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The Garden of Gethsemane

Personal photos taken in Jerusalem of March 2017.

Top photo: Current Day-Garden.

Below photo: from a Historical Museum picture of  a heel-bone from a Crucifixion. 

As Jesus began his most personal and profound prayer, knowing of the betrayal and agony set before Him as an intense physical, emotional and spiritual battle was at hand, He prayed. He prayed inviting others to join him.

 

Matthew 26:36-46 Amplified

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane (olive-press), and He told His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee [James and John], He began to be grieved and greatly distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, so that I am almost dying of sorrow. Stay here and stay awake and keep watch with Me.”

And after going a little farther, He fell face down and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible [that is, consistent with Your will], let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not stay awake and keep watch with Me for one hour? Keep actively watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

He went away a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving them again, He went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words once more. Then He returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Listen, the hour [of My sacrifice] is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners [whose way and nature is to oppose God]. Get up, let us go. Look, My betrayer is near!”

As I read the above verses from a distance, my heart is all in and for my Jesus. I find myself pressing my ear to this passage listening to the pleas He repeatedly makes to both His Father and disciples. I’m listening to learn lessons and instructions, in prayer, as He is leading His disciples to follow; for us to follow. I feel as I am there in the garden, a disciple, near to Him watching Him pray, desiring to ease His pleas and ask, “Lord, teach me to join You in prayer.”

  • We know Jesus prayed: constantly– day, night, alone, with others, before working miracles. We read here He kept returning three-times to pray. His prayer was not repetitious, but continual.
  • It seems that the Garden of Gethsemane was a favorite private place to prayer because John 18:2 says, “Jesus had often met there with his disciples.”
  • Jesus prayed out of a deep and honoring love relationship calling God “Father.” We are commanded to do the same in Matt 6:9.
  • Prayer is not always smooth, as it requires focus especially when experiencing intense emotions, physical pain, and spiritual warfare. It requires more from us when we seemingly are at our weakest. When we come before Him, with humility, at the foot of the cross, we can ask for strength to aid us, in the will of the Lord.
  • Verse 41, Jesus address’ the disciples: Keep actively watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

Jesus knew the power of temptation: He shares of His own distress and grieved soul.

Actively = deliberate, positive, energetic, vigorous way.

Watching = give strict attention to, be cautions, active.

Praying = to offer prayers, to pray.

 

Pray, dear one, pray to your Father…..

 

Gethsemane is where He died; the cross is only the evidence.

Leonard Ravenhill

When a man really gives up trying to make something out of himself – a saint, or a converted sinner, or a churchman (a so-called clerical somebody), a righteous or unrighteous man,…and throws himself into the arms of God…then he wakes with Christ in Gethsemane. That is faith, that is metanoia and it is thus that he becomes a man and Christian.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Jesus defeated satan in Gethsemane on the cross, not by directly confronting the devil, but by fulfilling the destiny to which He had been called. The greatest battle that was ever won was accomplished by the apparent death of the victor, without even a word of rebuke to His adversary!

Francis Frangipane

This is the centre of the gospel – this is what the Garden of Gethsemane and Good Friday are all about – that God has done astonishing and costly things to draw us near.

John Piper

EM Bounds

How difficult it appears to be for the Church to understand that the whole scheme of redemption depends upon men of prayers The work of our Lord, while here on the earth, as well of the Apostle Paul was, by teaching and example, to develop men of prayer, to whom the future of the Church should be committed. How strange that instead of learning this simple and all important lesson, the modern Church has largely overlooked it. We have need to turn afresh to that wondrous Leader of spiritual Israel, our Lord Jesus Christ, who by example and precept enjoins us to prayer and to the great Apostle to the Gentiles, who by virtue of his praying habits and prayer lessons is a model and an example to God’s people in every age and clime.

Deborah  4-Unfolded Hearts Ministry

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Courage

Hello friends,
This is David, pictured above. He was our Tour Guide during our recent 10 day trip to Israel. As we were traveling on foot from one site to the next, David suddenly stopped us on the side of the road. He began to explain that the battered bus pictured, is used to pick up the Jewish children every day for school; yet others in their surrounding area yell and throw rocks at them. He went on to say, this doesn’t stop the children or affect them from accomplishing their rightful place in the land and receiving an education. This picture has become a notable moment in my walk in the Holy Land. At our return the Lord etched this experience of courage by solidifying it in my spirit through His Word.

Let me explain: during a study I was completing by Stephen De Silva, it lead me directly to the words of Paul in Acts 20:22-24: And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

The profound question De Silva was asking in his study is, “What are you bound to?” Could you answer that? He further went on to say: whatever we are bound to, is where we will find our strength to persevere in the face of the enemy’s schemes.

And we know, the enemy has schemes and sabotages, that often times sound like, toil, fear, or threats yet our God has a remedy, Courage.

4 Unfolded Hearts Ministry ~ Deborah Somjak

You can listen to this specific yet short message described, at link below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/debbie-somjak/2017/03/24/courage

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and brave, and don’t tremble in fear of them, because the Eternal your God is going with you. He’ll never fail you or abandon you!

A Proper Time

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The Lord has ordained functioning principals in His Word as well as His function of Great Grace. Listen to Word on Unfolded Hearts-Talk.

//percolate.blogtalkradio.com/offsiteplayer?hostId=123613&episodeId=9765783   Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Wishing you a Glorious, Rewarding and Thriving New Year.

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Giving Thanks

The book of Thessalonians was written with a focus on
The Soon Coming King.
Interesting? As you read the passage below, do you find these verses to have a stunning and resonating sound for today?

