Am I living with my own strength, or with the strength that God gives us? Receiving the strength that God gives is the right of the children of God. Jesus is praying in a place called Gethsemane, shortly before Jesus is betrayed by Judas and denied by Peter.
1. Have the Sure Assurance of the Love of Jesus in Our Failures
Am I filled with God’s love everyday? Or is God’s love just something you experience once, or occasionally? Everyday, we need to be filled with the love of God, to the point of having assurance. Peter made the worst mistake of all and denied Jesus, yet Jesus still loved Peter and died for him. In that same way, Jesus loves us and that love must be our strength. Love can be best defined by what Jesus did for us.
“And Jesus said to them, ‘You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered.’” (Mark 14:27)
Jesus references Zecheriah. Everything in Jesus’ lifetime, his death and resurrection, is according to God’s covenant. Peter is reckless, easily angered, and quick to promise Jesus he will never leave him, only to be the quickest to abandon Jesus the moment Jesus is arrested. Regardless of the changing hearts of his disciples, Jesus covered up their mistakes with his love. Despite our fickle nature and unending mistakes, Jesus’ love for us is eternal and faithful.
“And Jesus said to him, ‘Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.’” (Mark 14:30)
While we were sinners and enemies of God, God promised he would send the Messiah to save us. Everyday, we need to profess the message of the cross and the love of God to ourselves daily. Then, all our anxieties and fears will disappear and be replaced with assurance. Then, regardless of the darkness of the world, we will never be shaken.
Although we may be shaken and fall like Peter, Jesus loves and forgives us. Jesus is living within our hearts and is among us by the power of his Holy Spirit. Then, all we need to do is follow God’s covenant and God will guide us and lead us. Let’s be filled with the love of Christ everyday.
2. Let’s Follow Jesus’ Obedience to the Father
As we live our covenant journey, let’s follow Jesus’ footsteps. Jesus obeyed God’s word and stood with faith in God’s plan. Seeing his prayer, it seems that Jesus was afraid of persecution, suffering and crucifixion, and prayed to God. Ultimately, his greatest fear is being forsaken by God. The cup Jesus fears is being alienated from God. There is no greater pain than being separated from God. Jesus went through our pain to reconcile us with God. In the midst of his suffering, Jesus’ eyes were fixed upon only towards God’s word. When our eyes are set on Jesus Christ, we can overcome everything.
“And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And he said to them, ‘My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.’” (Mark 14:33-34)
“And 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)
What is God’s desire? To save souls. What is God’s will? To use us for his plan of world evangelism. In the midst of our problems let’s turn to Jesus, who suffered through Gethsemane on our behalf, and ask him to open our eyes to see problems through the gospel and realize God’s will and plan.
3. Let’s Restore Prayer with God’s Mission
Jesus could have avoided getting arrested, but he accepts everything with a clear mission and goal. Three times Jesus comes to the disciples, warning them to be alert and awake in prayer. However, it's important to discern between gospel-centered prayer and religious prayer. Many of our prayers are centered on ourselves. The gospel-centered prayer is prayed centered on God’s mission. When we have a clear and specific mission, the way we live and pray will change. The only way we can live our covenant journey is with God’s mission and grace.
What is God’s specific mission for me in the church? In my school? In my work? In my marriage? For example, during the age of the Nephilim, God’s only interest was Noah’s Ark and during the age of slavery, God’s only interest was the Passover Lamb. During the age of the early church, God’s only interest was in the disciples. In that same way, as those with God’s mission, God’s greatest interest will be in us. Satan is real and his job is to destroy your life, to prevent us from receiving God’s grace, from enjoying love and assurance of Christ. How can we overcome? Watch and pray holding onto God’s desire.
With the assurance of the love of Jesus, nothing can separate us from God, not even our failures. Let’s pray for true prayer to be set in our lives, and to uncover and accept God’s mission for us.