the next post I wrote concerning our joy in the presence of the Lord.

You may access my previous two posts here if you life:

Peace or a Troubled Heart

Joy in the Presence of the Lord

Almost 2,000 years ago the most important event happened since creation. Many in the world are happy right now because they deny this event believing whatever is truth to them is correct, thus they can make a god in their own image. They fool themselves in believing they may do away with the consequences of sin and live life for earthly pleasures. But this happiness will come to an end. Anytime our happiness is based on this world and not God, it will come to an end.

In the verses above Jesus was telling His disciples they would experience sorrow, but their sorrow would be turned to joy which no one would take away. In John 16:16-22 Jesus was talking about His death, burial and resurrection. Some believe “and again a little while, and you will see Me,” (John 16:16) refers to the day of Pentecost and others believe it refers to the second coming. Whatever the case may be, what Jesus did almost 2,000 years ago is the most important event in history. Jesus paid for our sins! As the apostles’ sorrow was turned to joy when they saw the resurrected Jesus, we may also have joy in His resurrection. We will stand before God with every sin we committed washed clean, that is if we have come to the cross for forgiveness. Because of this, no matter what suffering we are experiencing, it is only temporary. Even if our suffering lasts the rest of our lives, it is only temporary.

What great joy it is to know our sins are forgiven of us. When we are suffering we should look up and say “thank you Jesus, I am saved!” No one can take our salvation away, so let us rejoice because our names are written in Lambs Book of Life. Let us boldly go through life praising our Lord and Savior and experience His joy. Let us rejoice in what we have instead of morning about what we do not have.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Excellent Video!

Follow Jesus on Twitter
I saw this earlier today on another blog and thought it was awesome.
I am sure you will be blessed to view.
Thank you Jon for sharing. http://laboringinthelord.com/

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Joy in the Presence of the Lord

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”
(John 15:11 NKJV)

In my last blog post I wrote about how Jesus offers us His peace and we let ourselves have a troubled heart. If you have not read it, please click here to do so if you like. Today I will take this subject a bit further because He not only wants us to have His peace, but His joy. In these days many are suffering and lacking His joy. Experiencing His joy seem unlikely especially during times of suffering. However, even in our suffering, peace and joy is available to us. A perfect example of this would be the Apostle Paul who wrote the book of joy (Philippians) from prison. You may find this interesting; I did a quick key work search using the New King James Version for the words joy and peace just in the Book of John. Joy came up 9 times and peace another 3 times. In the whole Bible joy 188 times and peace 384 times. So Jesus definitely wants peace and joy for His followers. I believe this to be important to Him.

First off, what His peace and joy is not. Get saved, say a prayer and live happily ever after. Now we have nothing but smooth sailing here forward. Actually just the opposite is true, Jesus promises tribulation. "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Believers will get sick and loved ones will die. In much of the world, believing in Jesus can cost you your life. Persecution of God’s children has been quite common since the beginning of time.

At the top of this post I started off quoting John 15:11. Notice what Jesus said here. “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” What things is Jesus talking about? Let’s take a look. At the beginning of the chapter He said something very critical we must not overlook.

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:1-5)

First thing to notice is Jesus is the true vine, His Father is the vinedresser and we are the branches. Here lay’s the first key to having His peace and joy. When you look at a vine you will notice the branches are always attached to the vine. If it is a bright and sunny day, the branch is attached to the vine. When the worst of storms arises, the branch is attached to the vine. Likewise for us, when everything is well, we need to be abiding in the Lord. When the storms arise we are already there abiding in the Lord. Our source of joy is not in the things of this world but God. Our joy is not because we are experiencing smooth sailing in life, but we are rejoicing because we are in the presence of the Lord.

You will show me the path of life;
 In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)

Stay tuned, the Lord willing, I plan to write more on this subject.

Photo Credit

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Peace or a Troubled Heart

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27 NKJV)

I was reading John chapter 14 when I came to verse 27 and I noticed something which hit me. Jesus said “Peace I give you…Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” What caught my attention was while He gives peace, we let our heart be troubled and afraid. Jesus was telling His disciples this because He had just informed them He is going to depart and go to heaven. I would like to put ourselves in the disciple’s shoes for a moment. They had walked with God in human flesh who loved them unlike anyone else was capable. They saw Him walk on water, calm the storms, raise the dead, give sight to the blind and heal the lepers. No one had ever spoken with the wisdom or authority Jesus had. The disciples were on an adventure which parallels none. Now the adventure most likely appears to be coming to an end and Jesus is going to die and go to heaven! That must have been overwhelming and very troubling. Look at ourselves when we either suffer loss or know we are fixing to. It can be devastating, yet consider the loss being the Son of God! Of course we know Jesus was going to give them the Holy Spirit and He would never leave or forsake them. But Jesus would be in heaven and they would not see Him in the flesh anymore. The point I want to get to here is, Jesus told them "let not your hearts be troubled or afraid." That means, even in this, they let their heart be troubled. This applies to us also. Jesus gives us peace; we let our hearts be troubled and afraid. Most likely our situation is not greater than that of the disciples. Do not take me wrong, I do not want to minimize our situation because it is real. But His peace is available to each and everyone who is a child of God, no matter what our situation is.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Tim 1:7 NKJV)

Photo credit: Free Digital Photos.net

Friday, April 1, 2011

Pray Without Ceasing

With the death of two people in my life recently, one considers the eternal a whole lot more. Oh it is so, so important to draw closer to Jesus and live life to bring Him glory. So much of the time I think about the here and now wanting a problem free life. I want my comfort, my happiness and my peace. .. I seek to secure my future while at the same time wanting some fun. These things are not necessarily bad in their proper place, but it is most important to have our focus both upward and outward more so than inward. Something the Lord is laying on my heart is to pray more. Yes, I pray every morning and at other times. But Jesus saved me for a purpose. He saved me to do good works. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” *(Ephesians 2:10) Prayer is one of them good works He wants His children doing. Not only that, but an extremely important good work. The day is coming when I will stand before Jesus. I know I am saved, but I want to hear the words ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ (Matt 25:21) What I do not want is to get into heaven and see everything burnt up. "If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire." (1 Cor 3:15) I realize I cannot earn God’s favor or His love for “we are all like an unclean thing, And all righteousnesses are like filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6) Not only that, I already have His love and Jesus has applied His righteousness to my account. But the work He has given each and every one of us is so vitally important.

The world is full of hurting people and many are perishing without Jesus. Believers need our prayers too. I live in a country where many people want to throw Jesus out. Evil and sin is abounding. There are so many things one could be praying for and action to be taken as the Lord leads. I cannot solve all the world’s problems, but I sure can pray and be a brighter light for Jesus.

If you have a few minutes, please check out the video I found on You Tube form Open Doors. I am sure it will bless you and it is a perfect example of the power of prayer.