Jesus I My Cross Have Taken

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Fierce

No one wants their face associated with “dirt.” This girl is fierce and she deserves to be praised for making strong statements against abuse. When will men and women get it?

 

Jesus in Gethsemane

Jesus Prays in Gethsemane, Matthew 26:36-46

36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch[d] with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”

43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again.

45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand”.       

What do I make of Jesus struggling in the Gethsemane?

What could he have been thinking?  He could have been resisting in the body.  I don’t want this pain.  I must be “godly”.  I am the model for my disciples–what I want them to do, what I want them to be like.

What could he have been feeling in the Garden?  Torn!  The flesh was resisting and His spirit was becoming more intense arousing deep desires and motivation.  

What was He desiring?  To be a model for disciples. To put down evil!  To face down Evil!  

Which desires conflict with one another?  The flesh resists the spirit.  There may have been fear, but the Spirit bolstered resolve and He modeled persistence as no man could.

 

Prosperity in Our Closet

All is from Jimmy Needham.  None is mine.  Too beautiful for me to add to.

A day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper

in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. (Psalm 84:10)

We know God is better than all the world offers. But if that’s where our delight in God ends, we’ve stopped short of how far the Bible goes. The staggering claim of the gospel is that God is not just better than anything the world has to offer — God is even better than anything God has to offer.

we have access to a thousand gifts that are breathtakingly wonderful in their own right (Ephesians 1:3): forgiveness of our sins (Isaiah 43:25), relief from God’s wrath (Romans 5:9), escape from hell (Revelation 20:15), heaven forever (Luke 23:43), promise of a new glorified body in a new heaven and new earth (Romans 8:18–24). But for the Christian, these are not what we write home about. Our main gift in the gospel is God. The punch line of our good news is this: You get God!

we have access to a thousand gifts that are breathtakingly wonderful in their own right (Ephesians 1:3): forgiveness of our sins (Isaiah 43:25), relief from God’s wrath (Romans 5:9), escape from hell (Revelation 20:15), heaven forever (Luke 23:43), promise of a new glorified body in a new heaven and new earth (Romans 8:18–24). But for the Christian, these are not what we write home about. Our main gift in the gospel is God. The punch line of our good news is this: You get God!


Christ wants to Give You Christ


Here are two simple questions to help expose the depth of your delight:

1. What do you do when you falter in spiritual disciplines?

 Several years ago, I began to notice something on days when I wouldn’t make time for Bible reading or extended prayer. I was sad. Not because I missed out on time with my heavenly Father, but…my response revealed that I prized my self-righteousness more than my Lord.

 

2. How do you explain the gospel to others?

God Is the Gospel

Four decades ago, recording artist Keith Green said, “If your heart takes more pleasure in reading novels, or watching TV, or going to the movies, or talking to friends, than in just sitting alone with God and embracing him, sharing his cares and his burdens, weeping and rejoicing with him, then how are you going to handle forever and ever in his presence? You’d be bored to tears in heaven if you’re not ecstatic about God now.”

More than a decade ago, John Piper in his book God Is the Gospel put it this way: “Christ did not die to forgive sinners who go on treasuring anything above seeing and savoring God. And the people who would be happy in heaven if Christ were not there, will not be there. The gospel is not a way to get people to heaven; it is a way to get people to God.”

We must have our God, or we truly have nothing.

Jimmy has experienced radical change. Have you?

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CLEAR THE STAGE