August 1

Today's Bible Reading
            Judges 15
            Acts 19
            Jeremiah 28
            Mark 1
 
MEMORIZE TODAY
“And He said, Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”  
(Mark 14:36)
 
A SOVEREIGN FATHER, A SUBMISSIVE SAVIOR, AND SLEEPING DISCIPLES
            It is probably impossible to totally understand the agony of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. I am glad that we do not have to understand everything in Scripture in order to be blessed by it.  This is the agony, however, of the God-man, Jesus, coming face to face with sin.  From the Scripture, we learn about the sorrows in Gethsemane, and the sufferings at Golgotha though we can probably never fully comprehend them.
            Most believe and teach that it was death on the Cross that Jesus agonized about in Gethsemane. Jesus had already stated, however, that He came with the purpose of dying. This was no challenge for God, but it was an incredible challenge for Jesus as man. Our Lord's experience in Gethsemane was really the return of Satan against Him for a continuation of the temptation that began in the wilderness. Scripture tells us that ''Satan departed from Him until an opportune time." (Luke 4:13)  Satan's final assault against our Lord as the Son of Manwas in Gethsemane.
            God raises the veil for us to see the cost that Jesus paid to make it possible for us to become sons of God. He suffered here, as the Son of Man, that we might experience the power of being sons of God. Gethsemane and Golgotha was a triumph for the Son of Man. It was not only that Jesus triumphed, but that He triumphed to save the human race. Because of what Jesus did at Gethsemane, and ultimately at Calvary, every human being has been provided with a way of access into the very presence of God. You can enter the throne room because the King has brought down the veil.
            It is ironic that while Jesus was facing such a struggle, the Disciples were sound asleep. They could not even tarry with Him in prayer for one hour. When they realized what they had done, it brought despair upon them. Have you taken note that when you miss a magnificent opportunity, and then realize you have done it, it almost inevitably sinks you into despair. The opportunity is lost forever and you cannot change it. But consider what Jesus said to them in Matthew 26:46, “Rise, let us be going.” I think Jesus was saying to them, with that statement, ''that opportunity is lost forever and you cannot change that, but get up and let's go on to the next thing." In other words, let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the future with Him.
            These Disciples had done an unthinkable thing. They had gone to sleep instead of watching with Jesus. It does not matter then, what the next thing is.  You cannot change the past.  Let the past sleep and awaken to the next thing.
            Even when King Hezekiah was told he would die, he asked God for more time and was given 15 more years. He is one of the few who knew how long he had to serve the Lord.  We do not know; do not tarry and sleep -redeem the time.
            Never let the failures stop you, but begin now to take your next step. It is always too soon to quit. For the Child of God, the best is yet to come.
 
PRAY FOR THE WORLD
            The rapidly growing country of Suriname now has about 420 million people, but has projected to add 100,000 within the next 20 years. Almost half the population claim to be Christian with the majority of others claiming Hinduism and Islam.
            The sad truth is that few of these who claim to be Christian know much of a personal relationship with Jesus, and their Christian belief is often mixed with spiritism.
            The best hope seems to be with the Moravian church where there are some evangelical leaders who provide prayer groups and also an apparent spiritual awakening among young people. Let us pray today for the revival to sweep through the traditionalism of a majority of Christians in Suriname.