STRENGTH JANUARY 27, 2019 Working Diligently…… February 10, 2019

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Being Alert …. February 3, 2019

     Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.  Mark 14:38 ESV  Matthew 26:42 ESV

     Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane the night He would be arrested, experiencing great agony in spirit, knowing the death he was about to experience. In fact, he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14:36 ESV  Jesus knew what was about to take place, but His disciples did not. In fact, they slept when Jesus’s suffering had already begun. How easy it is to relax yourself into a lull, to the point of sleep, not realizing the dangers and challenges to be faced. Everything for the disciples was good, or so they thought. They were in the presence of the Messiah; what could possibly go wrong? He had walked on water, given sight to the blind, caused the lame to walk, fed thousands with a sack lunch, calmed the storm with a simple command, and on and on the recounting of miracles could go. He had challenged the religious leaders of the day in ways no one else could have ever done and always silenced their challenges. This was God’s Son in the flesh….This was God. Yet, in His flesh he told His disciples to watch and pray. To stay alert to the unexpected attacks you will experience in this world. Watching and praying is being proactive and not reactive. Prayer is the action we take, not only when things go bad, but also before and when things become challenging in life. It is the guarding of your soul, not against what may come, but against what will come in this broken world. It is spending time preparing – before the battles, not only in the battles. Jesus spoke to His Father before the cross and on the cross… remember these words… Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. Luke 23:34 ESV Prayer is the verbal relationship we have with God and will help us keep watch over our lives from day to day.

PRAY WITHOUT CEASING  1 Thessalonians 5:17
     This is the way our relationship with God should be. To pray without ceasing is to be in the mental presence of God throughout the day. I do not believe it means to aimlessly be murmuring repetitious prayer all day long. When there is not a specific reason for which to pray, then pray with praise and worship from the scriptures; for this will keep you alert in your daily walk. For example, “Lord I am thankful that I can do all things because you strengthen me.” (Philippians 4:13) Lord, Help me be a doer of your word and not a hearer only. (James 1:22) I encourage you to find a scripture and use it in a prayer throughout the day; this will not only help you memorize that scripture but also make you more aware of His daily presence in
your life.

     Be sober minded; BE WATCHFUL. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 ESV
     The first assumption I will make here is that you recognize Satan as your adversary. If he is not your adversary, then you are not where you need to be. It means you are running with him and not from from him, and at some point you will be his lunch. We need to learn how to flee from him and run to God. (1 Corinthians 6:18 & 10:14 ….. 1 Timothy 6:11 … 2 Timothy 2:221) Fleeing from Satan is not showing weakness, it is running toward your source of strength. Sin doesn’t just happen. There is normally a set of circumstances that presents itself over time, and then the fall. Picture a lion sneaking upon its prey slowly, then pouncing with an all out attack. The lion takes many slow steps before pouncing… be watchful, for his method has not changed from the time of Adam and Eve in the garden.

KNOW YOU ARE WEAK: Romans 8: 3-11
     We could never accomplish in the flesh what Jesus accomplished upon the cross; why would we ever think we are strong? To realize your weakness is the first step in being strong in the Lord. It is knowing when to run. Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. Therefore my beloved, FLEE. 1 Corinthians 10: 12-14 ESV

The words of Jesus to the disciples in the garden that night are just as applicable to us today. I am afraid that many today have fallen asleep, unaware of the storms that are coming. Yes, God is in control. Yes, everything is happening as foretold, and God is all-knowing of past, present, and future. Remember, however; that all that happened in the garden was not a surprise to God, but the disciples were still told to watch and pray. So let us receive the same message as followers of Christ today. Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Mark 14:38 ESV Matthew 26:42 ESV


Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

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