My Soul Will Wait for the Lord…the Watch

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Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:37-38

Loneliness is a terrible thing. The fear that grows from the despair of loneliness can be difficult to bear.

I have experienced a deep sense of loss and loneliness. But, I have never experienced or could even fathom what Jesus felt that night in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus counts on His beloved disciples to watch with Him as He prays. They can’t do it.

As sweat turns to blood and Jesus cries out in prayer to the Father, the disciples sleep.

Preparing to drink from the cup filled with the sins of mankind would be beyond human comprehension. It is unimaginable. But Christians believe in the unimaginable. We believe in a Savior who died for us. We could not drink a cup containing just our own personal sins. So, imagine the sins of the world…it is too much to ask of anyone.

But Jesus went on that lonely journey to death for me and for you. He carried the cross, endured the humiliation, the beatings, and the pain for our sins.

Tonight, I watch for one hour. One hour of my time for a lifetime of grace.

I sit and I watch and I am grateful. I sit and I know I am unworthy but I sit and I am glad. I sit remembering His sacrifice and I mourn until I can rejoice again.

I sit…

Oh sweet peace… Lent 6

Lent Letterpress

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Oh sweet peace…such an illusive thing in this world.

When Jesus speaks to His disciples, He knows the future and He knows that true peace will not be something found in this world but only through Him. Jesus is the One who sacrificed His life for us ensuring an eternity covered under grace and love. A glory-filled and peaceful future. This verse still speaks to us today. It rings true and is comforting.

Struggle is an integral part of life. Succumbing to despair over struggle is a choice. I don’t know if all encompassing peace will ever be attained in this lifetime; but, I rest my heart, my soul, and my hope on Jesus and I know that peace will come.

It will come…someday.

Ash Wednesday

Lent Letterpress

“Peace I leave with you.” John 14:27

I am the kind of person that once immersed in a great book will often flip to the last few pages so I know the ending. Some may think this is cheating and not very considerate of the author’s buildup to the conclusion of the story. Others are probably just like me. We like to know the end at the beginning.

And so it goes with the season of Lent. I love this time of the year in the church calendar and I look forward to spending time in thought, word and deed as we recall the ultimate sacrifice and triumphant resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is a hard journey for those who take it seriously.

However, I love Lent because I know the end at the beginning.

In John 14 we hear Jesus telling the disciples that soon He won’t be with them in this world. Jesus knows that He must leave His followers in order to fulfill prophecy and return to the Father. I’m certain this was a cause of great concern for the disciples. But Jesus constantly reassures them that He will send a helper, a comforter, and a counselor to them.

This remains an important part of the the lenten journey. We need to remember that God chooses us and we are not alone. We are adopted by Him and deeply loved.

Together, we are going to take the next few weeks to walk the weary path to Calvary. It is a tough reminder of a sacrificial life given for our sins. Jesus was blameless, we are not.

I’m ready to remember but I’m also ever confident in a God that constantly comforts us. Won’t you join me?

It’s all about me

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I have found that most people think the world revolves around them. It’s just human nature to think of ourselves first…and it’s hard to deny it.

When my Dad was sharing his secrets to being a great salesperson, he told me that I would be successful if I just asked people to talk about themselves. He was right. Most clients love to share. I love to listen. It’s a good strategy.

I think back to Jesus’s disciples. James and John asked for an honored place at His side in glory. As you can imagine, this didn’t go over well with the others. Everyone thought they were special. It is what I love about these men. Ordinary guys living during an extraordinary time…and they are simply clueless about some things.

We all want to be important. We all want positions of power and authority. We all want to be honored. We want it to be all about us.

It is good to know that Jesus wants to give us an honored place in His kingdom.

What a day of rejoicing that will be.

Motley Crew

Faith versus doubt, religion or confidence concept

Doubting Thomas has historically been given a bad rap…in fact, he’s always called “doubting” Thomas. But when we speak of Jesus’s disciples, at one time or another, they all doubted.

What a motley crew.

They walk, talk and break bread with Jesus and yet they still didn’t get “it” – they still questioned. They wanted more proof. The disciples who watched in awe as Jesus performed miracles, raised Lazarus from the dead, healed the sick, and walked on water harbor doubts. How is that even possible?

Jesus shares the great proclamation “I AM” seven times and His disciples are bewildered? Seriously?

And yet, Jesus loved them. He chose them. Is it a surprise that this many years later we are still surrounded by doubters? How many still want proof?

How many skeptics resort to false claims? For some, they refuse to believe. And yet, Jesus loves them too.

He loves the doubters, the unbelievers and those who don’t know they need Him yet. Jesus is love.

So when our contemporary doubting Thomas’s question the reality of Jesus Christ. Be patient. Be kind. Be loving.

That’s what Jesus would do.

 

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

John 14:1-14