1 Thessalonians 5:15-22 (AMPLIFIED)
See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek that which is good for one another and for all people. Rejoice always and delight in your faith; be unceasing and persistent in prayer; in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench [subdue, or be unresponsive to the working and guidance of] the [Holy] Spirit. Do not scorn or reject gifts of prophecy or prophecies [spoken revelations—words of instruction or exhortation or warning]. But test [all things carefully [so you can recognize what is good]. Hold firmly to that which is good. Abstain from every form of evil [withdraw and keep away from it].

Did you read in the center of it all: past, present and future, these verses supply a truth that will forever remain? We can find God’s heart and will again and again. It’s found central to our giving – thanks, continual prayer, rejoicing and delighting in the faith.

Give-thanks: To be grateful, feel thankful, give thanks. Friend, this is how we stay plugged into God.

Pray continually: this one is obvious, happening all the time, always loyal.

Rejoice: success in doing, finding a source or cause of great happiness; connect your joy to your delight in the faith and you will begin to rejoice.

Give Thanks to God

Here are few give-thanks verses we find in scripture that have the same meaning as when we read in:

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Matthew 26:36 – And He took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitude.

Matthew 26:27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.

John 6:23 – however, other boats came from Tiberias, near the place where they ate bread after the Lord had given thanks—

John 11:41- Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.

Lastly, Romans 1:8 supplies giving-thanks and a prayer
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

Prayer:
Father, I humbly thank you that in the midst of your brokenness you gave thanks. You continue to walk beside me through every season of my life. In times of great hope and hopelessness you strengthen my faith, may it not fail? You’re an ever present help in time of need. Thank-you! Grant opportunities of grace so that I can share my faith effectively with others. May I rely, lean on and trust in You. Thank you, You hear my prayer!

Quote:
Among the things you can give and still keep are your word, a smile, and a grateful heart.
Zig Ziglar

Deborah Somjak ~ 4 Unfolded Hearts Ministry

Picture, perfect.

Isaiah 26:3-4

You will keep him in perfect peace,

Whose mind is stayed on You,

Because he trusts in You.

Trust in the LORD forever,

For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.

 

Perfect peace? Could this be true?

As I read this verse, it began to read me. I knew I needed a closer view.

The wording perfect peace comes from the Hebrew word shalowm better known to us as shalom. It’s defined as completeness, soundness, peace, safety, welfare, health, and prosperity, contentment, friendship of human relationships and with God especially in covenant relationship.

After reading the definition of shalom used in this verse in Isaiah 26. I can sincerely say that I’ve experienced perfect peace. I don’t know that I would have been so confident to say so had I not took a closer view. Certainly, not at all times in all circumstances however as I gain understanding of perfect peace, it aids in the framework of my mind. Which is, friends, the prerequisite to our perfect peace.

Strongs describes mind as: form, framing, image, and purpose. I could ask you this way: What are you focusing on? What framework, picture or image is on your mind? Do you allow others to frame your thoughts? If you listen to the media-reports, posts or news feeds they will bombard you with current issues and concerns. It’s easy to be thrown into their projected purpose, which is to leave an imprint of influence upon your mind. In order for you to stay tuned, only for more of the same!

but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:13

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Ephesians 4:23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,

We can be informed people without the dramatic digression under the wrong influence. Isaiah 26 verses three and four are most revealing as they state a progressive process to perfect peace, because he trusts in You. Verse 4 continues to encourage us further reminding us to go back and place Trust in Lord forever – He is our everlasting strength. Selah. Stop and think about that. Literally, purpose to imagine and create a framework in your mind of trusting the Lord forever. The Lord is our everlasting strength.

The Rock of Ages – He forever remains.

In His watchful care,

Deborah Somjak~ Unfolded Hearts Ministry

The Bank of Forgiveness

In as few of my own words as I possibly can share I want to say the Lord impressed upon my mind a word He gave me serval years ago, which at the time ministered directly to my heart. It came to me through a vision, regarding forgiveness.

The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in compassion and lovingkindness.
Pslams 103:8

Vision:

I was standing on the grass near a river. I was holding a small cup in my hands. I was aware that the inside of this cup held my sins. I was prepared to give my sins to the Lord. I heard a voice not spoken aloud but rather an inward voice spoken to my heart with the understanding it was divine knowledge. I heard the words, “it is time”

I began to approach the bank of the river, my feet perfectly aligned with the edge. As I held this cup in my hand, I slowly leaned forward and looked to my left and then to my right down the river bank and as I did, I could see countless people lined up in the same fashion as I, as far as my eye could see, as well as across the river.

The river was the blood of Jesus it was flowing in a steady current down stream…again, no noise or voice was heard out loud; but we each were made aware of the same divine understanding, “it was time.”

It was time to pour out our sins into the river. As I began to pour out my sins from the cup into the river- I noticed each of my sins became the letters that spelled my sin as they were being poured out. As each letter hit the “bloods river” it began to dissolve like ink. Then I saw the ink stained letters mix together with the other saints sins that were being poured out too. Suddenly, the blood current swiftly rolled over the ink stained sins and removed them down the rivers stream, to be seen no more, forgotten forever.

The second time the Lord gave me this vision it was the same as above with the exception of the cup. In this cup, He asked me to fill it with the offenses I had received. I remember feeling somewhat shameful as I made my list but more so that I allowed the offense to weigh me down.

Good sense and discretion make a man slow to anger, and it is his honor and glory to overlook a transgression or an offense [without seeking revenge and harboring resentment] Proverbs 19:11

Pray:
In your own words, pray through your own sins and any offenses; give them to your Heavenly Father. He knows you the best and loves you the most!

2 Corinthians 7:10 Message Bible

Distress that drives us to God does that. It turns us around. It gets us back in the way of salvation. We never regret that kind of pain. But those who let distress drive them away from God, are full of regrets, end up on a deathbed of regrets.

In His watchful care,
Deborah Somjak
Unfolded Hearts Ministry