“Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.
And so here I am, preaching and writing about things that are way over my head, the inexhaustible riches and generosity of Christ. My task is to bring out in the open and make plain what God, who created all this in the first place, has been doing in secret and behind the scenes all along. Through followers of Jesus like yourselves gathered in churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming known and talked about even among the angels!”
Ephesians 3:8-10 Message
Perhaps there’s a promise you too have been asking for!
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.”
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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:
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!
My thoughts on the “New” in the Year 2014.
As I searched the Word for the word ‘new’ in scripture I find it appears 173x throughout the Old & New Testaments. Staying with the theme of the ‘new’ year I choose the N.T. Greek word; kaivoc (kainos) which occurs 44x.
Reading over the verses I see the word “new” being issued over such things as “New” creature, moon, song, wine, wineskin, thing, spirit, covenant, commandment, tongues, man, heaven and earth, Jerusalem.
The very definition in the Strong’s dictionary refers to both New as in form and substance meaning = recently made, fresh, unused, of a new kind, unprecedented, and unheard of.
May I ask, “What are you hoping for in the New?” May you see as you look with the eyes of faith that the hand and heart of God is for you! I declare & proclaim over 2014 that in God’s creative nature He gives both form and substance to the very thing(s) in which you’re asking. May this Year be a New – kind of unprecedented, unheard of, uncommon place in which you reside with Him.
Rev 21:5 reads; then He who sat on the Throne said, “Behold, I make all things new, and He said to me, “write, for these words are True and Faithful”.
Whatever it is you hear the Lord saying, write, write it down, even now.
By: Deborah Somjak ~ 4 Unfolded Hearts