You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘learn’ tag.

“Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, ‘Pray that you will not fall into temptation.’ He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed,  ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’ An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. ‘Why are you sleeping?’ he asked them. ‘Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation’” (Luke 22:39-46).

On the eve before His crucifixion, Jesus knew each detail of the unprecedented suffering awaiting Him. Jeering pagans would scourge him until near death. The priests who claimed His Father as God would insist they strip and kill Him. He would drag a beam through the dusty streets, as those He suffered to rescue spat upon His battered body. His raw flesh nailed to rough wood, He would hang to suffocate in the blistering sun. And that wasn’t the worst of it. He would also bear the immeasurable weight of every sin from the advent of time until the distant end of all days. Incomparable physical, emotional, and spiritual agony.

Jesus foresaw all this as He poured the Passover wine. Three years of cherished moments with these men culminated in this final message.He ripped the bread and explained its secret meaning to blank stares. In conclusion, He handed the elements to the dear friends who would soon abandon Him.

The scent of roast lamb floated through the streets. Jesus led them beyond the hard-packed roads until the murmurings faded and lush grasses eased their steps. With the steep incline, His legs strained under the added weight of His coming journey. They settled under a favorite cluster of trees in the garden. Gentle breezes lulled His full-bellied companions into repose. Jesus offered a vital exhortation to his too-comfortable students.

“Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”

He surrendered Himself in a crucial prayer. Angels responded to strengthen Him. Christ continued His fervent interaction with the Father. Until—

Every nerve and hair prickled as He recognized this moment. The time had come.

Jesus returned to wake his dozing supporters. Yes, He realized their frailty. But He must impress the concept of crucial prayer. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”

Christ’s insistence upon prayer at this moment renders it a crucial matter. The word ‘crucial’ derives its significance from its parent term, crucifixion. Though comprehension eluded the disciples until after the resurrection, we now benefit from Christ’s magnificent teaching delivered on Maundy Thursday. He

  • Forgiveness. He fulfilled the secret meaning of Passover as the Messiah Lamb Who redeems us from the consequences of sin. Despite impending betrayals and our continued undeserving nature, He demonstrated ultimate grace.
  • Service. He modeled the nature of a servant, explaining an additional impact of His coming sacrifice as providing inspiration for selfless living.
  • Submission. He surrendered Himself in prayer to the Father, Who strengthened Him to face unimaginable agony. During His crucial prayer, the Lord sent angelic support.
  • Crucial Prayer. He exhorted His followers to pray against temptation. He knew the trials awaiting them in the coming season. He knows prayer is our essential resource to fortify and equip us foll all that lies ahead.

This Maundy Thursday, as you reflect upon Jesus’ message to the disciples at the Last Supper and Gethsemane, will you join me in committing to a discipline of crucial prayer?

I prayed about whether to attend the conference.

A dream rolled a motorcycle to my porch. The director rapped on the front door. “We’ve got work to do.”

Along the winding road to the summit, I anticipated a supportive role during the conference. I woke with a chuckle about the motorcycle ride, but continued to pray about attending the conference for the next few weeks. The Lord impressed His desire for me to go, but also underscored the serious part of my dream–keeping a servant’s heart.

I arrived a day early, searching for an opportunity to serve. An extra trip to pick up a stranded conferee seemed like a small way to help. I enjoyed the company too much to consider it sacrificial.

The next morning, I battled through the fugue of insufficient sleep and visited a local church. The message centered on Jesus’ call for us to imitate Him as He washed the disciples’ feet at the Last Supper. Ways to deepen my willingness to serve grew clearer by the moment.

Numerous opportunities sprang up around me. I realized these needs existed in plain sight each day. In busy-mindedness, my tendency would trend toward missing the chances to emulate Christ. Had the Lord not instructed me to focus on serving, I would have retained my gaze on the next agenda item for each day.

“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.  Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.  Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them” (John 13:13-17).

Each moment I took to encourage a first-timer, help a new writer, or pray with someone, it blessed me. Time could have passed in shallow, watch-checking minutes if I had ignored those opportunities. I’m thankful Christ shifted my focus away from what I could get out of the conference. Instead, my patient Shepherd used the week to teach me how to follow in His steps.

Despite the wealth of information in its classes, the most valuable thing I learned didn’t come from a lecture or workshop but from the Servant’s lesson. I pray He will continue His patient teaching as long as I have time left to walk this earth.