And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us; And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. 1John 5:14-15
THESE ARE THE MASTER-VERSES ON PRAYER. All the promises and instructions on prayer come under these verses. “According to His will.” Jesus lived and prayed that way. In the Garden of Gethsemane, He prayed O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt. (Matthew 26:39)
“iF IT BE THY WILL, LET THIS CUP PASS FROM ME." We should learn to think and pray that way. God’s will is the highest order and the greatest blessing we can imagine. “Thy will be done in earth as it is in Heaven…” (Matthew 6:10)
A SONG SAYS: “Thank you for the valley, I walked through today.” Jesus’ disciples liked it better on the mountain of transfiguration. We read the text of that experience on Mount Herman:
"And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elijah talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.
While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.
And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead." (Matthew 17:1–9, KJV)
I LEARNED WHILE WORKING IN THE GARDEN that you can “get more taters” if you dig all around and go a little deeper. Let’s dig a little deeper. The disciples Jesus selected, do not appear to be anything special. They were out of their league when they teamed up with Jesus. They had no idea what they were getting into. How on earth would Jesus launch a world-wide ministry with these fellows? They were unlearned and selfish to the core. It was like trying to make a silk purse out of a fertilizer sack.
THEY DIDN'T KNOW WHAT THEY WERE DOING ON THE MOUNTAIN or what was about to take place. When it took place, they didn’t know what to do with it. “Man alive! We have arrived! Let’s make this a permanent thing. Let’s build three shelters: one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” They wanted to stay on the mountain top, permanently! They didn’t know that was a temporary meeting. But they needed this one-time experience. They would need to remember it many times. I’ve had a few extraordinary experiences that have been good to remember. I'm sure some of you have had unusual times when God came through in an unusual way and you are helped by remembering them.
GOD BROUGHT THEM UP ON THE MOUNTAIN for a “show and tell” session. Their real, long-term mission was going to be in the valley, down where it was ugly. It was hot and sweaty in the valley. People got sick and died in the valley. People fought and squabbled and killed one another in the valley. They wouldn’t need a retirement program because they wouldn’t live that long. The hardened Roman soldiers said that Christians died well. Tradition and various records say that the disciples all died a violent death, all but John, who lived to be 93-94. (Judas hanged himself.)
JESUS HAD TOLD THEM AT THE BEGINNING: And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (Luke 9:23)
SO, BEING A CHRISTIAN IS NOT FOR SNOWFLAKES AND SISSIES. People are not going to make it easy for you to be a Christian. If you are dead-serious about being a Christian, you are going to need a firm grip on the Bible and learn how to pray. Being a Christian involves a partnership between you and God; a relationship. It’s not just a set of rules and a set of songs to sing. We need to meet with God every morning and then to pray throughout the day. I like:
Let the words of my mouth,and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)
Memory Verse This Month:
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. (Psalm 91:1-2)
Read Through the Bible in a Year
March 11, 2020 - WEDNESDAY
A.M. Deuteronomy 14-16 P.M. Mark 13:14-37
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Song for Today:
It’s Not an Easy Road (3:16) (Peterson Trio)
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