This is the last of my pre-vacation posts that I'm doing before we leave for holidays, and I admit I'm running out of time to come up with my own stuff, so I'm going to quote from my Life Application Study Bible again.....
Mark 14:31 Peter was so emphatic. It is easy to say we are devoted to Christ, but our claims are meaningful only when they are tested in the crucible of persecution. How strong is your faith? Is it strong enough to stand up under intense trial? We need the Holy Spirit, not boastfulness and human resolve. We must never discount our vulnerability to pride, greed, or even indifference.
Once again I noted that Jesus was in agony, not so much over the painful death to come (though He certainly wasn't looking forward to that!) but rather over awfulness of sin that was about to be placed on His shoulders and the corresponding wrath of God and the agony of alienation from His Father. And yet despite this exceedingly high price, Jesus was willing to be obedient to His Father. Obedience has never even come close to costing us that much. Whatever our commitment to God will cost us, we need to be willing to pay in order to gain eternal life.
This verse jumped out at me in our Isaiah passage....
63:7a I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the Lord has done for us.
This same theme seems to be coming for me time and time again. I need to be willing to tell those around me about Jesus and what He has done for me and what He can do for them.
64:6 talks about our righteous acts being like filthy rags. This doesn't mean that God will reject us if we come to Him in faith, or that He doesn't want us to try to please Him. What it does mean is that we can't come to God for acceptance based on our "good works" because in comparison to God's absolute and infinite righteousness, our measly "righteousness" looks like filth. We need to recognize that we can do nothing to earn our salvation, that it is God's gift to us when we repent and turn to Him in faith.
God, thank you for your amazing grace!
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Isaiah 65-66, Mark 14:54-72
Important reminder for me is that I can't rely alone on my own resolve or pride, when saying I'm going to do anything for Christ. I need to ask for, and receive, help from the Holy Spirit. I'm vulnerable at any time and need to be in prayer asking for help
But now, O Lord, you are our Father;
we are the clay, and you are our potter;
we are all the work of your hand.
Have you ever looked at a lump of clay? Clay is ugly, grey, easily squished and mushed, and not at all attractive. That is what we are without God. God can take something that unrecognizable and blah into something amazing and beautiful. I am a work in progress.
Great post and comments too!
The passage that stood out the most for me was in Mark when Jesus and the disciples went to Gethsemane. Jesus displayed setting aside personal desires in order to please his father. In vs 36b Jesus said, "Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will." He knew what was coming and yet He was prepared to take on our burdens and fulfil his Father's command!
It must have been frustrating for Jesus. While it was nearing in on the time of His arrest and eventual death, He left his disciples behind and asked them to keep watch. Jesus heads back only to find them sleeping and not keeping watch. Not once, but three times this happens.
I become frustrated with our kids when they don't complete tasks that we ask them to do, especially because of everything we have sacrificed for them. Jesus sacrificed a lot more for me than I have ever for my kids. A great reminder that I need to be alert and obedient towards Jesus at all times. Not just when it's convenient for me.
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